Driving down Broadway Avenue in Maple Heights, Rich Krawczyk spotted a group of cars parked at the Sub Shop. The Sub Shop was a drive-in restaurant with a canopy extending from its small building out to the sidewalk, with spaces for several dozen cars in the front parking lot. The lot was full, and that caught Krawczyk’s eye. Rich spun his Corvette around, pulled in among the muscle cars and started asking questions. A small group of men were meeting there weekly. Rich soon met with Chuck Vella, a guy who was very savvy about cars, trucks, and clubs. Chuck had a custom 4×4 show truck and was very involved with a truck club. In his garage sat a mid-sixties Mercury Meteor that was in the midst of restoration. The two men sat at Chuck’s kitchen table for an hour and a half, talking about cars, cruising, and clubs. That night the wheels were put in motion for what we have today.
In August 1986 Chuck Vella organized a core group of people; Chuck was the president, Sal Russo the vice-president, Sam LaNasa, secretary, and Lou Stefano, treasurer; they started a newsletter with Rich Krawczyk as editor. This was the beginning of our Club. New members were drawn into the Club from the cruisers at the Sub Shop; Chuck signed up over a dozen people there one night just by asking; friends, neighbors, and school buddies also joined. The first meeting took place at the Garfield Heights City Hall in September 1986. A lot of work had to be done before we became a real Club; first, we needed a name.
Tri-City Street Machines was one name we debated; the three cities were Maple Heights, Garfield Heights, and the Bedford area. Chuck didn’t like that name; he must have been a visionary, for that name would not have served us well today. In 1986 Cleveland was in the planning stages of becoming the Rock-n-Roll Capital; the Hall of Fame was in both the national and local news. Adding “Street Machines” to the Rock-n-Roll Capital was too good to pass up. Now our name would encompass the entire Cleveland area.
We would need a logo so, Lou Stefano’s wife, Phillipa, and club member, Robert Cochrane, designed one; it was then copyrighted in Sam LaNasa’s name (to keep outsiders from using it or tampering with it).
A Constitution along with by-laws was drawn up, a dress code was established, jackets and shirts were chosen and dues were collected. Getting started was no easy task but Chuck managed to get the ball rolling. He had a way of getting people to pitch in and get the job done. With hardly any money in the treasury most of our jobs would have to be done by volunteers.
Volunteers cleaned up the parking lot at the Sub Shop, cut the grass and pulled weeds. Tuesday was chosen as the ideal cruise night, because it was a slow night, but because of that we got better service from the car hops. Tuesday night has served us well ever since.
Louis Stefano knew the owners of a drive-in diner on Aurora Rd. in Bedford Heights; it was a small building with part gravel and part asphalt parking lot. They sold burgers and ice cream and there were tables and seats outside. Pal’s Drive-In became our new home in 1987; we remained there until the end of 1991.
In 1987 we moved our meeting site to the Bedford Heights Community Center. The 3rd Sunday of the month, at 6 pm, was our regular meeting date. The Club hit the ground running in 1987; we started the year with a club display at the Auto-Rama.
The theme was a drive-in diner. We received many awards including Best Club Display. To raise money for our near-empty treasury we held a swap meet on April 15, 1987. Club member Jack Leventry was employed at Hern Oldsmobile in Bedford, and was able to make the arrangements for our Club to use the dealership.
Thanks to Connie LaNasa we held our First Annual Car Show on Memorial Day 1987. Connie worked for the School Board and was able to get permission for our Club to use the school property behind Pal’s Drive-In. A lot of work went into those car shows; we would attract a little over a hundred cars in those days.
At that time, that was considered a fair turnout. Our profits for all of the hundreds of man hours of work were never that great. We would make only a few hundred dollars but I think most of us had fun. We were also learning to work as a team. Some favorite memories are from the Garfield Heights car displays in the city park.
Rich Krawczyk, a city employee, was always able to make our car club the center of attraction at all the city events. You really get to know your fellow members while sitting in the shade of the trees on a summer day and sharing food and thought. The same can be said for the countless picnics we had at Tinker’s Creek and other parks.
One memory that lives forever in my mind is that of Rich Krawczyk cooking on a propane grill; I have a video of Rich trying to put out the flames; the smoke signal he was putting out read “call 911″. We started another tradition in 1987; we began hosting Test and Tune events.
Our first Test and Tune was held at Norwalk Raceway Park. The park had many competitions, some not as obvious as others. One centered around two brothers-in-law; one thought he could drive the other’s car a little bit better. The yellow Chevelle convertible and the blue Barracuda lined up; Sam LaNasa was behind the wheel of Mike De Foor’s Barracuda; Mike was driving Sam’s car. The engines began to scream. The open exhaust blasted your ears but nothing could drown out the sound that followed when “Slick Shift Sam” dumped the clutch on D-4’s ‘Cuda. It was that unmistakable sound of good parts gone bad. Under the car lay a twisted drive shaft.
Our first Christmas party took place on Dec. 5, 1987. Rich Krawczyk was able to fix us up with a party room at the Garfield Heights City Hall where I videotaped that party. There were door prizes from all the sponsors that Chuck Vella had gotten for our club.
We had some food from local merchants and club members supplied the rest. There was a sense of being more than just a club; we were becoming a family. My daughter Janice, and her husband, Phil were in the club at that time; it was something special for my wife, Ilsa and me. I remember Donetta being pregnant at the time with Chad; Chad is the young man now making a name for himself driving race cars.
There are many things that happened that first year that are now forgotten; what I have written is what I remember along with the help of the original members who remain in the Club. I felt that writing the history of our club was long overdue; it should be done to honor those that laid the foundation for the club that we enjoy today. A small group of people has impacted the lives of many.
Your fellow cruiser, Joe Artale, member since 1987.
A small change had taken place on the Board by this time. Lee Henshaw was now the Treasurer. We also added a club Historian and special events chairman, Steve Kosarko.
At our January 1988 meeting we thanked four ladies, Sue Russo, Mary Lou Krawczyk, Nancy Fox and Joyce Vella for the wonderful Christmas Party we all enjoyed. They did not know it at the time but they had become our first Social Events committee.
The main topic of discussion among members was the Auto-Rama and the Club display. This year we would use the Big Boy Drive-In Diner Theme. It was set up by Mike Defoor and his crew. The Big Boy figure that we borrowed from the front of Manners Big Boy on Granger Road added a nice touch, so much so we would win Best Club Display and a special ISCA award for our Club Display.
We also won nine individual display awards plus seven of our Club Members were given Assistance Awards for escorting Show Celebrities.
We had become active with other Clubs in many ways such as Test and Tune and Car Shows. On March 19th we participated in Bowling with the Midnight Cruisers at the Stardust Lanes on Brookpark Road. April 17th saw us at Hern Oldsmobile for another Swap Meet.
Our second annual Car Show was scheduled for May 29th at Aurora Road Elementary School. Tom Krebs our Club Photographer was hospitalized with a heart-attack around the same time. Our second annual Car Show was scheduled for May 29th, Memorial Day weekend, at Aurora Road Elementary School. Show day was to be Sunday with Monday planned as a Rain Date. Bedford Hts Mayor Jimmy Dimora was there along with members of City Council. The Midnight Cruisers were their for Tech Support. Lenny Polumbo brought out his alcohol Funny car “Top Gun”. George Bartos’ brother displayed his Batmobile. We also displayed a Testarosa owned by Bruce Adelstein and a 1987 Firebird Circle Track Race Car owned by Tony Depaulo. To quote Chuck Vella from the June 1988 Club Newsletter, “What a great show”.
Pictures of these events can be see in our early Club Photo albums. Our present day Club Historian Sam LaNasa brings them to our monthly meetings.
At this point I should mention that a change has taken place on the Board, Chuck Vella is still President, Sam LaNassa is now Vice President, Joan Henshaw is our Secretary and Lee Henshaw remains our Treasurer.
Our normal meeting day June 19th was the 3rd Sunday of the month, It was also Father’s Day. We decided to go to Club Days at Norwalk Raceway Park for a day of Drag Racing. This was one of our early Test-N-Tune events. We all had fun and the Club earned a few dollars as a side benefit.
July always has been a very active month for our club and 1988 was no exception. Starting with the Garfield Hts. Home days on July 2nd where 15 members displayed their cars. Next on July 3rd the Maple Hts. Homedays where 21 members displayed their cars.
Each July 4th our club takes part in the Bedford-Bedford Hts, 4th of July Parade. At the end of the parade the hosting city for that year have a party, with food and drink for the participants.
Bedford Reservation was again chosen as the sight for another Picnic in July. Everyone came in their Club cars and we filled the parking lot in front of the Pavilion. It had the appearance of a Car show in the woods.
Board members from the Midnight Cruisers and the Buckeye Drag Club were invited to attend our July Club Meeting. Plans were to combine our Clubs efforts for a Car show, Swap meet, Test-N-Tune event at Norwalk Raceway Park. Sept 11th was the date the track would be available.
Plans were made to award Trophies at our Tuesday Night Cruise. Each Tuesday night between Aug 16th and Sept. 11th the owners of Pals Drive- In would pick a “car of their choice” At the end of the night they would present the winner with a “Pal’s Choice” trophy.
My life changed forever the day I attended the August 21st 1988 meeting. Some rather persistent people insisted that I accept their nomination for President. I agreed only to get them to go away, I also felt that I did not stand a chance of winning.
Our president Chuck Vella, decided to proceed with the elections that night instead of waiting until the September meeting. Here are the results of that election. President Joe Artale, Vice President Steve Kosarko, Secretary George Lemmerman, Treaurer Lee Henshaw and a staff consisting of the following appointed people: Special events chairman Mike Defoor Co-chair Mark Dienes Club Historian Jerry Magyar Club Photographer Tom Drebs Club Videographer Stan Witkowski Newsletter Editor Rich Krawczyk
We started making plans for the 1989 Auto-Rama at our Sept 18th meeting. A Gasoline Service setting was to be our new Club Display Theme. Pressing our luck weather wise we also made plans for one more picnic at the Bedford Reservation. The event took place Oct. 2nd.
Our Christmas party was planned for Dec. 18th at the Bedford Hts. Civic Center. Though I don’t remember the main food source old notes indicate it was delicious and plentiful. Mary Lou Krawczyk rounded up volunteers to prepare desserts. Rich Krawczyk portrayed Santa Claus for the children. Our Sponsors were very generous with door prizes. Everyone would home go with something worth while.
1988 was looked upon as a a busy year for our young car club. History now shows it was merely the beginning. The Club would continue to grow with new members and lose old members. I have been told this is normal for most organizations, this may be true but it is always sad to see good people fade away.
Our first Club event in 1989 was the Cleveland Auto Rama. As always move in was early Thursday morning. The show opened at 6pm, Friday Feb. 3rd and ended Sunday Feb. 5th with the Awards ceremony.
Our theme was a Gasoline Service Station built to one half scale size. It was a 50’s style building complete with a real Gas Pump, a Coke Machine ( thanks to Bob Zito) and an Air Tower ( used to inflate tires). We had a Gas Station bell that would ring whenever someone stepped on the rubber hose. Are you old enough to remember the bells at the corner gas station?
Keven Wallenhorst and Chuck Homolka made an 8 ft. high gas station type pole sign. Our Club name and logo, four feet in diameter, was the station brand. Designed in November of 1988 our club flag would be unveiled for the first time. These two items were displayed at nearly all of our Club events long after Auto Rama ended.
We retired the sign when it was too worn to display. Our original flag is still proudly displayed next to the American flag at our monthly meetings. We had crowds of people watching our Club video the entire 3 days.
All ten cars that entered took home trophies. The Club would win Cleveland Auto-Rama’s “Best Club Display” and the “Best Club Display” from the Michigan Hot Rod Association. Pictures of the winners and trophies are in our club photo albums. See Sam LaNasa our Club Historian. His picture receiving a trophy along with George Bartos is in there. George’s Corvette received a second place award, and was featured on Channel 5 news that weekend. A short time after the show George had a heart attack and had to undergo a triple by-pass on Feb. 25th 1989. He was back and active until he left us suddenly on April 25th 2006. He will be missed by all that had known him.
To help cover operating costs we (Club) would start to charge for displaying our cars or taking part in parades or shows. We would also provide displays or parade vehicles to cities free of charge in return for their support of our club.
Our first Cruise of 1989 was held on Tuesday April 25th at Pal’s. It was a warm night which was responsible for bringing out a large number of cars. The weather would not be as kind the rest of the year.
May 7th we took part in our first parade in Cleveland. It was a yearly event held on Fleet Ave. I left home as the rain turned to snowflakes. Things dried out by parade time but it was cold. The crowd loved our 12 parade cars and asked us to return for several years.
May 20th found us teamed with Fastlane Promotions, to help put on the first Musclecar Nationals at Norwalk Raceway Park. Saturday was a car show and swap meet. 48 club members showed up at 7 a.m. that day to support the show. The early rains on Saturday failed to dampen our spirits. We were back Sunday where the pristine showcars were transformed into tire burning supercars. The show was covered in the Muscle Car Classics Magazine. The record breaking rains were mentioned, but my favorite part of the article remains the part about the able-bodied RNRCSM’s and the shows success. Once again we were asked to return the following year.
Our Third annual car show came on May 28th at Aurora Road Elementary school behind Pal’s Drive-In. We had a total of 127 registered cars. That was a good showing in those days. We also had over 500 paid spectators pass through our gate. The gate was the Auto-Rama Gas Station turned into a show entrance.
All the lady spectators were given ballots and asked to a select a Ladies Choice Car. We also had a Mayor’s choice award and the usual car classes, 1st to 3rd place and Best of show.
The City of Solon held it’s first Strawberry Festival on June 3rd and 4th at the new City Community Park. Our 20 display cars went home early because of rain, much rain. It was too wet to return the next day.
Remember the Flats? In it’s heyday it was the place to be seen and have fun. On June 18th we displayed 12 cars at Nautica. The event was the Stroh’s Heritage Days Festival. Our cars were arranged around the fountain in front of Club Coconuts and Shooters. We were the focal point of the festival. Mystery Cruise ? Car Rally ?? Heat Wave!!!
On June 25th we embarked on a one hundred mile odyssey. The temperature was in the 90’s. We were looking for clues that would earn us points and guide us to a restaurant ( Angelina’s) for dinner, awards and a Club meeting.
Thanks to radio station WERE 1300 AM (our new sponsor) we had prizes of a T.V., C.B. radio, box seat tickets to the Cleveland Stadium and tickets for Geauga Lake Park. Bob and Sherri Hamm put the flawless event together. Four members of the Restored and Radical Car Club volunteered to man the check points along the route. That freed up all our members from the work load. We rewarded the R & R members with dinner and door prizes.
On June 30th at Garfield Hts Home days 23 Club cars were displayed at the city park. On July 4th five cars represented our Club in the Bedford / Bedford Hts, Parade. We never charged for this event. That didn’t stop the people from awarding us first place of $150 for our car display.
July 9th found us working overtime. Sam La Nasa, Lee Henshaw and myself Joe Artale, escorted a series of 6 and 10K races throughout the City of Bedford Hts. We used our classic cars to lead the runners along the race route.
That same day the Vietnam Veterans held a car show at Ganley Mazda. 11 of our members supported this effort, while a third group of members supported the Kiwanis in Streetsboro for their annual car show.
July 22nd was a perfect Saturday night, I was lead car of 14 cars on a cruise through the Chagrin Valley ending at Dairy Island on Rt. 422, east of Chagrin Falls. We were joined by the late comers for food, ice cream and miniature golf.
The people at Dairy Island welcomed us with our name on the Marquee one week before the event and a discount on food and miniature golf. It was funny watching big strong guys with all their knowledge of physics and science trying to beat the “little lady” Jeanie Chresos holding her purse and eating an ice cream cone. She even made one shot without looking.
On July 27th, a Friday evening we displayed 27 cars at the Bedford Hts. Home days. This was our way of thanking the city for their support and providing us with a place to meet at a discounted price.
We teamed up with the Northern Ohio Street Machines Car Club to co-host a car show at Brunswick Lake. We started with a cook-out Saturday night Aug. 26th. It was a night of food, drink, dancing, socializing, and GO-KART Racing. As luck would have it Jeanie Chresos ( our miniature golf champ) attended. She would beat the guys both Saturday night and Sunday, In all fairness to the guys she did carry nearly 70 lbs less weight. Our radio station sponsor, WERE, provided gift certificates to Damon’s restaurant, passes for Geauga Lake and goodie bags for the Sunday car show. The Brunswick Lake show was laid back and fun. The opposite was true for Motor Meet ‘89.
On September 3rd we teamed up with Bill Spork at the Berea Fairgrounds. Expectations were for 250 cars. 400 plus showed up. The cars were judged on a 500 point system which was very time consuming. It also resulted in more than the normal class winners. Awards were scheduled for 4:30 pm. We got started at 7 pm. The biggest problem was running out of trophies. That show taught us all a lot of new lessons.
Now comes Mother Nature again. She rained on our Sept 10th picnic. She did worse to our Autumn Cruise ’89. A cruise that was to take us through the Chagrin Valley and end up at Dairy Island with a mini car show, food and miniature golf. Saturday night Sept. 23rd brought us the tail end of a Hurricane. Ray and Carol Kuss were there in their T-bucket (no top). Nancy Fox brought her Mustang out for the first time since receiving a complete restoration. First came the rain, then it turned to sleet.
Saturday Sept 30th we attended our first Hay ride. It was a perfect clear night, fantastic food and a haunted Hay Ride though the wooded hills.
We co-hosted a Test-N-Tune at Dragway 42 on Oct. 1st. Restored and Radical Car Club handled most of the work. We backed them financially. Len Russo filmed our cars leaving the starting line. I put video cameras in chase cars to film our cars speeding down the track and Bill Ellis filmed the cars at the finish line. Mark Dienes our professional video man put together a seamless club video tape. No one has ever come up with a tape as good as that one.
No social calendar would be complete without a Halloween Party. Bob and Sherri Hamm hosted our Club on Oct. 28th at a little cottage in Sherri’s back yard. I think there was a spooky lake there too. This was a costume event with enough food for a hundred people. As always I was taking pictures. One picture came back that was rather strange. It was a group picture. Some people appeared normal, others are transparent. One lady has 3 pairs of hands. Experts have looked at this picture but no one can explain what you see.
As always we end the year with a party in December. In his younger days Rich Krawcyk (1st cousin to Clark Kent) would step into the men’s room and exit as Santa Claus. After he passed out presents to all the children the adults had their turn. Our members received the first Club Hats. We also had the club logo made into a pin. Every member received one to go with the hat. Steve Kosarko and Tom Krebs handled the food for the party and the ladies once again took care of the desserts. Bob and Sherri Hamm took care of the children’s gifts and decorating the party room.
As you can see this was a busy year. Almost everything we did was a first ( for us anyway). The members were always willing to pitch in and try something new. Twenty years later we are still here.
Was there a magic additive that was responsible? My guess would be the core group that has provided the direction and spirit. What do you think?
By the year 1990 the Club is now over three years old. We are now looking for new ideas for raising money to cover Club expenses. We are also outgrowing our Tuesday night cruise site at Pals Drive In. On top of all this the members are looking for some new, fun social events.
Many things are going to change as time goes by. Some changes are welcomed by all, while others are cause for divisiveness. For example, we made the bold move to add a black collared, button down T-shirt for a dressier look. The result was welcomed by all. The same result could not be said for the next change. Seventeen years later the summer “white” T-shirts are still a hot topic with some.
Most things change over time that we have no control over. One thing that has not changed is the winning spirit of our members. For example, the 1990 Auto-Rama (our 4th) ran from Friday Feb. 2nd to Sunday Feb. 4th. As always it snows on one of theses days. This year the snow storm comes on Sunday just in time to make a mess of the cars heading home.
The car owners didn’t seem to care since they were going home winners. This years efforts were rewarded with (9) trophies, (3) special awards and (2) TV/radio combination sets.
Mark Diemes edited twenty hours of video tapes turned in by club members into a sixteen minute attraction that held the spectators attention the entire weekend. Some people were seen taping it as it played on our Club TV while others were asking about purchasing a copy.
On May 6th the Club had a double event day. The rain that day was only a minor inconvenience that didn’t dampen the spirits of the 11 Club cars the participated in the Fleet Avenue Parade. Jerry Magyar took charge of that event. A 1941 Oldsmobile owned by Jack Leventry thrilled most of the people as it blew huge flames from it’s dual exhaust. A few of the older folks thought the car needed some repair work
Our other event that day was a Test-And-Tune at Dragway 42. This was a fun day with a short sprinkle thrown in during the lunch break. Sheltered under a tent provided by Tom Krebs our cooks Janice Zabish and Donna Lappert prepared lunch for all Club participants. In the video department, cameraman Bob Hamm rode the tailgate position of Tim Drogonys’ station wagon. He would race ahead of the drag cars and film them at speeds of up to 90 mph as they screamed past. Len Russo filmed the cars leaving the starting line, smoking tires, noise and all.
Our traditional Memorial Day car show is about to undergo a major change. Our show entailed a lot of work and a great deal of risk. When the Club was presented with the opportunity to take over Motormeet ’90 at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds we snapped it up. The deal came with a guaranteed return and no financial risk. We manned the ticket booths and ran the entire show which included judging the cars and presenting the awards. We had two buildings for our own use and used them to set up our Club cars in a special indoor Club display. To be fair to the non-Club participants in the show our cars were judges by two independent professionals.
There was supposed to be a second show involving the Club on Sept. 1st and 2nd. Although the Memorial Day show was a success we turned down the September show. One thing I had learned by this time is that everyone volunteers to help early in the cruise season. By September people are burned out and don’t respond well to work details on the last few weekends of summer. These shows needed at least 45 people to cover the work load of 500 show cars and thousands of spectators.
Rain washed out at least half the June 23rd-24th Muscle Car Nationals at Norwalk. The club was still paid $1000.00 for showing up!
Friday night June 29th the Club displayed 24 cars at Bedford Hts Home Days. This is done in appreciation for our discounted meeting room the third Sunday of each month.
Wednesday July 4th the Club participated in the Bedford/Bedford Hts parade. Steve Killeen has become Mayor Jimmy Dimora’s regular driver by this time. Stveve made a special raised (and reinforced) rear seat in his GTO convertible for the Mayor. Friday July 6th the Club displayed 13 cars in the Cleveland Budweiser 500 parade. Radio station 98.5 WNCX has now joined our long list of sponsors. We provided rides for radio personalities from WNCX and sponsor station WERE. People like Joel Rose, Merel Polis, Greg Brenda and Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley rode in our cars. After the parade we were given pit passes for the race track.
July 8th the Club donated $125.00 to the Bedford Hts 10K race fund. We also provided two escort cars for the race. This donation and the Home Days display covered our cost for one years use of our meeting and party room in Bedford Hts.
On July 8th the Vietnam Veterans held their 2nd annual car show at Ganley Mazda/VW. The Club was there again to support their efforts.
On August 11th, 1990 the Club started a tradition that still takes place today, although without our support. I was contacted by Mayfield Village Mayor Fred N. Carmen. It seemed a Village event that was to end with fireworks was rained out. He wanted to plan an event that would draw a large crowd and end it with fireworks at 10:15 PM. Scott Marquard and myself put together the annual cruise you see each year.
Our Club showed up with 56 cars! We had the church parking lot on the corner of Rt 91 and Wilson Mills Rd. for our own use. Over 500 cars cruised Wilson Mills rd. that night between 7:00 and 10:00 PM. We provided some special entertainment with a 1955 Chevy drag car called the “Gong Show” owned by Bob Grabowski. He provided a little “light ’em up” with a 1st and 2nd gear hole shot. The smell of cam 2 and burning rubber filled the air. The open exhaust drowned out the cheers of the crowd.
Jack Leventry put on his own show after sunset. His ’41 Oldsmobile lit up the night with a flame show. As planned the fireworks started at 10:15 PM. If you were home by 11:00 PM you saw our Club on Channel 3 and 5 news. My car and Al Leondarides Pontiac were featured. Our Club was also the subject of an article in the Sun Messenger on page A9 under “Nostalgia On Wheels”. Frank LaManna provided the information.
I love picnics or shall I say food. The Club reserved Valley View Lake Park for our August 19th picnic. This was by no means your average run of the mill picnic. We started out with Bill Ellis cooking up an endless supply of egg rolls. Next, Angie’s Rib Wagon arrives with pizza appetizers. While members fish on the lake and play games ribs and chicken are cooking on Angie’s huge grill. For dessert, Pat Matusik baked a splendid cake decorated with all the Club members names across the top.
Bob and Sherri Hamm hauled in a trailer loaded with donated door prizes from our sponsors. They also managed the games and contests. None of the 100 Club members present that day went home hungry or empty handed.
Saturday, September 8th we are at it again. Chicken and ribs, baked potato, corn on the cob, tossed salad, bread, butter, coffee and tea. All this for $7.00!! But wait, there’s more! Let’s throw in a hayride and the use of a barn at Blazin’ Bills. The 86 Club members in attendance that evening all had a ball.
On September 22nd we finished the drag season with another partnership, our old stand by car club Restored and Radical. In those days we did three things at the drags. One, we race, two, we film and three we eat. We had a young lady in the Club back then who was fast, very fast! Jody Allison owned and raced a dragster. We also had three other ladies who could really cook. Tom Krebs set up the tents and Pat Dovak, Joanne Obreza and Pat Matusik fed our members. Len Russo, Jim Dacek and Jim Vokerka filmed our drags which were later edited into our last official Club video.
On Sept. 25th Sam LaNasa, myself and five other Club members met with the people from 98.5FM WNCX. We discussed plans of combining our Auto-Rama display with the radio station. Ron Heitman was there and he agreed this plan would be of great benefit to us all. More on this issue in the next installment of the Club history.
Somewhere near this time frame our first Club President Chuck Vella underwent surgery at Hillcrest Hospital. Although he was doing fine at the time, the cancer would return. As if one car show during the winter months were not enough (Auto-Rama) we are now planning a show at the IX Center. This will be their first Rod and Custom show running from January 3rd -5th.
Our Tuesday night cruise site (Pals Drive-In) is now closed for the season and we will review our cruise at the November meeting. We have come to the conclusion that we have grown too big for their lot. Pals can’t serve the food fast enough for the crowds we are bringing in and the women are not very fond of the Porta-Potty back in the woods to the rear of the lot. For the first time the Club is talking about doing a charity event. Nothing is decided but we are looking to expand in yet another direction.
I won’t dwell on another Christmas party other than to say December 16th was the day, and to address a comment from Richard Johns from our July 2006 meeting, the time was 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
I had planned on taking the Club to Trolleyville USA sometime during the summer or fall but their open dates fell on our Clubs earlier commitments. They had a picnic ground and a trolley museum with trolleys going back as far as the turn of the century. You could even tour the repair shops or ride the street cars on their two and a half miles of track.
1990 was a very busy year. First of all we needed to earn money to cover the Club expenses. Unless we accomplished this important job the Club would not exist as we know it. Next comes publicity. Publicity comes in many forms such as Auto-Rama or parades. Sometimes it may seem that we spend too much time on these important necessities. We have tried to insert as many fun events as possible throughout the year. After all, I think we all joined up to have fun. I don’t think we have left a single stone unturned while looking for ways to accomplish these goals.
Stay tuned and on the edge of your seat for the next exciting chapter.