Pancake Breakfast, Flea Market and Story Inn Wine Tasting
This spring has given us an absolutely stunning display of flowering trees. The drive from Columbus to Bloomington was beautiful with the red buds in full bloom and the dogwood just beginning. The temperature, while a bit cool, was very comfortable.
Four of us set out from Columbus to meet another group of Model A's at the Pancake Breakfast. The food was great and plentiful. Miss Indiana University was there, and posed for pictures around the old cars. After getting all the pancakes, sausage and eggs – plus Phil's mighty strong coffee – we proceeded to the Bloomington fairgrounds to take a gander at the flea market.
We learned last year that the Story Inn event is HUGE and if you don't arrive early, it is almost impossible to squeeze into the various tents for wine tasting. So, our strategy this year was to get there right at the start of the event. Therefore, we departed Bloomington at around noon. There was another car show going on in downtown Bloomington where several cars headed.
We arrived at the Story Inn just a little after 1pm. Even so, there was a pretty long line awaiting entry. We set up our table, chairs and picnic lunch and started our wine tasting. The Story Inn puts on a very good show. There is live entertainment provided in a very nice outdoor setting. We set up under some trees, but with plenty of opportunity for sunshine. This year we were able to get into many of the wineries for tasting. We shared some purchased bottles and our picnic lunch and departed around 5pm.
This is the second year that we did this. If the timing continues to work out, this may become an annual event.
Three cars departed Columbus – Roy Whiteman & Phil Sutton, Larry & Lois Morlock, and Larry & Susan Riss. We picked up Rex & Nita Bridges in North Vernon, and then met Jane & Whitey Herbert and Beth & Don Wesseler at the McDonalds in Versailles. Larry & Susan's car started to spit hot water and needed the water re-filled on the way. After a breakfast, the group headed to Conrad & Dotty Gerdes's Model A restoration shop. They have a wonderful collection of Model A's and a very nice setup for car restorations. They are also distributors of Gas Light parts.
They decided to join us to the drive to the flea market. This is one HUGE flea market. As we turned into the parking lot, it was packed. We arrived around 11:30 and decided to meet at 2pm. The weather was wonderful – sunny and cool. We've been here in the past when it has been very hot, so this was great.
The group met at 2pm and proceeded to a nearby Golden Corral for a late lunch/early dinner. Afterwards we made our way back home with no issues.
Again, the weather cooperated. It was sunny and cool – a great day for a nice Sunday Model A ride!
National Meet - 2008 MARC/MAFCA Joint World Meet in Dallas
On Thursday, June 19, five cars from the Columbus Region left on a trip to Dallas, TX, to attend the third MARC/MAFCA World Model A Ford Meet. Participants were Phil Sutton (tour leader) and Roy Whiteman (navigator) in Phil’s car, Jack and Kathryn Sullivan, Ron and Susan Lawson, Wayne Arnholt, and Larry and Lois Morlock. Ron and Carmen Huddleston joined us in Dallas after flying down in their airplane.
We had a lot of fun with a group from the Greenwood club, who traveled with us. They drove in a separate group, but we stayed at the same motels each night going and coming, and it was fun to encounter them a number of times on the road as well as enjoying each other's company in the evenings. Participants from the Greenwood club were Randy Hughey, Mike and Carolyn Kemp, Ken and Linda Schaefer, and Larry and Joann Wilcrout from West Lafayette.
We met up with several folks from our local club after we arrived in Dallas, including George and Verna Titzer, Don and Melissa Miller, and Ed and Mary Dathe.
We drove a total of 2000 miles, went through nine states and had no breakdowns, only several stops for Wayne to add water to his radiator and tighten up his front suspension. The weather going to and from Dallas was very comfortable, with only a little light rain as we came back through Little Rock, but the temperatures in Dallas were between 95 and 98 degrees every day. It was not too humid, so bearable.
Day one (Thursday) found us grouping up in Salem, with Vic and Ellen Rudder there to wish us well. We crossed the Ohio River just below Corydon and got on Route 79, which took us all the way to Louisiana. We stopped in Paris, TN for the night. Everyone enjoyed a good game of Dominos in the motel lounge.
Day two took us through Memphis, TN, on the interstate (whew!!!) and across the Mississippi River. Lunch was at our first of many BBQ restaurants. This one was strictly a local eatery, not very fancy, but the BBQ was great. We ran into a Model A group from West Virginia headed to Dallas. We stayed that evening in Stuttgart, AR. Lois and Larry joined the Greenwood group at a restaurant called the “Cajun Bistro” for some good Cajun cooking and the rest of the group ate at a nearby steakhouse.
Day three was mostly through Arkansas with lots of rice and cotton fields. Most little towns were run down but had either a rice elevator or cotton gin. We went through a portion of Louisiana, then left Route 79 and went into Texas, where the towns seemed much more prosperous and well-kept. We toured through Jefferson, TX, which was a neat little town, with many old buildings and houses restored, including an old gas station. That evening was spent in Mt. Pleasant, TX.
Day four found us arriving at the Intercontinental Hotel in Addison, TX, shortly after noon. Registration was time consuming because of all the arrivals. There were 800 families and 500 Model A cars registered for the meet. The afternoon was spent visiting and checking out the indoor and outdoor swap meets for the first time, and then we indulged in our favorite pastime (eating) at one of the many, many restaurants surrounding the host hotel. This one was a theme restaurant, where each table was in a separate area with a fairy tale theme – ours was the Pirates of the Caribbean complete with a Johnny Depp-style pirate character with an English accent as our waiter.
On day five (Monday), we took a self-guided tour of Uptown Dallas. It was about an hour’s drive from our headquarters location in the northern suburb of Addison to Uptown Dallas, but most of the route outlined for us wound through literally miles of upscale homes, many with gated walls – lots of money in Dallas. The “Uptown” area is a restored part of old Dallas with lots of good shops and restaurants, and an original trolley system that we enjoyed riding. Lois and Larry went to downtown Dallas, about another 8 or ten blocks away where all the tall buildings are, and went to the original Neiman-Marcus department store. This was also an eye-opener on how wealthy Dallas is, as most merchandise was very expensive. That evening, we attended the welcome party in a park nearby the host hotel. It included a meal, live music and an outdoor movie later on. Because of the heat, we did not stay for the movie.
Day six included a bus trip to the Kennedy memorial, which was very moving. Others stayed at the hotel and checked out all the Model A’s, attended seminars on a wide range of Model A subjects, or just took it easy. The two swap meets continued to be very popular. Phil was re-united with John Stone from Wichita, KS, who helped us change out the engine (twice) in Phil’s car during a trip to Colorado in 1995.
On day seven there was a bus trip to Fort Worth to visit the old stockyards area. Most of the Columbus contingent went to the nearby Addison Airport to visit the Cavanaugh Air Museum to see many old vintage and WWII restored airplanes. This also was the day the touring class and fine point judging occurred. The touring class judging was outdoors at the nearby park and was very hot. The fine point judging was inside the Intercontinental in a ballroom with a marble floor. While us common people could not go in, there was a balcony overlooking the ballroom, and all those pristine Model A’s in that elegant setting were a sight to behold.
Day eight was the Grand Tour to the Texas Motor Speedway near Ft. Worth. This was about a two-hour drive from our hotel and each group of A’s had a leader and followed a different route. Our leader had car trouble, so Phil and Roy inherited the leader spot and got us safely to the speedway. The Texas Motor Speedway is a mile and a half oval with 24 degree banks in the turns. It’s hard to imagine how steep 24 degrees is until you drive on it. In fact, Jack and Kathryn couldn’t run on the top lane because their gas tank was low and it would uncover the fuel line and the engine would stall, so it was down to the inside lanes for them where the banking isn’t so steep. Unlike our previous runs at Indy where they restricted our top speed to about 40 MPH, at TMS we could take three laps as fast as we could go with about 30 Model A’s on the track at a time. It was a blast.
On day nine (Friday), we departed for home and drove north through Oklahoma and Arkansas to Hot Springs. Thanks to Ron Lawson’s new GPS, we found a direct route to our hotel and arrived in time to take a tour of the historic downtown area of Hot Springs where all the old spas and hot baths are being restored. Dinner was at a nice restaurant on the shores of the local lake. Jack and Kathryn had left us that morning and drove down to southern Texas to visit friends. They came back through the Natchez trace and arrived home safely a week later.
Day ten took us through Little Rock and into Missouri, with an overnight stop in Sikeston, MO. Sikeston is where Lamberts Restaurant is located, home of the “throwed rolls.” We had about a two-hour wait to get in, but the food was great (and plentiful) and the experience worth the wait.
Day eleven was our final leg home from Sikeston to Bloomington, Seymour and Columbus. Larry and Lois stopped in Mt. Vernon, IN, and visited relatives and the rest arrived home on Sunday afternoon. It was a very enjoyable and successful trip.
Three Model A’s and one modern car made the trip. “The food was wonderful, as usual, and the beer was cold,” according to Jack Sullivan. The crops looked good on the way between here and there, but the covered bridge was closed because of the flooding.
Mid-Week Ice Cream Tour
The ice cream tour started at Ritter's in Columbus about 11:00 on a beautiful sunny day. After eating ice cream we had lunch at the Hitching Post, which was suggested last year when we drove through Norman Station on the ice cream tour. There we had incredible large and delicious sandwiches for only $4.00. We continued on our way to Bloomington and finished our tour at Brusters for more ice cream. We had three cars on the tour, traveled 110 miles and had a grand time. It was exciting to be touring again in the Model A.