Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Friday the Princess & I cruised 40 miles to Culpeper to attend the weekly cruise at Arby’s.  We left early enough to dine at the Glory Days restaurant before the cruise-in because the Princess likes the Friday fish special they serve.  And we always sit on the patio outside so we can watch the hot rod while we eat.  We were done about 4:30 so we cruised to Arby’s next.  We waited till after 5PM and no one else showed up?  This cruise-in is not “run” by a club or group…it’s a very informal gathering of friends and acquaintances….very low key.  So the chance of all the friends being busy on a Friday night is real….I guess we hit one of those nights.  It would have been a loss except for the great meal at Glory Days and the awesome ride in the Virginia countryside getting there.  But we wanted to meet up with some “car” friends somewhere…..so we headed for the Burg….Fredericksburg, VA.

Fredericksburg has two cruise-ins this year about 4 ½ miles apart and they both have pluses and minuses for us….and we have friends that manage & attend both of them.  So it’s a little tricky to not show favoritism for one over the other….kinda like having two kids at Christmas and making the experience even for both of them….tricky.  So we try to alternate our visits between the two….whew!  This Friday it is VA BBQ!

When we arrived the lot was pretty full but we managed to find a spot next to Fall Hill Rd….where the Princess likes to park.  When I got out and looked at our neighbors parked in the line with us….I thought we might be in a front line in a Chevy dealership!  Camaro’s aplenty….which is ok with us….it was just a little funny.  When we visit the cruise-in at the other end of town the same thing happens but it’s Mustangs there….too funny!

We were instantly greeted by Kim and a little later Rick came over to sit a spell and talk….always a good time!  The black ’39 Chevy coupe is the nicest one around and is a regular visitor to this cruise-in.  Hoppy brought his red/white ‘55 Ford golf cart to the mix and was giving people rides around the parking lot in it.  A pair of nice ’67 Chevy Nova posts arrived….one with a cool graphic in the side.  The light blue VW added to the international ambiance of the evening’s gathering.  But the Camaros….mostly newer models but very nice nonetheless.  Kandy’s yellow ‘Bumble Bee’ was special….the color always brightens up the model row.  So many of the newer cars are in ‘power’ colors, black-red-dark blue….they look nice but the brighter colors, yellow-green, just add something to the display for me. 

Around 8PM a fellow, Gary, walked over and started a conversation with us.  He wanted to know “what was going on here?”  We explained it was a cruise-in and what that was verses a ‘show’.  He asked questions like ‘how much does it cost to enter?’, ‘how do you get in?’, ‘where are you allowed to park?’.  So the Princess and I explained a lot of things for him.  On the ‘cost’ question I told him there was no cost to park but that the managing club, Fredericks Classic & Muscle Car Club, ran a 50/50 each Friday.  He asked ‘what was that?’  I explained the club sold tickets for $1 or more and they drew one of the tickets at the end of the cruise-in.  The winner kept half of the night’s ticket purchase dollar amount and the other half was kept by the club.  The club used the money to help local needy families during Christmas every year.  He said that sounded like a good thing and I agreed it was!  He said he had recently completed a restoration of a ’62 Falcon….it wasn’t “special” so he parked it way over among the daily drivers near Rt. 1, hidden from view of ‘our’ gathering!?  We told him to bring it in and park anywhere he wanted including next to us.  He said his car wasn’t ‘special’ and were we sure he could do that?  I told him to just get his car and park it next to us….everyone would be ok with that.  Except the Camaro owners….hehehehe….I didn’t actually say that!  He brought his nice, stock, almost original beige ’62 Ford Falcon and parked next to us.  You could tell he was proud of it and after he felt “accepted” he thanked us and strolled around the lot looking at other people’s rides.  I have thought about this encounter a lot since Friday.  The Princess & I usually sit in a group with friends while we visit the evening away.  If someone new to our hobby walked in they would probably be intimidated by our ‘clickish’, loud little group and may not ask the questions Gary did.  That would be a shame for everyone and the hobby.  Sometimes we are so involved with our cars or friends that we fail to notice someone on the ‘outside’….something to think about.  Around 8:30 the Princess started whining about being cold and wanted to go home….so we packed up and headed north.

Saturday we left Stafford with Jim & Linda and cruised 28 miles to Manassas, VA and the weekly cruise at the BK by the airport.  When we had parked and were getting the chairs out I heard a very distinctive sound above.  Something rarely heard then seen in these parts.  The whine of a full tilt Rolls Royce Merlin V-12!  Jim & I looked up and were treated to the sight of a P-51 Mustang banking out of the traffic pattern of the airport!  Such a sweet sound….  Then I remembered the airport was hosting a small gathering of WWII warbirds that weekend….they even had the B-17, Aluminum Overcast, at the airport.  That will be a preview of what our AirFest Saturday weekend may be like on October 11 in Culpeper, VA.

After we set out the chairs we all visited the BK for lunch and potty break….they have taken the ‘satisfrys’ off the menu?  Why?  Oh well, I really don’t need french fries anyway.  When we returned to the lot it was filling up nicely.  This cruise-in usually has 100-150 cars and tonight was going to be an overflow night.  This cruise-in also has a lot of transient folks.  They cruise in and stay a few hours then cruise somewhere else.  That makes it difficult to nail down the actual total participation for the night.

Nick and a few friends brought their Pro Streets and parked next to a very nice grey Camaro Pro Touring car.  A white ’59 Rolls parked next to us as the evening unfolded and more cars came and went.  Paul took up residence in “his” spot with his yellow ’32 Ford 5w coupe.  There is a nice red ’40 Ford coupe that attends frequently that is motivated by a cool SBF.  It runs an Edelbrock cross ram intake with two Edelbrock 4bbls.  They are topped with air cleaners made with Ford hubcaps….how cool is that?  There were Challengers, Corvettes, Mustangs, Vipers, Camaros….old cars, new cars, stock cars, much modified cars and even a Morris Minor to add to the international flair, with a North American Mustang making music overhead….whats not to like?  About 6:30 we gathered up and cruised back to Stafford.  We have to be home before dark….the evil local suicide deer population is everywhere.  I read on the internet that they are targeting vehicles this year….beware!

Sunday would be our second annual Kodak Cruise where we drive our hot rods somewhere picturesque and everyone takes pictures of their rides and the Princess & I take some too.  It has been a fun time in the past but we wanted to make the one this year a little closer to home so more people could join in on the fun.  The Princess & I waited at the WAWA start point till what I thought was the launch time of 7:30 then departed alone for Curtis Park in Stafford, VA.  I send a weekly email that posts the start time and general itinerary of our weekend adventures.  I guess my brain had a flat spot because my email actually said that we leave at 8:30!  So….there I was….all mopey and unhappy that no one was going with us.  Oh well, we go on anyway like we always do. 

We cruised 12 miles to the Park and waited at the information center to see if anyone else would show up at 8AM, which would really be 9AM.  Soon Bill arrived with his 1923 Ford Model T Speedster in tow.  We talked and decided where he could unload his ride then meet us by the lake.  Since we were an hour early the sunlight was very low and a mist had formed over the lake like a low thin fog, it was really cool.  And the early morning sunlight was very intense so I knew the pictures would be special.  And I still didn’t realize I made a mistake and didn’t know Bill usually arrived very early to events so we set up Bill’s Speedster and began taking pictures.  We had just about finished with Bill when Lou & Arlene and Fred & Debie showed up!  Then I got a call from Ramona asking if we were still going to cruise!?  I told her I must have had a brain flatulence or maybe I was running on old grumpy people’s time!  I think she laughed.  We started photographing Fred’s ’57 Dodge and by the time we were done the rest of the group showed up!  We all made fun of my time mistake….including me!  It’s neat that friends can do stupid stuff then their friends just laugh and point at my silly self and we go on….too cool….

After Bill’s car was photographed he offered to take the Princess a ride in/on his Speedster….whohoo.  The Princess gave Bill very specific instructions that he was NOT to go fast enough to mess up her hair!  Very specific instructions….  I think she had a good time waving at people from the seat of the Speedster and when she came back Arlene jumped on the Speedster for a ride too.  They were doing that while I was photographing the rest of the cars.  The Princess was busy taking “natural” pictures?  Geese, water, bushes, trees, a man fishing…..artsy stuff me thinks.  After we all took pictures of our rides at the lake, we moved to the entrance of the Park which is tree lined on both sides and is a very good set up for pictures.  I have the cars come down the lane going from side to side to get different angles and light.  The entrance is about 100yds long and I try to take 4-6 pictures before they are at the end.  I hadn’t planned on the where the cars would park when they were at the end of the lane so they did a U turn and went back beyond the point where the Princess would start them.  That made for some interesting shots too!  Finally we were done with the photo shoot and it was time for lunch.  It is the only entrance to the Park so we had to wait for the normal Park traffic that was beginning to arrive to clear so we could get pictures with just the subject vehicle in it.  That was a very tedious exercise.  We all formed up and departed for lunch that was about 12 miles away.

I had contacted the restaurant earlier in the week to let them know we would be visiting on Sunday about Noon.  They said that would be ok but they didn’t take reservations….that should have rang a bell for me.  When we arrived at the restaurant there was a line OUTSIDE waiting to get in, and they had been open for three hours!  I knew this was going to be trouble.  We parked in an empty lot across the street so we wouldn’t have to mingle with the daily drivers and I walked over to check it out.  Inside I informed them we were about 20 people and was greeted with ‘we can’t combine tables and there is a 20-30 min wait!’  This wouldn’t work for us.  I informed our group that the restaurant wouldn’t try to accommodate us so we needed a plan B.  Debie recommended we try Ryan’s in Central Park….that would work.  Most of the group left then but we were a little early to the restaurant and some friends that couldn’t go on the photo shoot wanted to join us for lunch.  And they were on the way.  I had the phone number of Jim & Linda so I called and redirected them to Ryan’s.  But I could not contact Bill & Debbie or Ron & Donna.  The Princess and I waited in the lot for them so they could be redirected to Ryan’s.  Bill & Debbie arrived about 15 min before Noon and were driving their ’23 T Speedster, not really a long distance ‘road’ car.  They had unloaded it at the train station a couple miles away and driven to the restaurant to meet us.  Then had to drive back to the train station, load it up on a trailer, drive it to Ryan’s….whew!  We waited until a little after Noon and hadn’t heard from Ron so we left for Ryan’s.  I need to plan a little better next time me thinks.

We all finally were at Ryan’s and in our own ‘private’ room and feeling good about the day even with a lot of bantering about planning and such.  Bill even told us his sad encounter at McD’s, you have to ask him.  The food was good and the service was great at Ryan’s.  We may plan on coming back here again, they really want us there!  Before we left Lou made a comment about the day being so nice that we shouldn’t waste it on just going home….we needed to drive somewhere.  What a concept.  We put our heads together and decided to visit the Lake Anna State Park and after that go and see if Bruster’s still sold ice cream in Culpeper!  Sounds like a plan, yup.  Some couldn’t join us because of pets that needed attention at home but the rest of us were in.  During this time I got a call from Ron & Donna, they wanted to join our adventure and they would meet us at the Dairy Queen in S. Fredericksburg at 2PM. 

We began our 28 mile cruise to the State Park through the wandering Virginia countryside after we met up with Ron & Donna at the DQ.  The ride was great and the Park was everything I remember but it has been built up a little since our last visit 10 years ago.  The gate lady that was taking fees for the Park was so impressed with our little convoy she let us in free!  She just wanted to take pictures of our rides as we entered the Park….what a deal!  After we parked, we strolled around the facilities and Lou called his son that was vacationing at the lake.  He was about 2 min away in a boat so they came to the boat ramp and visited while the rest of us took in the lake’s beauty.

It was time to leave and make our way to Culpeper but two of our cruisers decided to go home instead….  The rest of us cruised 35 miles to Bruster’s….they still had ice cream!  We visited for another hour but decided to leave before dark….you know about those deer around here, grin.  Another great day driving our hot rods, sharing with friends….enjoying the life God has given us.  I love this hobby!

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