The Long Climb to # 1

Part 6

Super Bowl Sunday, January 26th. Our Club members give the Super Bowl a new meaning. From noon to 5:00 P.M. our bowling team is hard at work honing their skills at Seven Hills Lanes. Bowling (3 games) and pizza for $6.00! One of the benefits of being a Club member.

By now Auto-Rama has become an annual tradition. This year WMJI 105.7 FM is incorporated into our display. The highlight of the show which ran from January 31st to February 2nd was the Pit Stop competition. Under the expert supervision of coach Gary Oberc, Dave “Nimble Fingers” Zuber assembled nuts and bolts then completed the required checking and cleaning. Bill “Pit Stop” Ellis changed (4) tires as Joe “Red Ribbon” Rhea changes spark plugs and wires on a separate engine.

When the smoke cleared, Team Rock ‘N Roll had set a record and beat the boys from the Medina High School Automotive Technical Career Center. The cash winnings of $300.00 as well as another $225.00 from Steve Estrin was donated the Kalie Kaminski fund raiser. 4 month old Kalie had a heart transplant and the family needed help with medical expenses.

Once again we receive the “Outstanding Club Award” and the “Best Club Display Award”. Leslie Sekerak, our Newsletter Editor since July 1991, has made some major improvements in the quality of our monthly publication. The newsletter now has a neat, clean and professional look. In a search for new ideas a suggestion box is introduced in February of 1992 and remained in use for a number of years.

The Club held it’s 2nd annual Model Car Contest during our March Club meeting. The model cars were displayed and judged according to the age of the builders. Six inches of snow on Sunday, March 22nd didn’t stop 32 Club members from participating in the third and final bowling party of the season.

Club members have been gathering at the Solon Commons Food Court on a regular basis throughout the winter months. Each Tuesday evening we would rearrange the tables to accommodate our ever growing party.

Frank “Early Bird” LaManna and Rick “Fair Weather” Markko show up on March 31st, their machines all aglow. Our new cruise season is just around the corner. TheClub was invited to participate in Automania ’92 in Niles, Ohio on April 10th to 12th. The highlights of that show were the calendar girls and our Club cars, in that order. There were eight Club cars displayed and you can rest assured that the owners and the support team had a great time. The proof can be found in the pages of the 1991-1992 Club photo album.

Easter would fall on our normal April meeting date this year. We rescheduled the meeting to May 3rd at the Solon Commons Food Court. Earlier that day the Club had once again participated in the annual Fleet Avenue Parade.

Our Club held one more Memorial Day car show at the Aurora Rd School grounds behind Pals Drive In on May 6th. The 6th annual car show would be our final Club event at the Pals Drive In site.

Mayfield Village held it’s 3rd annual Cruise Night on June 13th this year. More cars than ever cruise the loop on Wilson Mills from Beta Drive to SOM Center Rd. All the parking lots are filled by late afternoon for a cruise that begins at 6:00 P.M. We are now just participants in a show that just three years earlier we had a major roll in starting. Dave Zuber managed to photograph Jack Leventry’s ’41 Olds putting on a flame show in from of the Mayfield Village Fire Department. A real Kodak moment!

June 13th would be another dual event day with the Cleveland Growth Association inviting our Club to participate in the Square to Square Affair. With 19 Club cars we set up a display from Playhouse Square to Public Square.

Friday evening, June 26th, the Club has the honor of displaying 11 cars at Chester Commons in downtown Cleveland. We are between the WMJI Julebox and the band “Wild Horses”. This event is called “The Party In The Park”.

The Club has become regular participants in the Bedford/Bedford Hts 4th of July parade. As a group we have 11 cars plus Steve Killeen who drives Mayor Jimmy Dimora in his GTO convertible. At the July 10th Bedford Hts Home Days we are presented with a plaque in appreciation of our Club’s car display. We are also presented with a check for $100.00 for 1st place honors in the 4th of July parade.

On July 11th a crew of the Clubs best qualified members judged 200 cars in Streetsboro. This was a very popular show in it’s time and it was an honor to be part of it. We combined our July Club meeting with a Test N Tune at Norwalk Raceway Park. The July 19th event was a huge success!! The employees of Norwalk were quite impressed with our turnout.

The city of Highland Hts has invited us to participate in their Home Days parade on July 26th. This was to be our first event with this city. Unfortunately it would be delayed one year by rain. Saturday August 1st we have a Club picnic at Elmwood Community Park in Independence. On the same day George Bartos had the honor of driving the Grand Marshals (Twins of course) of the Twins Day Festival Parade in his ’76 Corvette. They chose the Corvette over a new Chrysler LeBaron convertible provided by Chrysler. The Twinsburg, Ohio annual festival was featured on National News that weekend and George was up front.

The Bedford Street fair on August 21st was a fun event, Broadway Ave was closed to traffic. Our Club displayed 11 cars at the square. There was plenty of great food served, folks boppin’ to the beat of several bands and great weather. On Sunday, September 6th a Muscular Dystrophy Association benefit was held at the Solon Community Park. The Club participated with a car display and our best ball players. We teamed up with Tommy Edwards records and went on to beat WMJI. The Club made a $100.00 donation to MDA.

Our weekly cruise in Solon is drawing more than 180 cars on Tuesday evenings. This is three times the number that we drew at Pals. Once again, as what happened at Pals we find ourselves with more cars than parking spaces. At times cars are parked in the grass along the street. DJ Bill King supplies a sound system and pushes the 50/50 raffle. Jeff and Barb Takas handle the front table. The Club has been raising money for Ronald McDonald House.

On September 20th the Club once again heads to Downtown Cleveland for another event. Sixteen of our cars are displayed at the Fun In The Flats Show. Not a bad showing when you consider that most of us were out partying till past midnight at Blazin’ Bills for our annual hay ride and ribs. Bill King, our regular cruise DJ taught square dancing and the Electric Slide. Ilsa and I had been going to Sharon, PA for a number of years and found some places of interest along the way. I shared this information with then Club President Mario Bennici. On Sunday, November 15th we leave the Solon Commons parking lot aboard two fully loaded Lakefront Trailways busses. The busses are soon slipping and sliding as we head East. At one point we are forced to turn the busses around in a farm yard as the snow has closed the road ahead. Being fearless car people and thrill seekers we find an open road and motor on. The snow cleared as we arrived in Sharon. PA.

In Sharon we visited Daffin’s Chocolate Factory and Kranyak’s famous Christmas shops. We had a room called “Thunder Alley” reserved for us at Quaker Steak and Lube Restaurant. This is the original restaurant that once was a gas station. If you look up, real race cars are hanging from the ceiling and walls. A late 1930’s Chevy is on a raised lift in front of the rest rooms. Last, but not least the food was pretty good too.

Our bowling team starts the new season on November 22nd at Seven Hills Lanes. I never did figure out if these people went there to bowl or eat pizza.

The annual December Holiday bash was held on December 20th at the Bedford Hts Community Center. This year we begin to collect canned and non-perishable food items for the Cleveland Inter Church Council for distribution to the needy for holiday meals. This day also marks the beginning of our Sunshine Fund. We donate loose change to help cover the cost of cards and flowers to acknowledge the tragedies and milestones in the lives of our members.

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