Monday, July 25, 2016

Bruster's of Culpeper 7-23-2016

The fourth Saturday of the month and Cruisin For Heroes puts on their Bruster’s of Culpeper cruise with the assistance of the Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club.  The weatherguessers said Saturday would be near 100 with the heat index…but the good news was Sunday & Monday would be even hotter! Yaaaaa! 

We met Jim and Jimmy & Anne at the Sheetz in N. Stafford then at 2PM we cruised 40 miles to Bruster’s in Culpeper.  We arrived and began setting up….and began to really notice the heat.  Rick & Kim were stopping on their way back from vacation and DJ Chip rolled in shortly after we set up the DJ canopy.  Chip is donating his time and talent to provide the music and announcements for us….he is the best.  The Fredericksburg club not only comes to add to the participants they help us run the event.  Kim always runs the 50/50 with help from fellow club members.  It’s tough to explain the heat….it was oppressive and almost depressive.  The heat makes everything you do just that much harder…especially for us old folks….grinning. 
We had a vendor join us this month, State Farm agent, Hunter Wyant and his crew.  Lou is going to see how we can make his presence at some of our events an opportunity to add to the funds we collect for Fisher House Foundation….we’ll see how this unfolds. 
The oppressive heat kept some cruisers away but not Tom & Larry with their Pro Street Chevy’s.  These beasts are what a part of hot rodding is all about….they roam the VA & MD cruises with other Pro Street cars allowing us to hear/feel/see what streetable race cars are like….thanks guys.
We had about 37 cars visit the event….which was a surprise because of the white hot temps.  Some left before I got the chance to photograph their rides, it was just too hot. 
Dave won the Bruster’s Manager’s choice with his very green ’37 Chevy Sedan….and Doug & his wife (orange 49 Chevy gasser) won the 50/50 (which they gave back for Fisher House).  Jim & Lou shortened the cruise and closed it down at 7PM because of the heat….a good call.
I think we have just a few little adjustments to make for our cruise and then it will be all about inviting more people….I think we have room for about 40 more rides….we’ll see.
We took down everything, packed it up and ran for home….it was a very long day for me….it would take me two days to recover and get back to my normal for a 72 year old guy with no hair….hehehehe
Pictures here;


VA BBQ Fredericksburg, VA 7-22-2016

Friday we visited VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA….we usually try to attend this cruise that is close to home….when weather allows.  The weatherguessers promised hot temps and it did not disappoint.  On the way to the Q we stopped at the 2400 Diner to check out their burgers….they were as good as the rest of the fare we have sampled at this quaint eatery.  As usual when we drive the hot rod, it draws attention….I had an extended conversation with a local guy that knows everyone in our hobby….now he knows me too!

As soon as we were set up in the lot I began visiting with a gentleman originally from NorCal back in the day….he ran a Jr. Fueler among other cars.  His son joined him later in the afternoon with his brown ’54 Chevy….was very cool to reminisce and make this connection with our past.
The heat kept the attendance down but there was still about 35 cruisers visited the event.  Stuart came with the guy and his red FVFD Jeep….looks like a 50’s deal, I’ll have to ask him how old it is the next time.  I also liked the black/white ’60 Vette, not many of them still on the road.  For me the coolest ride of the night was the copper ’67 Dodge Charger…it was just perfect!
As soon as the awards were given out we cruised home….it was just too warm to go cruising anywhere else.
Pictures here;


Monday, July 18, 2016

VA BBQ 7-15-2016 and beyond....

Friday we visited VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA with our Granddaughter, Haley.  Haley and I watched American Graffiti right before we left (she had never seen it!) so she could see what the connection was between us and the cars. We wanted to share part of our lifestyle with her….so she better understands why we do what we do with our car hobby.  Why we sit in the heat, sweating till it’s dripping off our elbows….eating semi-warm pizza, drinking watered down soft drinks while sitting in uncomfortable fold up camp chairs in the blazing sun for 4 hours.  It’s about the friendships and camaraderie of people that all have something in common….special rides!  

Since the farm truck will only hold two people, the Princess decided to exercise her red ’94 Mustang GT.  We let Haley chose her ride….I think she liked to ride in the farm truck!  There were about 40 special rides that visited the Q and one real special one was the red Jeepster with the Buick V-6 engine, some very interesting hot rodding going on right there.  There was a nice red slammed C-10 that I didn’t get any info on….next time.  A red ’31 Ford sedan with a raked radiator….I have never seen anything like that and it piqued my curiosity.  One of my favorites was the black BMW Z3 Coupe M….I know I know….a Beemer is not a hot rod.  I just like these little station wagon like coupes….  I also liked the black 1950 Ford coupe with the flathead sporting 3 2bbls….it was a nice throwback.
We stayed till the end then cruised to Freddy’s for a late burger….sharing more of our crazy lifestyle with Haley.
Saturday we were going to cruise 60 miles one way to the Orange County Cruisers monthly cruise at the Burger King in Orange, VA. We were a little apprehensive about the weather, they were forecasting severe thunderstorms MAYBE in the LATE afternoon.  When the appointed time came and no one else showed up to make the trek….we decided to visit the cruise in N. Stafford at the BK on Rt. 610 incase the severe weather materialized.  We haven’t visited this local cruise for a few years, something else is always on our agenda.  We found some good parking spots that backed up to grass and quickly shut down the cars.  Yes the Princess was driving her Mustang….Haley was riding in the truck….again! hehehehe  The Princess & Haley scooted inside BK….to get some food while I went to the two Gary’s running the cruise to say Hi.  We caught up a little then a guy wanted to talk to me about the farm truck.  We were engaged in a lengthy conversation when two other guys walked over to the truck.  We all started to talk about the truck and their tide….that’s the way it’s supposed to work!  Richard, one of the guys, abruptly said he had to go?  I had been talking facing one way for about 45 min, I asked Richard why was he leaving so soon?  He pointed behind me….I turned around and the sky was black!  It looked like a haboob, the massive sand storms in the Middle East but black as coal.  I said my goodbyes and retrieved the Princess & Haley from the inside of BK then we made a mad dash for home! 
We arrived about 10 min before the sky opened up and dumped rain in trash floating proportions….whew…  So we didn’t have much of a cruise….time for pizza and a movie!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cruising the Virginia Countryside 7-9-2016

Saturday we left Stafford, VA at Noon and cruised 34 miles to Spotsylvania High School, in Spotsylvania, VA, to meet up with the Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club to join in on their Tim’s Lake Anna Cruise.  We like to eat at that restaurant and the cruise over the Virginia byways was just perfect.  The weather was a little hot but picture perfect otherwise.  After we all gathered in the HS parking lot, Rick & Kim lead the gaggle of special vehicles to the food….which was about 20 miles away.

The cruise was uneventful but breathtaking at the same time….Virginia is just so picturesque this time of year….especially with all the rain we have had, everything if green!  We finally arrived at Tim’s and marched in to begin the gastronomical extravaganza.  When Debie, Annie and the Princess are near seafood….massive quantities of blue point crabs are going to die!  Eating blue point crabs is an art form….something to behold.  Or, if you happen to be someone that isn’t fond of them….it can be truly disgusting….your choice!  After about two hours of all you can eat crabs I noticed the owner circling our table a couple times….watching the crab debacle at the other end of the table.  I knew it was time to go when the Princess said maybe if she got up and walked around a little she could eat more crabs….yup, time to exit stage right!
We gathered in the parking lot to say our goodbyes to those that were going to call it a day.  The rest of us departed for our next stop, Locust Grove….about 19 miles away.  The Good Times Cruisers of Locust Grove has their monthly cruise in the mall parking lot and we had not been able to attend yet this year, it was going to be fun.
About two miles from the event we began to encounter damp roads, the closer we got the more water was standing on the road side!  When we arrived we realized it had indeed just finished raining….whew, we missed that.  I was told that 5 miles away it rained in near Biblical proportions, a monsoon downpour.  As most of our summer afternoon storms in the hot summer only last 20-30 minutes, as long as you are not driving in the road spray the rides can be wiped dry….no harm really.
We set up across from our rides under a tree.  It is a nice comfortable cruise that we can sit on grass but the truck is on asphalt.  The DJ was playing cool music with very few interruptions and the special rides kept coming in.  No doubt some were waiting for the rain to stop between them and the cruise.  About 55 vehicles visited from JV’s ’23 T bucket to Stuart’s 2016 GT 350.  A gnarly blue Mustang with too much motor (did I say that) woke everyone up when he drove it from his trailer while the black ’40 Ford track racer nestled in for the afternoon’s festivities.  My favorite was the candy apple red ’51 Chevy period custom with 6 cyl power!  It would have looked right at home in the 1950’s and the motor made it special for me.
The cruise was winding down right before dark and most of the group we ran with cruised on home….a busy but memorable day.  But now the Princess needed food!?  So we followed Lou & Arlene 21 miles to Bruster’s Ice Cream & Hot Dogs in Culpeper….yes, hot dogs. 
I guess at our age we don’t have to worry about what we eat….we’re near the end anyway so if the Princess had a sauerkraut dog and ice cream at 9:30 what’s the worst that could happen?  I had some chili cheese fries with black cherry ice cream….it’s a sickness I think….there is no cure.  I believe the Princess & I freaked out Lou just a little with our food choices that late at night….but I figure since he plays golf, we’re even!  We cruised 39 miles to the Shotwell hovel and put the farm truck down for the night.  A very long day driving around giving people something to wave at....I love this hobby….


Pictures here;
and here;

Monday, July 11, 2016

VA BBQ 7-8-2016

Friday afternoon at VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA….it was hot.  No it wasn’t hot….it was hot like our friend in AZ says….pizza oven HOT.  No breeze and the sun was sending thermonuclear radiation that was at least 2 million degrees to our little spot in Virginia.  Everyone looked for shade and tried to keep hydrated….some failed.  We have to keep an eye on everyone when it’s that hot, some will seem ok but they are exhibiting early signs of heat problems. 

There were about 30 special rides on the lot by the time it was over….less than normal….I’m sure some stayed home in the A/C…!  But as is the case some new to us rides showed up.  The two black early 50’s Packard’s parked together near the only tree.  And next to them was a red/white & blue uncut Model T hot rod….it is kinda cool.  A black ’40 Ford Coupe with red wheels rounded out the new attendees….the rest were the usual suspects.
The cruise wound down about 9PM and we had an uneventful cruise home.  But it was still hot!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Vietnam War Foundation Museum visit 7-3-2016

Last Veterans Day we visited a special place in Ruckersville, VA;  Please check out the link above….I must have been inspired when I wrote it!?  It will give you a flavor for the experience we had at the museum on Sunday.

Lou & I decided that we needed to visit again this year and have been planning the event since last Veterans Day!  The Remembering Vietnam Cruise was to be on Independence Day weekend, July 3 to be specific.  We advertised and personally invited Rolling Thunder VA 3 and other clubs to run with us.  We had inquiries from all over Virginia and we knew it would be a well attended event.  Knowing that, Lou asked the Culpeper Sheriff’s department to provide traffic control as we left the start point near Culpeper airport and headed South on Rt. 29. That makes such a difference when everyone begins the 36 mile cruise together.

As with any outdoor event weather plays an important part.  The weatherguessers were forecasting monsoon rains for the Fourth but for Sunday the 3rd would be ok.  But then the closer we got to Sunday the weather deteriorated to monster rains being forecasted.  Since our start time was 9:45 from Stafford we had time to figure out what to drive since the event was a ‘Rain or Shine’ deal.  We decided to make the call to use daily drivers and scrambled to advertise the change via email & Facebook.  So….we had three hot rods, a gaggle of Corvettes and a few Rolling Thunder motorcycles accompanying 34 assorted daily drivers to begin the cruise.   

A local weekly newspaper, The Culpeper Times, has a focus on Veterans once a month with their “Salute To Our Veterans” section with stories about local Veterans.  Lou had invited the editor of the Culpeper Times, Anita Sherman, to join us at the Museum to see what the Museum was all about.  Anita interviewed the curator, Craig LaMountain, and followed with a very nice article in her paper.

The staff of the museum had set up an area for us to display our Fisher House Foundation material and also have a place for our group to congregate.  It really helped make the day a little better for us.  I can’t really say that the day was a bust….anytime we can interact with people like the staff at the museum is a good day.  This is the kind of place that no matter how many times you visit you will always find something you missed before.  And most of the people that attended with us had not been to the museum before….so they had a special day for sure!  I think the weather kept many people from experiencing the day with us….we are going to plan another event to the museum on Veteran’s Day this year….watch for the details.
Check pictures here; 


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

LOW parade & Pep Boys cruise 7-2-2016

A few months ago we received an email invitation to participate in the Lake of the Woods annual Fourth of July parade.  After evaluating the pros & cons of our participation we decided to give it a try.  Lou took the point and tied up all the loose ends including the weather!  We have never done a parade so it was kind of uncharted territory for us.

We all met across the street from Lake of the Woods, VA to form up all the cars, in specific order so the reviewing stand would know who was in front of them as we drove by.  At the appointed time Lou led us across Rt. 3 and into Lake of the Woods to the designated line up area…..only to be told we had to go to another line up area.  This movement was very difficult because the roads are narrow and vehicles were parked on the shoulder with people walking among the moving cars and the parked ones!  When we lined up at the second place Lou was told we needed to go back to the first area….he told them that’s not going to happen.  I could tell Lou was getting more than a little frustrated.  We did everything that was asked of us and the organizers were confused and not very helpful.  We waited way too long for our turn to be called but we all worked our way through the community toward the reviewing area.  We were supposed to be near the front of the parade so our vehicles would keep moving and not overheat….as it worked out we were near the end and almost every vehicle overheated….some near catastrophically.  Since the Princess & I were the last vehicle in our section we left the parade to be with the vehicles that pulled in at the fire house to cool down.  After a while everyone was cool enough to proceed to the designated parking area….whew!
We set up a canopy near our rides and the ladies opted for the shade of a large tree instead of the canopy…..a good choice.  The Fisher House canopy was set up in the vendor area and Lou & Duane kept busy the rest of the day representing Fisher House.
About 2PM we decided it was time to move on….we gathered up our canopies and Fisher House material and dispersed to the four corners of the compass.  I don’t think we will do another parade.
The Princess & I cruised to Fredericksburg, VA to attend the monthly cruise at the Pep Boys store on Rt. 3 managed by the Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club.  We have been unable to attend this event so far this year and even though we were worn out from the parade….we wanted to make sure we visited the cruise today. 
We enjoy this cruise because of the comfortable surroundings (grass & trees) and all the food choices within walking distance.  We also enjoy the music and the positive mood the club projects.  They run a 50/50 to generate funds for their Christmas projects for needy local families that we like to support too.  And….the cruise attracts some nice cars.  There were about 40 vehicles that visited the cruise but the most interesting one was the ’62 Chevy Pickup….it’s chopped and customized with a very 60’s flavor….a nice ride….owned by Tony, a retired US Marine! 
We stayed till about 7PM….it had been a very long hot day for us….and tomorrow would be another all day event.  We had an uneventful cruise home….then reconfigured the farm truck for the next day’s festivities.

You can check out all the images here;

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

VA BBQ 7-1-2016

The Princess & I were going just a little crazy having to stay home while we were sick….and the rain kept us inside….can you say cabin fever?  Friday it looked like we would have a clear afternoon but rain may come back in the evening….maybe later around 9-10PM.  So we dug out the farm truck and rumbled south to VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA.  We set up camp and settled in for an evening of conversation with friends.  We went next door and brought back some pizza for our group.

About 6PM the sky darkened up and soon we felt rain!  We broke camp and scurried home….in the rain!  It wasn’t a hard rain, no road spray so when we got home we just quick washed the truck and put it away for tomorrow’s parade.  And that’s the way it goes sometimes….

CFH Bruster's cruise 6-25-2016

The last few weeks have been tough on us….between the rain cancelled cruises and the Princess & I suffering through an upper respiratory infection I finally got out on Saturday for our Bruster’s cruise in Culpeper, VA.  My partner, The Princess, was too sick to come out and play so I would go alone….something I rarely do.  A couple guys in our group would be missing so the rest of the guys & I would have to run the event.  I was still coughing and didn’t want to infect anyone so I avoided all contact and tried to keep my distance from the people that visited our cruise. 

The owners of Bruster’s had the lot coned off when we arrived so the setup of the Fisher House canopy and the DJ canopy was the only thing we really had to square away.  The Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club helped by supplying the DJ equipment and Chip agreed to be the DJ.  The club also helped by the many club members that attended our cruise.  The members of Cruisin For Heroes directed the parking and shared the Fisher House Foundation story while mingling with the cruisers. 

Cruisers began rolling in and soon the parking lot was getting full.  As usual some came and stayed a while then left to cruise somewhere else.  We had about 53 special rides visit the event by night’s end.   We have been blessed by having one of the cruisers, April Sparrow, also take pictures of the rides that attend.  She also documents other cruises and shows around these parts….it does help to have someone else photographing on a regular basis…..she shares her images on Facebook as I do so others can see what we do in our little corner of Virginia. 

Melissa, one of the owners of Bruster’s, makes the rounds of the lot and picks a ride that she likes to be presented with a nice acrylic award.  Kim, Denise & Crystal run a 50/50 for us that usually have over $120 for the night.  We would be hard pressed to have our event work out like it does without the able assistance of the Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club….Thanks 

When 7:30 arrived we drew the 50/50 winner (he gave back his $$ to Fisher House!) then announced the monthly Manager’s Pick….a very nice ’34 Ford coupe……  I won’t lie….I was ready for the event to be done….I realized I wasn’t as recovered as I thought I was and I wanted to get home to take care of The Princess.  It would be another 10 days before I would be almost back to speed….whatever that is for a 72 year old bald guy…hehehehee