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In Case You Missed It

Fred Cook [ September 2003 ]

June’s Shelburne Show was a fine effort. Great weather and good crowds. The Dr. H. Nelson Jackson transcontinental epic reenactment was terrific. Avery, Bill E. and Ellen were very convincing in their roles… The club’s 50th anniversary items were unveiled at the show and proved popular, especially the utility-bag. Nice effort, Francine!

Other items included an anniversary logo patch, coffee mugs, jackets, and handsome polo shirts. Our regular June meet was held at Ray and Nomie Unsworth’s beautiful, newly renovated lakeside cottage in Shelburne. Nomie’s traditional ”Flag Cake” proved once again that calories take a back seat to patriotism for many. “Yes, I’ll have another little slice, thank you.”

July’s Classics and Chrome Meet at Thunder Road was actually held on July 27, but the planned promotional “Lap Around the Speed Bowl” on Thursday night featuring 10 VAE members in their vintage machines, July 24th, fell victim to cancellation of the race card because of inclement weather. The very same evening, over in Burlington, some 18 VAE drivers dodged the rain to shuttle some very important motor vehicle administrators attending a regional conference of AAMVA from the Sheraton to the Inn at Essex.

The 38 officials and their spouses were very appreciative people. Vermont DMV Commissioner Bonnie Rutledge later wrote and thanked VAE for “helping to make the AAMVA conference a huge success.” The VAE drivers and guests later enjoyed a fine couple of hours at the historic Lincoln Inn, site of many past VAE events. On July 26th, a handful of club members participated in the Barre Homecoming Days Parade.

The second annual “Classic and Chrome Meet” was held at the “Site of Excitement”, i.e., Thunder Road. Turnout of cars was down from 2002 possibly due to threatening thundershowers. However, no rain fell before we departed for home around 3:45 P.M. Gene Napoliello, event coordinator, reports that contributions collected at the gate and a couple of subsequent donations has put the total at over $1,000, all for Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, the Colchester camp for kids with cancer. Lucille’s goodies, archival photos by Jim Sears and a productive business meeting made for a successful afternoon.

The passing of long-time member Joe Bettis just before the Stowe Show was indeed a sad loss to VAE. He was actively involved in the show for many years as a flea market vendor and as a highly knowledgeable technical judge. An admirer and collector of vintage Buicks, it seemed only fitting that Joe should request a Buick hearse for his last ride. One was located in Northfield. And the driver was none other than VAE treasurer Les Skinner, an employee of the local funeral home.

The Stowe show came off very well. How about the new printed show program! Thanks especially to Biddle Duke, publisher of the Stowe Reporter and his great advertisers. A good first effort and extra copies are still available. Tom Maclay and Dick Currier and their crew deserve kudos for their fine efforts.

The temperature was down right hot. Saturday night the sky opened wide and down came the rain. Come Sunday morning, the dampened grounds of spectator parking area forced a closing. However, a shuttle bus ferried show goers from the Stowe High School to Nichols Field and back all day long. Attendance suffered for that day but overall was estimated at well over 9,000 for all three days.

A Boston radio station, WBIX 1060 AM, interviewed Stowe’s co-chairs Tom and Dick “live” Sunday noon. Peter Swiriduk and his dad, John, co-hosts of Sweet Chariot, whose program’s stated goal is: “The Search For the Ultimate Vehicle” received some needed help to set up the remote. It came from our own Chris Barbieri and the folks at Stowe Area Association, especially Valerie Rochon, SAA executive director and Jo Sabel Courtney, the energetic liaison with VAE. Ken Squier of WDEV pre-recorded a segment, too. All in all, a keen PR effort by both VAE and SAA! Peter and John had nothing but praise for all the wonderful cooperation they received. They were openly impressed and said so.

Then there were the two Bob Bahre cars: one a red, ’62 Dual Cowl Cadillac and the other a deep mahogany colored ‘29 Duesenburg roadster. Wow! Yes, the cars came from the same Bob Bahre of Oxford, Maine, owner of the popular Maine racetrack. More recently, of course, he’s built the huge 80,000+ seat-racing complex at Loudon, NH. NHIS hosts two NASCAR races each year as well as Busch North and Craftsmen truck races and motorcycles, too.

Did you notice the New Vermont flag added to the flagpoles at the Courtesy Booth? And the new ticket booth at the spectator gate entrance! And finally, thanks to all our loyal (and new) sponsors.

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