Monday, April 27, 2015

Fighting with the Weatherguessers.....

The weather for the Friday cruise at VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA was perfect and because of that there were 50 other cruisers that thought the same thing and paid the parking lot a visit.  A lot of the usual suspects and a couple new rides rumbled in. 

John brought out his black cherry ’37 Chevy that he completed this winter….it’s so nicely done….you have to examine it closely when you see it.  The little original Mini attracted a lot of comments and I didn’t get to the red ’60 Chevy in time to take a good picture, but it was a mild custom that had that just right look.  With another cruise within 5 miles of this one, people cruise in and stay for a while then cruise to the other location so it’s difficult to really know how many people visit.  It happens all night….it is what it is.

Out small group of our trouble makers gathered behind our rides to discuss solving the world’s problems and learning more about each other till around 8:30 when the cruise ended with the presentation of the pig trophies!  A barbeque restaurant hosts the cruise so the club presents a couple trophies with a pig on it each week….too much fun.  The Princess treasures the one she got years ago….it sits on her side of the computer desk….right next to her pirate Santa clause and the Princessofquitealot pumpkin….it’s a process….it’s all good…. My side of the 8’ table is usually neat & devoid of clutter unless I’m working on a projece….her side looks like the inside of a hoarder’s closet, after an earthquake.  When the Princess began using a computer next to me a few years ago, she claimed one half of the table was hers.  She has been encroaching ever so slowly to the point that she now has about 60% of the horizontal space.  I guess Princesses need a lot of room for Princess stuff, what do I know….

Saturday it rained out our planned activities so we waited for Sunday morning to see if the weatherguessers were going to be anywhere close to their prognostications.  I know, I have to give them a brake….it IS a 12 hour forecast!   They were predicting that the rain would be gone by 9AM….

Sunday the Princess got up at 6AM….peered out the window and announced that it was raining….back to bed for an hour.  I got up at 7AM….the rain was just misting so I checked three different weather sites on the computer and they all said the rain would end by 9AM….so we go!  Fred messaged me to see if we were still going….it was still raining where he lives south of us. 

Our small group of 3 vehicles left WAWA promptly at 9AM and cruised 35 miles to Manassas Virginia to attend the ‘Remembering Fallen Officer Chris Yung’ fund raising car show put on by the Northern Virginia Mustang Club and hosted by Juke Box Diner.  Last year we had missed this event due to scheduling conflicts but we wanted to make it this year.  The ground was damp to wet in some places as we left Stafford, VA and cruised North.  But the closer we got to Manassas the drier the roads were so it looked like it might be a good day.  We arrived to completely dry pavement and sunny skies….in fact it was picture post card perfect weather….  While we were cleaning the cars, Fred & Debie arrived from their 2 hour, wiper intense trip to join us.  As we all were setting up camp the ladies began to chant something like….the restaurant is open, they are serving food, we are hungry, FEED US--FEED US--FEED US….when this crew gets together it is usually brutal.  So….we men (lower case on purpose) dutifully followed the ladies to the nourishment corral….opps, restaurant. 

We have never visited this establishment before and were pleasantly surprised on Sunday.  The variety of the offerings was staggering….the service was very upbeat and helpful.  It seemed that quite a few car people decided to dine at the same time and the staff was close to being overwhelmed….but we were taken care of quickly and without mishap.  The food was terrific and fairly priced (I thing they gave us a ‘Senior Discount’ too)…. we will come back!

When we retreated to our ‘camp’ behind the cars we all began to notice what a great weather day it was becoming….just perfect, you have to check out the pictures and the temp was in the low 70’s!

Given the weather pattern that was forecasted and the unreliability of the local weatherguessers I’m sure many potential attendees stayed away from the event.  That is too bad….it was a well managed event that raised money for a great cause.  And did I mention there is a great eatery close by?

 There was about 50 vehicles that did join in on the fun….some of the cars were notable and unusual.  The red ’59 Cadillac is a welcome addition to any event as is the red/black Studebaker.  The red/white ’50 Dodge 4dr with the Hemi is a seldom seen ride and it was just too cool.  There were a lot of very nice newer cars too, Camaro’s, Mustangs, Mopars and even a late arriving Viper….  Some say the newer cars shouldn’t compete with the classic cars….but for me…..a fund raiser is all about the money, if you want to raise $$ you need to include everyone.  And in the end it really doesn’t matter who wins or loses as long as the charity wins!  For me the best of show was the little green ’32 Ford push car….it was a primo build and the munchkin was really enjoying the attention he was getting.  Good job parents, you have initiated him into a wholesome hobby that he can enjoy the rest of his life!

As we were breaking camp to leave the event, Dan & Ramona joined us on their way back from the TSRA Rod Run in Williamsburg, VA.  A few of us decided to visit Carlos O’Kellys in Stafford on the way home to wrap up the day’s adventures.  And so we ended another great day visiting with friends and driving old cars around….I love this hobby.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On the road with friends.....

The weekly Friday night cruise in Fredericksburg, VA at VA BBQ had been cancelled two weeks in a row because of rain.  This Friday the weatherguessers were calling for rain to stop by 4PM so we waited in Stafford.  When it had slowed to a fine mist we launched for the cruise, around 4:30….only to get a call from Fred, who was already at the cruise, wanting to know where we were!  On the way we ran into heavy rain and massive amounts of road spray…when we reached the cruise Fred informed us that it began raining soon after he called….  But it was over by 6PM….the pollen was washed off the trees and the temp was a pleasant 70 degrees….life was getting better!

No doubt the rain kept the attendance down at the cruise….but….for those that came out they were treated to a very cool rig.  A 1953 Ford with period correct speed equipment on a little flattie cruised in dragging something.  But the thing that made the deal so cool was the boat he was towing!  It was a wooden 16’ Whirlwind with a white Mercury OB and an early “speed” prop!  The whole rig was just immaculate….a very welcome addition to the nights mix.  The rest of the rides were the usual suspects….I think we all had fun catching up.

Saturday some of us gathered at the N. Stafford, VA WAWA to begin our cruise to Renegade Classics in Fredericksburg and the start point for the Rolling Thunder Poker run.  The Virginia Chapter 3 of Rolling Thunder, Inc puts on this run as one of their fundraisers for the year….they do a lot of good things for our Veterans with the funds that are donated, so we wanted to support them and have a little fun at the same time.  We also brought a couple cruisers that had never participated in a ‘poker run’ so they could see how it was supposed to play out.  The Princess & I had participated in many poker runs when we rode the Harley….we have even designed and managed a few poker runs for motorcycles and cars.  But ‘car’ people don’t seem to like poker runs I guess, as they never caught on. 

The Princess & I decided to wear our biker vests so we could blend in a little better, I even wore long pants!  The guys & gals of Rolling Thunder made us feel welcome as I knew they would and some of the comments from the ‘car’ guys later at dinner would validate my way of thinking.  Bikers occasionally have an undeserved bad rap….something we dealt with for 40 years!  It all boils down to respect….if you give it to them, they will give it back to you….really simple! 

The Princess bought 3 poker hands….three!?  She really likes to win.  She had the highest hands (2) when she drew her last cards but she bought a couple extra anyway….It was only the Slacker’s money!  As the last bikes started arriving it was obvious the Princess was not going to be a winner….the whining will not cease for a week.  Oh well….then she said I had to take her to a nice restaurant so she wouldn’t feel so bad….you have no idea.

The poker run route was about 100 miles long with stops at Rescue/Fire stations in Fairview Beach (King George), Colonial Beach and Bowling Green….then we ended back in Fredericksburg, VA at VA BBQ….the same place we cruise to on most Friday evenings….unless it rains….  The roads were great, the weather was picture perfect and the stop workers were enthusiastic and helpful.  The event unfolded like a good book….It really was a fun day. 

Sunday we met members of the Fredericks Classic & Muscle Car Club in the Target parking lot of the Cosner’s Corner Mall area.  Fourteen cruisers left at precisely 10:15 and began our 46 mile cruise to Tappahannock, VA and Lowery’s Seafood Restaurant.  The route is easy, mostly flat road….with great scenery this time of year.  The redbuds and dogwoods are blooming while the other trees are starting to leaf out….it’s a nice time of year to be on the road.  When we crossed Rt. 301 we made a pit stop at Horne’s store where we were joined by six more cruisers!  When we left we had a string of 18 hot rods motoring down the road….and David & his Harley!  I think it’s cool to have a few bikes mixed in with the cars….the adventure is for everyone!

After eating way too much food at Lowery’s, some of us decided to perform a little community service work.  We would visit Carl’s Ice Cream in Fredericksburg to make sure the ice cream was ok….it’s a public service we perform from time to time.  It’s a responsibility some of us take very seriously for the public good….someone has to do it!   Grinning & chuckling….

After performing our public service task we all headed for home….the rain was threatening but would hold off till later that night.  I’m glad this club has discovered over the road cruising….it’s so much more enjoyable for some than sitting for 8 hours in the sun….