It's no jive, today I'm 65 

January 20, 2013

This has been a superb weekend.

Our Lambda Car Club held a weekend invitational which was attended by members of the clubs around the country, including one from England. Being one of the organizers of the event has been fun and sharing the time with good friends has been very rewarding.

On Saturday, we held a car show by the Hilton Gardens Inn Hotel on Central Ave. in Phoenix with about 40 cars on display. With all the shiny paint and chrome, beautiful designs, colors, fins, interiors etc, it was a great showing of pride of ownership by the owners. 

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I had originally hoped to have Phiona completely restored for this event, but decided it was not worth stressing out and hurrying to have her totally done by yesterday. Instead, I realized most people have never seen the bare bones inside of an early era vehicle, let alone a stripped interior of any car. So, early yesterday, I fired up the old girl and, sitting on my ammo box seat, I headed uptown for the pleasant drive up Central Avenue to the hotel. It was a very, very nice day, with temps in the 70's (a great relief from last week when we reached a high of 45 and had 5 nights of freezing weather). It could not have been better for the weather for this event, and for that matter, for the many big auto auctions that are also happening this weekend, with the Barrett-Jackson auction being the largest (the Batmobile sold there for $4.2 MILLION yesterday).

With Phiona on public display for the first time since the accident and year long reconstruction/restoration, even I was stunned to see her sitting nicely out in the bright Arizona sunshine, looking resplendent in her new color scheme. With doors open on one side, spectators looked inside to see exactly how the wood skeleton on this era car is constructed. Even without an interior, Phiona showed very well indeed. 

Hemmings Motor News were on hand to view our cars, and I was told they are interested in talking to me about Phiona for a possible story in one of their publications. How cool would that be?

By 1 p.m. I was heading back home again and rested until departing for the evening's banquet, entertainment and awards ceremony.

Our event theme was "Phoenix Rising" as a tribute to the growth of the city of Phoenix from the earliest Native American civilizations here nearly 2000 years ago up to and including our modern development and growth to the 5th largest city in the USA. 

Donovon Wood, scripted a short skit revolving around "lost" car names, Studebaker LARK, Ford FALCON and Plymouth ROADRUNNER ( you see where this is going?) Last Sunday, Donovon took me aside and asked me to participate, in a non speaking role at the end of the skit, whereupon I was to enter, in a very colorful feathers, and to camp it up to the max, flutter around the room as being introduced as the newest member of the extinct car "birds". 

As the skit then concluded, I was hit with a SURPRISE.

Kent Schweiss, had been planning and pulled off a feat that had me turning brighter red that the colored feathers in my winged costume. Kent announced to the group that today, Sunday would be my 65th birthday and then up the center of the room someone was pushing a cart with something upon it. At first, I could not see what was approaching, but, then, as it neared me I could see  what looked like a model car, and then in quick recognition I could see it was a BLUE car with Black fenders - a replica of Phiona!

They tell me the look on my face was priceless.

I'm still in disbelief at how they pulled this off. A LOT of the club obviously knew about it and were able to keep it under wraps.

Boy, oh boy, what an ending to the day and a start into my 65th year. 

The cake? Well, I decided to not cut the cake then and we talked about maybe preserving it somehow. But, having overnight to think about it, and reading some information online, I didn't think it could reasonably be kept intact. The hotel agreed to keep the cake until today when I picked it up and took it to an "afterglow" get together at Roger & Roberto's home. It was there that I cut and served the cake. Now I have less than half left, which I can now cut up in smaller portions and freeze. Oh, and it was a delicious dessert, rich, moist dark chocolate with some raspberry filling. It was good that I could share it with friends.

Still feeling stunned by this surprise last night, I have to say, my friends ROCK! 

I am so ever thankful to have friends like you and appreciate all you do for me.

Thank you from the depths of my heart.

Don

By the way, Phiona won the "Favorite vehicle Under Construction" award last night. A fitting tribute, I'd say.