Combining Christmas and cars is a fabulous recipe for a good time. Recently we visited the The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania and spent a couple of hours enjoying their extensive antique car collection as well as the pretty decorations. The staff at the museum has done a wonderful job decorating for the holidays.
If it’s the first weekend in December you know nearly 300 of the finest cars, trucks, and motorcycles will be gathering at the Cow Palace on the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Maryland. This year was no different. The East Coast Indoor Nationals is billed as “the largest indoor Pre-73 all American car and custom motorcycle show on the East coast” and it lives up to its title.
The Bubba’s Garage crew has driven by the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum on Rt. 11 in Hagerstown, Maryland many times but we had never stopped. Recently, we had a little extra time to spare while running errands so Peg and I decided to check out what was happening. The actual Hagerstown roundhouse was demolished back in 1999 so all that remains are photos and historical pieces that the museum tries to preserve. Probably the best reason to visit the museum at this time of year is for the Trains of Christmas display on the first floor.
The Black Dog Coffee Company now has a retail shop located just off Rt. 9 in Shenandoah Junction, WV. We have known Brian Bircher, the owner of Black Dog Coffee, for many years and we were happy to join his crew and him to celebrate their official Grand Opening on Saturday. Brian is one of the hardest working people we have had the pleasure of knowing. The joint was definitely jumping when we stopped by.
Katie’s is the only cruise-in in the Washington, DC area that will get the crew from Bubba’s Garage up at 5am to be in the parking lot of Katie’s Coffee House by 7am. For us, it takes a little over an hour to drive to this fantastic cruise-in in Great Falls, VA. Many of these die hard car guys meet year-round from 7am until 9am. You will find everything from European exotics to American muscle cars parked on the lots. Often you will find vehicles slowly cruising the lots that most people only get to see in a museum.
When you have a PEZHead in the family you can make a big impression by commissioning a birthday cake in the shape of a PEZ dispenser. I contacted Teri of Teri’s Cake Creations once again to create an original cake for Peg’s birthday. I told Teri that one of Peg’s favorite PEZ dispensers is a Pony-Go-Round and I gave her a couple of links to images of the PEZ dispenser. I also asked her to change “PEZ” to “PEG” and that was it. What Teri came up with was way more than I could have hoped for. The cake was very detailed and a good likeness to the dispenser. It even included an embossed hinge pin. Peg was thrilled. I was happy. Life is good. Thanks Teri!
It wasn’t Halloween but we decided to dress up 50’s style for the 5th Annual “Let’s Rock & Roll for a Cure” to benefit the American Cancer Society. Best Western Lee Jackson Conference Center in Winchester, VA was packed. If you were not in the parking lot by the time the doors opened at 7pm you would have trouble finding a spot as the show was sold out for months.
I often get asked why I travel so far to work each day. The answer is very simple. I love where I live. Shannondale is a fairly quiet community positioned between the Appalachian Trail and the Shenandoah River. The roads aren’t very good and you pretty much have to drive 15 minutes to the nearby city of Charles Town if you need anything. But, what it does have is natural beauty. The couple weeks of color during Fall are one of my most favorite times of the year.
Halley’s Comet left us a present. As the earth moves through the debris left by the comet each year at the end of October we often get a spectacular display of shooting stars. The Orionid Meteor Shower, or Orionids for short, gets its name from the fact that if you trace the paths from shooting stars they seem to originate from the constellation Orion. But, the shooting stars appear all over the sky! Peg and I took the time to hang-out under the stars after the moon set and watch the fireworks. We didn’t catch any of the large shooting stars on camera (only smaller ones) but we did see several. Sometimes you have to loose a little sleep to catch something magical. Trust us, it’s worth it.
How do you get to know area photographers? One great way is to attend a photo walk. One of the largest is Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk. Now in its 5th year, this walk was held in more than 1300 cities worldwide this year. Peg and I decided to try the one in Frederick, Maryland. We had a fabulous time with the walk that our leader, P. Thomas Lambert organized. We met several interesting people and shared a couple hours taking photos with them. Afterwards, we all gathered at the Green Turtle Sports Bar for a sort of post shoot scavenger hunt. Peg and I won a screen protector and a beer! Truly a great day. Thanks Paul!
We have a few more photos from the walk over on our photo site. http://photos.bgcustoms.com
Sometimes Bubba’s Garage just goes to the Fall Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet & Corral just to look. Currently, we don’t have any projects in the garage that require parts. So that meant that we could enjoy just being out. You can walk for hours and be shopping for nothing. In my opinion, these are the best kind of outings. Still, I force everyone to get up early to watch the sun come up and to get a parking space close to the gates just in case.
We were at the gates at 7am sharp when the Carlisle Events opened. Unfortunately, we beat most of the vendors so we had a little time to kill. That’s not hard to do and we made a beeline over to the main building to pick up a good hot breakfast. Inside, a number of high quality collectible vendors were selling a wide variety of car related merchandise.
Outside it was cold and wet. But you know what they say, “You can’t have rainbows without a little rain.” Peg did her best to convince me to bring home another little car. She liked the 1963 Mini Cooper but really wanted the 1960 Morris Minor Traveler. No Sale.
We wandered up and down most of the 150 acres that make up the Carlisle Fairgrounds. There were many open spots left for this years gathering. The number of vendors at many of the shows we go to is still down. Heck, even we don’t sell at shows much anymore because not many people are buying. Still we had fun rummaging and we did manage to pick up a few decorations for the garage including a runway light (don’t ask).
Get off the couch and do something this weekend!
Be sure to head over to our photo website for a bunch more photos of the show. http://photos.bgcustoms.biz
Thunder Over the Blue Ridge brought many vintage aircraft as well as modern military birds once again to the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, WV. The crowds were light which made moving about the airfield very enjoyable. While you might not see as many planes as at a larger show like Andrews Air Force Base you definitely won’t have to fight to see everything.
Killing time before the show was easy. The Air National Guard had their aircraft open so that you could tour them. The C-5A is massive! Also early in the day, Dan Christian was flying a Yakovlev Yak-52.
Opening up the show was the North East Bonanza Group. The NEBG Formation Flying team had ten planes in the air for this “soft” opening. It’s nice to see a group of civilian aircraft having the chance to perform this way. Their motto is “Flight is the Reason.”
Bringing in the Stars and Stripes were the E Team Skydivers. The team out of Mason, Ohio uses a HUGE American flag in their jump. The flag is said to weigh more than 70 pounds! What a spectacular sight to see in the skies over West Virginia. The ground crew was ready to respectfully keep the flag from touching the ground.
All eyes were to the sky as Jerry Wells began his aerobatic routine. I have seen Jerry fly many times and his 1930’s Bucker Jungmeister biplane is one of my favorites. The bright yellow paint with Swiss Air Force markings stands out against the blue skies.
Charlie Schwenker is an area favorite. You can often find him performing at the Flying Circus in Bealeton, Virginia. This weekend at the Martinsburg Air Show he was piloting his German Extra 300 monoplane.
Several RC groups were on site demonstrating their hobby aircraft. Many of these miniature aircraft look so real that unless you have something in the photo to indicate their scale you would swear that they were the real McCoy!
One thing to stay away from at any air show is the chili dogs. Using the Port-O-Potties can be killer. Okay, just kidding. The Indy Boys brought out their Port-O-Jet to give everyone a chuckle. Paul Stender, its creator, says it packs in 1000 hp!
Bill Finagin once again fired up his engine to take to the skies over the Blue Ridge. This award winning pilot does some amazing things in his Pitts S2C biplane.
Probably the most thrilling part of the show was Jane Wicker. This courageous lady is a wing walker. Not only does she stand on top of her gorgeous Stearman (“Aurora”) but she even sits on the bottom wing as the plane is flown inverted!
Okay, how about some military fly-bys? Both a C-5A Galaxy and C-130 Hercules made a low altitude pass over the show field.
Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s the Lone Stars! This Army skydiving team from Texas bailed out of a perfectly good Blackhawk helicopter just to entertain the crowd.
How about a race? But what do you get to race a super fast aircraft? I know, a jet powered school bus! The Indy Boys challenged Bill Finagin to a race in their 42,000 HP GE J-79 jet powered school bus. While the top speed of the bus has been 367 mph, this time it made a respectable 311 mph!
The final act of the great day was Scott Yoak flying Bill Yoak’s P-51 Mustang “Quick Silver.” Based out of Lewisburg, West Virginia, Scott is an East Coast favorite. His low passes allow the crowds to enjoy the beautiful workmanship that went into restoring the aircraft.
Local air shows can be some of the most enjoyable. Get out and take in some sunshine. More photos can be found on our photo website – http://photos.bgcustoms.biz