National Corvette Museum
Bowling Green, KY
April 22-24, 2004
The C5 Birthday Bash at the National Corvette Museum has been one of our better fundraisers. This year's edition (the 5th for me) was the best one yet! No small factor was the bigger than usual crowd that was drawn there to get their first personal look at the next Corvette, the 6th generation, the 2005 model.
Sunday, April 18
Since Monday, April 19 was a holiday (Patriots' Day, ME & MA only) I
drove down to my daughter Christy's home in Bedford, MA for the night.
Monday, April 19
Both Christy & I left early: she for work in NYC by train; me for Princeton, NJ by C5. Since she was going to take the train down to Princeton that evening, I brought her overnight bag with me. Our common destination for the night was Sandy's sister Mary Ann's house. Along the MA Turnpike I happened to catch this shot of the New England Division home office of the American Cancer Society.
Reaching Princeton by 11:30, I was in time to have a pleasant lunch with Mary Ann and Sandy's brother, Ray. Christy's train got her to Princeton in time for a great dinner with Mary Ann, Deb Barrett, Ray and his wife Jo Anne and daughter Laura. I won't embarrass them with the bad photos!
Tuesday, April 20
After a relaxing night with Mary Ann & Deb, Christy and I drove down to Philadelphia to visit with my parents. Dad is 94, Mom is 87, and they still live in the house they bought in 1942, when I was 3 months old! Christy treated us to an excellent lunch at my folks' favorite restaurant. I can only hope (and thank the good genes) that I'll still be able to live on my own and enjoy going out to a restaurant at their age! (I will embarrass them with this photo.)
Mid afternoon, I took Christy to catch a train back to Princeton for the night.
It was great to have the opportunity for some family visits this trip.
Wednesday, April 21
At the crack of dawn, and in the rain already, I left Philadelphia for Bowling Green.
Before 5:00; I can't believe it!
Passing the Carlisle Fairgrounds before 7:00. It was already busy: Spring Weekend!
Medieval horse farm in, where else, Lexington, KY.
The serious rain sets in.
We arrive at the National Corvette Museum.
Thursday, April 22
We parked on the circle and set up our display in the Atrium, next to Dana Forrester.
Friday, April 23
This is what Friday morning looked like out my window at the Microtel!
Much of Friday was focused on the C6 introduction.
Photo below links to a lot of C6 photos.
Friday night dinner @ Ryan's Steakhouse was one we won't
forget soon... but won't hurry to repeat, either! (Don't ask...)
Saturday, April 24
Intermittently very busy and very quiet in the lobby. The sun actually came
out, and there were many seminars going on. New since my last trip here was
the rest area, right across from my display, where people could take a load off.
Almost like a captive audience for me!
My display included some memories of Chip Miller,
including the program from his memorial service.
Saturday night's banquet was a very busy evening. As the guests were seating, I took the mike and gave a short recap of what Corvettes Conquer Cancer was all about, how Sandy started it in 1998, and what we have been doing since. It was gratifying to get a round of applause as I concluded. With the help of 3 volunteers, we sold 50/50 tickets non-stop. I never even noticed what the dinner was. By the time we had milked the crowd for all we could get, the food was gone! The good news is that the 50/50 pot totaled a record $4515:
$2258 for the winner, and $2257 for the American Cancer Society!
Corvette Plant Manager Wil Cooksey spoke to the crowd. In the foreground you can see the 50/50 tickets and cash. Corvette Chief Engineer Dave Hill spoke next. Then Dave's wife Karen drew the winning ticket for the LAST C5 Z06.
Then it was our turn: The lucky 50/50 winner of $2258 was Robert Kjersgaard, who coincidentally is a cancer patient. He used a little of his winnings to make the first purchase in the Museum benefit auction that followed our drawing: a C5R racing team shirt, autographed by all 6 of last year's drivers!
(I stopped at Wendy's on the way back to the Microtel...)
Sunday, April 25
We took our time loading up in order to see Buzz & Jackie Nielson and Chaz & Gael Cone off in their (almost) matching 53-C5 Commemorative Editions. They were headed for Chicago, where on Tuesday they would start off for Santa Monica, CA, traveling as much of the original Route 66 as still exists. You can travel with them on Chaz's website http://www.kicksonroute66.com which he updated daily.
The travelers wave to the Museum's webcam.
Just around the bend at the Museum, just visible behind my car in the pic above left, and not nearly as happy, was Tom Feuerherm from FL. The throwout bearing in his Z06 had managed to weld itself to the output shaft. Undaunted, there he was with the whole driveline spread out on the driveway, with rain imminent. Art, of Art's Corvettes, the red roof visible in the background, was helping. I trust he finished and made it back to FL OK.
Hitting the road for home. The rain started up again about 20 miles north of the museum, and never stopped before I got home!
Monday, April 26
After an overnight stop (Microtel again) in Hagerstown, MD,
this again is what the rest of the trip looked like.
Home at last, and still raining. After those first 20 miles out of Bowling Green, the trip probably had the wipers on high speed 75% of the time, slow 20% and intermittent 5%. But NO more "BST" (that's Big Scary Truck) incidents!
I want to extend a
to the National Corvette Museum, and the C5 Registry, for again
allowing me to use their C5 Birthday Bash event to raise money for
the American Cancer Society. I am very conscious of the fact that
this event is a fundraiser for the NCM, a non-profit corporation.
Thanks to their generosity, and that of the
participants at this great event, I was able to send
to the American Cancer Society office
in Bowling Green, KY.