Part IX

It’s now 1995, the Club is approaching it’s ninth anniversary. We are also attending our ninth Auto-Rama. The Club has seventeen members cars displayed with fourteen of those part of the Club display and three as independent participants. All Club cars in attendance receive awards, with five receiving multiple awards! The club once again receives the “Best Club Display” and the “ISCA Awards”.

The year also starts off on a sad note with the loss of another Club member. One time Vice President Steve Kosarko passed away suddenly on January 20th. His dark blue 1964 Chevy Impala is still with us today. Club member Joanna Obreza bought the car and has lovingly maintained it.

On the positive side, Bedford Hts has remodeled the Community Center. A new rule is now in effect, “No Smoking” in the building. Our Club meetings no longer take place in a smelly gray haze.

Our Tuesday night cruises at the Solon Commons start on May 2nd. On May 19th through 21st we are the host Club for the Hot Rod Magazine Power Festival held at Norwalk Raceway Park.

On June 11th the Club is invited to participate in Solon’s Strawberry Festival Parade. This was our first parade in Solon. Many more have passed since.

Our 1995 racing season consisted of three Test and Tune Events. All three were held at Thompson Drag Raceway.

During the summer months the Club is invited to display our cars in three events that would be new and different. As members of the Inner Club Council (ICC) we take part in a fund raising event for the Crawford Auto and Aviation Museum. The show was held at the Cuyahoga County Airport where the museum brought out some of their finest cars to display. As a backdrop for the cars, the museum had a display of rare WWII aircraft.

On Labor Day we are parked in the middle of a complete air force. Our Club cars are on display at the Cleveland Air Show. This would literally be the “Hottest” show we have ever been in when bales of hay too close to a generator next to our display burst into flames! From there the fire spread to a tent. Luckily, no vehicles were damaged and no one was hurt.

Our third request for a car display starts off as a “drive by”. The City of Cleveland requested about fifty cars for a cruise-by at the All American City Celebration held at the not yet opened Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

With a very short notice the Club shows up on June 22nd with 43 cars. Unfortunately, we are separated from the crowds of people by construction trailers, cement barriers and fencing. If that wasn’t bad enough, what people we did see were facing the other way.

From there we displayed our cars in a huge empty parking lot. Cleveland forgot to inform the crowd of our display. The day wasn’t a complete waste. On the way home we stopped at a sleepy little cruise-in at Astorhurst. We bought dinners and ice cream, we danced and hula hooped. DJ Ray, Astorhurst and all present will remember the Thursday night the Rock and Roll Capitol Street Machines showed up.

The Clubs calendar of events was pretty full in 1995. With all the usual parades, the Bedford Hts Street Festival, the Clubs July 16th picnic in Brecksville and another Goodtime Cruise on the lake.

On September 10th the Club brings a “cookout” to the Ronald McDonald House. As we cook and eat we attract the attention of a curious person standing outside the fence. “What’s going on?”, “I’m standing here waiting for my bus and you’re making me hungry”. Being the good folks that we are we invite him in for a hot dog and hamburger. We had 38 Club cars on display that day.

The question of whether to continue with our annual car show has come up. Some people say we are putting on a free car show every Tuesday night. Car shows are on the way out. Car owners don’t want to pay to display and why would a spectator pay to see a car on Sunday that is displayed for free on Tuesday?

On August 13th the Club puts on our 9th annual car show. One hundred twenty seven cars register. The profits from the show are donated the Ronald McDonald House.

On occasion Club members would be paid for displaying their cars. The Rock-N-Roll Extravaganza held at Shaker Square on August 19th was the first paid event for our members. The Shaker Square Merchants Association paid each displayed vehicle $10.00 in addition to food certificates. About 35 members got to relax, eat and enjoy the music of Sonny Geraci.

Joanne Magyar-Obreza and Dave Zuber were kept busy with all the social and special events throughout the year. The highlight of the year was the Fall Social at the Brown Derby Roadhouse on October 28th. With a cash bar, DJ, door prizes. Good food and good people. All this for only ten bucks each!

Because the statute of limitations has run out, here is the story of the year. A last minute call came from the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame. They requested a 55 – 57 Chevy and some cars from the 50’s and 60’s. The drivers were to display their cars and hand out goody bags at the Hall of Fame opening on September 1st. Skip Petronzio, Nick Cacolici, Lou Morganti, Joanne Magyar-Obreza, Rich Krawczyk and Lori Cherry responded.

Rich Krawczyk tells his story of standing at the front door of the Hall of Fame with our Club cars parked out front. He looks up into the sky and tells Chuck Vella “You may not be here tonight but your dream has come true”. Our Club and our cars were on the front steps of the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame! The grand opening of a world famous landmark.

One member was not so happy about standing on the outside of that front door. It was blocking him from a $1000.00 per plate dinner. After passing out all his goody bags and the main rush subsides, Lou Morganti pulls a “Clark Kent”. Lou is dressed to the “Nines” under his Club colors. Lou took off his Club Colors, straightened up his dress clothes and walked in like he belonged. (Authors note: Lou Morganti dressed up, looks like he belongs.) He found an empty seat and fell into a conversation with Chuck Berry, Dion and Don Webster. I forgot to ask Lou about the food.

Technically, the year ends with the Christmas party. In reality the party would go on each Tuesday night. Depending on the weather conditions, crowds of 20 to 50 or more Club members would gather at the Solon Commons Food Court.

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