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10 Years Ago This Month – December 2000

MGW Open House

Date: Saturday, December 16, 2000
Time: 11:00 AM
Place: Georgia Welcome Center
Members Attending: Brian Bogardus, Donna Bogardus, Theron Brown, Tony Cappucci, Jim Creer, John Haff, Ron Kaufman and Rudy Wilmoth.

George Ciamillo, Vice President of MGW Precision, Ltd., a CNC shop in south Augusta and makers of aluminum billet parts for Mustangs & Vipers was adding a line of Miata parts, called Brian Bogardus to ask him if our Club would be interested in coming out to their place and checking out their new parts. As an added enticement George offered to supply us with soft-drinks and pizza. A rally was born.

Brian thought with the short notice and holiday season he would be lucky if he attracted 3 other cars, boy was he in for a surprise. When Brian and Donna arrived at the Georgia Welcome Center there were four other cars waiting. While the usual chat session was in progress, 2 more cars rolled in. Apparently going to a manufacturing facility is considered a guy thing, because the only female in sight was Donna Bogardus. Every other car was filled with a representative of the male of the species.

Considering the weather was rainy, and surprise, COLD, they probably should have gone the direct route, I-20 to Bobby Jones but Brian abhors an Interstate. The route he had planned was down Riverwatch to Gordon Hwy before heading south on GA 56. Naturally, he lost Rudy off the tail end somewhere on Broad Street. We hadn’t started any CBs so John called Carol at home on his cell phone, she looked up Rudy’s cell phone number and then John called Rudy. He was out near Bush Field. We were on Gordon Hwy past the turn for the Airport, so Brian hung the next left to wind his way towards Rudy. Unfortunately this was a very bumpy road and we then had to wait on the last half of a freight train. Soon we were back together, but not for long. Less than a mile after we hooked Rudy onto the back of our train we were split apart again. The Bogardi and Theron made it across the tracks, but the rest of the group remained on the other side as the same train that the group had waited on earlier, trundled south and east.

We were a little late, but it was perfect timing as the pizza delivery guy had just left. George had his 2000 Black base sitting on the shop floor with the shifter, e-brake handle and lighter in the polished chrome finish installed, it looked really sharp. He also had a nice little display of MGW’s three (so far) parts available for Miatas in both finishes for us to look at and touch. While ignoring the pizza and drinks we set upon these parts in piranha-like fashion. “Ooh, can I try that?” “Let me see!” “That’ll look good in my car.” “Eject?!?”

As the afternoon wore on, members left one by one to go home, but George had to force the final three folks out the door at 3:30 because he had a commitment.

It was a mutually beneficial afternoon. MGW accomplished their objective. They got their new stuff in the hands of a few Miata nuts for evaluation and some word of mouth advertisement, plus they picked our brains for possible other items we might want to see them make. As an added bonus they sold quite a bit of stuff. We accomplished our objectives as well. We went for a drive, we bought some cool goodies and we ate some warm pizza.

Check out their website at: www.mgwltd.com

Ed. Note: They no longer make Miata accessories, guess we weren’t a big enough market. I still have the Eject Cigarette lighter in the car and I have a Gripper Shift Knob in a cabinet in the garage.

November Miatas for Breakfast

photos by Winkler/Haff

Rally Master Dave Winkler was gassing up when we arrived at the meeting point and not long after that the Schumachers arrived with their top down (someone forgot to tell them that 40 degrees is cold or quite possibly they were getting acclimated for their Thanksgiving trip to Chicago.) Then in rapid succession the Wilmoths and the Nicholls arrived.

Dave had a nice little map prepared with three different routes, blue, pink or yellow and along with the map he had prepared, turn by turn directions, that were handed out at the Navigator’s Meeting. After some discussion the pink route was selected by the Goldilocks method, i.e. blue was too short and yellow was too long, but pink was just right. The route included a windy circuitous course through an older Augusta neighborhood that was littered with traffic calming measures and beautiful trees that were stubbornly holding onto their colored leaves.

Unfortunately Dave did not have a navigator and about midway through the neighborhood a brief period of creeping and pausing resulted in a u-turn to get back on track. We made it the restaurant to find two Miatas waiting on us. The Haffs and the Garners were already inside and had the staff put enough tables together to seat ten. But our 9, plus their 4, meant we needed to drag another table over. Just about the time we got that in place, prospective member Ralf Wilms arrived and we had to steal a table for two right out from underneath a couple as they were finishing up.

Our waitress was marvelously efficient and attentive to all the calls for coffee and the food was the always good Sunrise Grill fare. From personal experience I would stay away from the Caribbean Pancakes, sometimes four items that sound great, when fixed together, don’t come out that great.


10 Years Ago This Month – November 2000

Walk in the Woods

Date: Saturday, November 4, 2000
Time: 7:00 AM
Place: South Carolina Welcome Center
Members Attending: Brian Bogardus, Donna Bogardus, Kurt Breitinger, Tony Cappucci, Judy Creer, Carol Haff and John Haff.

Karen Breitinger, one half of the event organizing team, had another thing to attend to, so she sent husband Kurt in her stead. Carol Haff, the other half of the organizing team, brought her better half as well as a guest, Don Patterson.

Brian & Donna were going to meet everyone in front of the Stoplight Deli, the proposed after-walk food stop. Kurt had never been to the Stoplight so when he got to Laurens Street in Aiken, he zigged instead of zagged and parked on the south side of Richland Avenue. Brian & Donna could see them about a 100 yards away and it was easier for them to go there instead of the others coming their way, so that’s what happened. This actually made it a shorter walk to the start.

After registering we all headed down into the woods to the start line. The fall leaves were great. A couple of weeks ago we drove all day to get to northern South Carolina to see the colors, this weekend the peak beauty had moved south almost perfectly in time with our event. Next year maybe we should save the drive. I’m not so sure the horses would appreciate sharing the paths with Miatas.

The event was billed as a 1.2 mile fun run/power walk. There were a lot of elementary school kids in for the fun run. They were going for prizes depending on the total for a school or something. At the start gun, the fast five took off into the woods with the pack. Brian, Donna and Judy struck with the back group at a pace that could be described as a meander.

There were no awards given out to individuals for this event (that is why it is called a “fun” run,) but the 5.4 cross country runners got cool trophies of a genuine Hitchcock Woods pine cone under a glass dome.

When we were done we were still two hours away from the opening time of the Stoplight Deli, so instead we headed to south Aiken and the Best Bagels & Deli to satisfy our exercised enhanced appetites.

Leaf Peeping Pics

This is the best picture of Georgia Stonehenge….

I can hear "Also Sprach Zarathurstra" already....

Since I stopped at the carwash IN THE DARK on the way to Cracker Barrel, a clean close-up of the attendees’ vehicles is in order:

Leaf Peeping

Today was the annual trip to the mountains to view the fall colors. When I emailed a reminder to the membership, I remarked that Donna and I reserved the right to cancel the event if there weren’t at least two other cars going on the trip. So guess how many showed up? Right, two, David Schumacher and the Garners. Should have picked a larger number. There were two other Club couples at the Cracker Barrel eating breakfast too, but they were in OTMs on their way to Florida to view the Caribbean from a large boat instead of dying leaves from a small car.

We had a route planned that went north and west in Georgia, ending up in Walhalla, SC for lunch before turning around and returning south and east in South Carolina. Because Larry & Rita had never been to see the Georgia Guidestones just outside of Elberton and we were going right by, we just had to stop. The trouble with our plan was that we had built in too much time for rest breaks (it probably would have been just right if we had twice as many cars and the temperatures had been 15° warmer like they were supposed to be), so when we got to I-85 and about 20 minutes from Martha’s Marketplace Cafe, it was only 10:30 AM. An adjustment was made to the route that was to take us on a loop northwest to Franklin, NC before coming back into Walhalla.

We were now in the mountains and the fall colors were nice, but noticeably past peak. At a break in Clayton, GA with traffic on four lane US441 heavy, the clock past noon and the distinct possibility that the scenery would not improve we made another adjustment to the route. Someone pointed at the GA map and said, “What’s that little gray line heading due east towards SC and route 28?” GPS’s and Smarty Pants phones were consulted. It was called Warwoman Rd. I said, “Let’s go. I’ve heard Miata.net chatter about that road. And it was good.” No one complained about the lack of fall color on this stretch of the trip. As Larry put it later, “All I saw was a white line on my right and a double yellow line on my left.” Once we got back in South Carolina on Rte. 28 we hit a sweet spot of altitude and chlorophyll-less-ness making the show out the side windows quite nice for about 15 miles or so.

Lunch in Walhalla at the Brian & Donna Pre-Approved Dining Spot was very good. The only negative was the service was slow, but I got the feeling that everything that happens in Walhalla happens slow. The trip home was uneventful and because we traveled about 50 miles less than we normally do on one of these excursions we got home in daylight and at a decent time for dinner at home.