For a couple of years I had been saying that
if the "Day Job"
ever went away, I'd be out of Maine so fast your
head would spin.
Well, mid-January, just before this NCRS Winter Meet,
I got that
"opportunity." And seized it!
Old Town; Kissimmee FL
January 21-24, 2009
This was my 10th trip to this classic event.
I want to thank Ed Augustine and the other great members of the
NCRS Florida Chapter for hosting Corvettes Conquer Cancer all these years. In spite of
the sagging economy,
this year we were still able to raise $1590 for the American
Cancer Society. In addition, NCRS National is
kicking in with an
additional $1000 match!
That makes the total raised $2590.00!
Friday, Jan. 16
The thermometer in my kitchen window @ 4:06am
Ready to roll @ 6:13am.
(thank goodness for heated seats)
7:06, approaching Portland. Again, TGFHS!
(Should a Corvette even be allowed to run with a readout
I spent the night in Philadelphia: A family
bash to celebrate Mom's 92nd birthday.
We'll be doing this again in April for Dad's 100th!
We had a big feed
This was supposed to continue into Sunday but, with increasing likelihood of
snow overnight, several of us elected to
escape before it started. I left the
homestead about 3:30 and shot down I-95 (for the first time in years), blew
(pre-inauguration weekend) at 75-80 (just staying with the flow,
honest) and landed for the night in Emporia VA.
Obligatory landmarks on
in Kissimmee, in time for $1 draft Amber Bock at the Comfort Suites poolside
I wouldn't be staying there until Wednesday. However, I got a great deal right
up the street at Howard Johnson's:
Huge room, comfortable king bed, desk, table,
clean, quiet, park at the door, strong wireless broadband connection -
Arriving a day early gave me a
free day to wash the car, stock up on
necessities and visit around.
Old Town was ready for the Vettes!
I headed down to Ft.
Myers for an overnight visit with Sandy's sister & her husband. Her parents
also there for the winter, so it was a good time to catch up. I hadn't been
able to do this since 2006.
On the way I
stopped outside Tampa for an impromptu visit with my former employer, Bob
Wilson. I wanted to thank him once again
for being so tremendously supportive
when Sandy and I started this mission! Bob had sold his interest in ValCom to
CBE and moved
South a few years ago. He now sells RVs at Lazydays
in Seffner. This is Bob by my car, and nearby was the '96 that is still his
Back to work in
Kissimmee, I got registered, then checked into my room at the Comfort Suites
(background of 1st pic).
Then I staked out my double space right inside the
vendor gate, set up the tent and unloaded the tables, chairs and tote.
setup would wait for morning. Gotta love the view from my room (second pic),
with my space and the Vette circled!
Sorry, no photos of
the rest of the show this year. I was solo all 3 days,
so I was stuck at the
Can we say it was
uncharacteristically nippy at 9:00am? This is Florida?
toughed it out and finished setting up.
Temp was near 70 later in the day.
to print a couple of signs, I briefly set up the office...
7:30 view out the
window... and the unexpected linen-art in the bathroom; pretty classy!
frost was even heaver than yesterday, but again temp later got up into the 70s.
evening I had the pleasure of sharing (more than one)
$1.00 Amber Bocks with
honor Richard Earl, Harley Earl's
(left) and Bill Herron of the FL NCRS chapter.
Some fun visitors at the
display: l-r Larry Martin (past NCM Chairman),
Liz Hill and Judy Miller (Chip's
wife & Lance's mom).
guessing this pair is making a fashion statement?!
afternoon, after packing all the display stuff back into the Vette, I briefly
joined Dave McLellan and John Hinckley
for another $1 draft before heading over
to the closing banquet. Dave (left) is the former Corvette Chief Engineer
John is a noted Corvette expert who will be joining Dave as a NCM
Hall of Fame inductee on Labor Day weekend.
Ironically, John was the Viper
Plant Manager for the last 5 years before he retired!
The Awards Banquet
I was kind of down
going into the banquet with the roll of 50/50 tickets and a nearly empty jug. In 3
days I had only sold $105 in tickets!
I had barely started when something
changed... Ruth Primeau (seen below at the 2007 event) came to the rescue. She
helping to push the sales! By the time dinner was done the pot was
$1170! She also took over as auctioneer to sell a certificate
Richard Fleming) for a private showing of the Chip Miller Collection with lunch
for 4 at the Miller home prepared by Judy and Michelle.
In the end, the amount raised for the American
Cancer Society was $1590.00,
and NCRS will match that with another $1000, for a
grand total of
THANK YOU, Ed Augustine and NCRS Florida!
the banquet I checked out the remnants of the big Cruise Night in Old Town. Here
are 3 standouts.
(Note: the trip odometer on the C6 resets to zero after
2000 miles, so that is really 2026.9 miles)
day was fast and easy.
At 8:30pm I quit for the night in Hershey PA (just above Harrisburg). 1058
miles, a new daily high for the C6.
(Do the math: that's 73mph average, including stops!)
Departing Hershey at
5:00am for another fast, easy leg, I was home to lots of old snow,
(and a very happy cat!) at
And check it out, the Vette still looked pretty clean!
I start the job search...