The Roadmap August 2021
From Your Regional Director:
First let me apologize for the extended hiatus in sending out our Texas Region Roadmap. Having failed to secure a volunteer to take over the position of editor from our long time editor, Lisa Daniels, I have finally given up and decided (with Fred Cornwall’s help) to try my hand at this. Inasmuch as I can barely type, please bear with me as I go through the learning curve. We owe a great deal of gratitude to Lisa Daniels for the outstanding job she has done for many years as our editor. It is a time-consuming and often thankless task and she has just been great! We also owe our thanks to Mark and Ryan Chambers for their years of service in seeing to the mailing of our publications and event notifications as well as the mailing and counting of ballots for our regional board elections.
The last 18 months have been quite challenging for all of us. If each of us made a list of black swan events we thought we might face, I doubt that any would have a deadly pandemic on their list—I certainly would not. We had our last pre-pandemic event in 2020 —the chili cook off—at Ray Kinney’ hanger. And while we knew we were headed into a challenging time, I don’t think any of us thought that 18 months later we would have over 600,000 of our fellow Americans dead and countless others with what we now call long haul COVID.
While were able to have some of our regular monthly breakfasts by going to different venues—including Dreyfus Point at White Rock Lake, which worked out quite well—it is nice to get back to having more of our usual activities. And was indeed fitting that our first post pandemic activity for 2021 was the chili cook off at Ray Kinney’s. What a great turnout we had, along with almost perfect weather. Thanks for you hospitality once again, Ray.
In May we went to Waxahachie, where we started with a box lunch at Steve Chapman’s. From Steve’s we went to the Hudgins home to see their impressive 1926 restored Pullman railroad car. If you think restoring a classic car is a challenge, can you imagine this? We then enjoyed a very pleasant drive on the narrow winding roads west of I-35 E, eventually winding up at the Texas Soaring Association glider airport. Unfortunately the winds prevented us from seeing any of their many one and two person gliders take off or land. but it was very interesting to learn about these unpowered airships, and they offer visitors rides, at what I thought was a very modest price. From the airport it was a short drive to Frank and Robin Guys for an ice cream social. All in all a great day full of fun adventures.
For our next event, a small group of us drove to Granbury to see the cars come in for a lunch stop on the Great Race. We had our own lunch at Babe’s and then greeted the cars and drivers as they were directed around the courthouse square. This event was made all the more interesting by having our own Bill Kimball describe what is involved in running this highly competitive rally against many professional and highly experienced amateur drivers. Bill and his brother have done this five times.
Rounding out our mid-summer activities, Bill Downs organized a trip to Ft. Worth to see the enormous Union Pacific Big Boy locomotive. This is the last survivor of the 25 steam locomotives of this series, built in 1941 in New York. It is the largest steam locomotive still in service. And you ask how big is this boy? Try 1,200,000 lbs. We then visited the Sid Richardson Museum of Western Art in Sundance Square, featuring works by Frederick Remington and Charles Russell. I’m always overwhelmed by the magnificence of this most important collection and the generosity of the Richardson and Bass families for sharing it with all. Since it was Ft. Worth, we had no choice but to have BBQ lunch a Sammies. From there we visited the truly eclectic collection of cars, automobilia and other collectibles owned by Ron Sturgeon. Ron can best be described as a “collector”—of all manner of interesting things. What an interesting adventure! Thanks to Steve McCune for helping organize this event.
As you probably are aware, Bill Downs has again agreed to be our activities chairperson and, as in past years, he has an interesting schedule of activities planned for the rest of the year. Most are returns to many of our traditional activities—the Not So Grand Classic at Mike and Joy Ames’, the Westlake Car show, our Annual Meeting lunch and a Holiday party. See the schedule of activities below.
Looking ahead to next year and a return to a more normal life, we are tentatively planning a weekend tour to the area around Horseshoe Bay and Marble Falls. Also on tap is a Grand Classic in the Fall—perhaps at a new venue. If you have an idea for a fun activity—or even better, are willing to organize one, please contact Bill Downs.
I would be remiss if I failed to recognize and thank our out-going Managers, Paul Ridley, Marilyn Schwartz and Tom Benson. Marilyn served as our secretary for many years, as did Tom Benson as our treasurer. Our newly elected managers, whose terms will expire in 2023, are David Oberle, Fred Cornwall and Denny Hunt.
I look forward to seeing you on the road.
Addison, Texas- Chili Cookoff -April 17, 2021
Midlothian, Texas- Texas Soaring Association -May 8, 2021
Granbury, Texas – June 20, 2021
2021 Hemmings Motor News Great Race- June 20, 2021
On June 20, 2021 the Texas Region RROC members attended the 2021 Hemmings Motor News Great Race. This year the race was from San Antonio Texas to Greenville South Carolina. The time speed endurance rally for vintage cars ( this year, vehicles manufactured in 1974 or before ) was a 2300 mile journey over 9 days over rural roads in the middle of the United States. RROC members had the opportunity to see the start of the race in San Antonio, and the cars at one of their check points at the Square in Granbury TX, or at their over night stopin Nocona TX. Bill Downs, Al Kroemer, Bill Kimball, Denny Hunt, and Doug Smith and family travelled from Dallas, had lunch at the Babes Chicken Restaurant and then saw the cars arrive at the check point at the Granbury Square. There were no PMC’s in this years race, but RROC members have competed in Rolls-Royce cars in the past. This year Barry Lowe, a RROC member from the Southeast Region in North Carolina competed in his 1934 Packard 1101 Roadster. There may have been other members I didn’t recognize. Attached are several pictures including one of Barry Lowe’s Packard ( Team 114 )
Fort Worth Texas -The Last of the “Big Boy” Locomotives- August 14, 2021
Dear Fellow Members:
In three words….what would you call a one-of-a-kind individual that loved God, family, country, wildlife, art, travel, business, people, cars and life…… John Ridings Lee.
John was entertaining and creative, smart and successful. I had the honor of having him as a business partner for the last few years. We shared the passion and concern for our Full Classics and set out on a mission to introduce this wonderful hobby to a new audience through the magic of modern technology.
He was excited and committed to the effort. I remain amazed at the connections he had far and wide.
The world’s great collectors and collections all responded immediately to John’s outreach and those contacts were subject of some beautiful and historically significant programming. I just wish he were still here to see the final results.
Many of you knew John long before I met him in 1994. You each have a memory of him or had the opportunity to get to know what a renaissance man he was. You have a topic, John has a story. He traveled to the far reaches of the world experiencing life and making friends. His work connected him with entertainers, politicians, educators, builders, artists and an incredible array of people from all walks of life. But, he never got beyond his heritage as a native of Dallas and a patriot. A descendant of Robert E. Lee, he sued the Dallas City Council when they removed the statue of his famous relative from Lee Park….John was not shy!
His home, office and garage contain a wide variety of objects of desire from places most of us only hear about. He collected and displayed memorabilia from every car event he ever attended along with the hundreds of trophies and awards earned by his very long list of coveted rolling stock.
John led a very full and rewarding life….I am glad to have been a part of a small percentage of that time.
He traveled more than 60 years of that rewarding life with his beloved Carole. I was with them together just a week before his passing…. the love was palpable.
Sure do miss him… a lot! We all do. It is unlikely that we will ever meet another individual like John Ridings Lee.
May God rest him.
TEXAS REGION SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
August 28–Monthly breakfast at IHOP, followed by tour of Don Yount Racing collection
September 25—Monthly breakfast at IHOP, followed by tour of Angelo Mendez garage
October 9—Not So Grand Classic at Mike and Joy Ames
October 16—Westlake Car Show
October 23—Monthly breakfast at Avenue Sports Grill, 2121 Greenville Ave., Dallas (Lower Greenville)
November 14—1:00 p.m. Annual meeting at Dallas Country Club
November 27—Monthly breakfast at IHOP
December—Holiday Party TBD
December 22—Monthly breakfast at IHOP
January 26—Monthly breakfast at IHOP, followed by tour of Haas Motorcycle Museum (tentative)
In addition, we are looking at scheduling a one or two night driving tour in the early Spring. We are also tentatively planning a Grand Classic in the Fall.