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Car For Sale

2008 MX-5 Miata Grand Touring, PRHT, about 70,000 miles.
Paddle Shift Automatic, Black exterior/Saddle Tan interior.
Call (706) 863-6045 for price and additional details.

Tales of the Dragon

Members Attending: Brian & Donna Bogardus, Rite & Larry Garner, Dennis & Karol Mason, Trudy & Hal Scott and Tom Varallo.
Guests Attending: Hartmut Von Seleen

Friday: Tom had invited some members of the Greenwood Corvette Club to come along and it turned out that only one could join us. They would not be driving a Corvette and they would be meeting us at the McDonald’s in Elberton. Needless to say, Mr. Von Seleen’s Lava Orange 911 GT3 RS was easy to spot in lot.

In spite of the gloomy forecast, two of the five Miatas started the drive with their tops down. Our second spot of the morning was in Elberton and we almost made it before the rain started. Fortunately a VFW Hall with a covered entrance popped up at just the right time to save us.

We scrubbed the usual visit to the “Stonehenge of Georgia” because of the rain and everyone had already been there except Hartmut, no problem, he was more interested in driving, so that’s what we did. The next real stop was for lunch in Highlands at the Sports Page. On the way out of town, we blew by a set of cars parked near Bridal Falls taking photos. There was actually a decent amount of water coming over the falls this times, but they have put up barriers so you can longer park underneath.

At our next stop at the little gas station at the beginning of the fabulous Wyah Road, who should go by but the same trio of young bloods from Bridal Falls. There was a 1st gen MR2 followed by a Volvo C30 Polestar and a Fiat 500 Abarth. We waved as they went by and figured we’d never see them again, but a few miles down the road there was an 18-wheeler stopping traffic as it negotiated a sharp corner, so there they were. For the next 5 miles or so we hung around not too far behind them through the twisty parts. Eventually their youth and greater feeling of immortality led them to disappear from us off the front.

After driving the 200 miles to get Robbinsville, no one wanted to drive the 50 extra miles total to do a Dragon run, except for our Porsche driver and me. So instead of the two of us driving, I asked if I could ride along with him. “Sure,” he said. While the cost of the Porsche was roughly equivalent to the cost of all of our 5 Miatas put together, he promptly justified the high cost of the car to me by demonstrating how it would feel to do the trip in a low flying Blue Angels jet.

Saturday: I always plan a very early run through the Gap on these trips up here to avoid the traffic that eventually clogs the 318 turns later in the day. Usually I only get one other car to get up and go early, but this year everyone was up to a morning drive. Our early wake up was rewarded by a clean run through the Tail of the Dragon going north and almost unimpeded going back south. After the northbound run as we were stopped at the parking area, Dennis asked Hartmut if it would be okay if he rode the southbound trip with him, “Of course,” came the reply. On the way back, we stopped at the dam overlook to chat with several “kids” that were enjoying the same roads we were, as part of a Tougefest. At the Crossroads of Time we decided to head back to Robbinsville the long way so we could take the great drive of NC28 along the Cheoah Lake.

By the time we got back to the hotel we were about an hour behind the day’s schedule, but it actually worked in our favor because by then the early morning foggy middle 30’s had become mostly sunny middle 40’s making tops go down for the more hardy of our group. Our first stop at the Bojangles in Murphy is usually just a quick in and out, but it somehow turned into a full fledged meal stop. Once again the delay worked to our favor by allowing the temperature to warm up a little bit more. At the Hiawassee Dam Overlook, I asked if it was OK if we skipped the usual stop at The Field of the Woods because everyone had already been there except Hartmut, no problem, he was more interested in driving, so that’s what we did.

At lunch the weather was pleasant enough that we could dine outside at the Telico Grains Bakery. The return leg over the Cherohala Skyway went back & forth from nice to interminable, as we would get a clear run for a mile or two and get saddled with some knucklehead traveling 25 MPH. For a while there it seemed like we would never make it back to North Carolina because as soon as a slow poke pulled into an overlook another similar vehicle would exit the other side. It is never usually this busy on the Skyway, but I have to chalk it up to our slightly later time of day, but mostly it had to be the leaves and weather. Somebody let the word out that the fall color was later this year and we can vouch for the veracity of this statement, it most definitely was the best leaves I can remember for the first weekend in November.

Sunday: The Scotts were the first to head out on their way to Asheville. Brian & Donna left next with Tom in tow, right after we had to get the front desk to wake up some knucklehead who parked his truck with trailer behind a row of cars blocking us in. I don’t know when the rest left. I’m not sure which way the Masons planned on going home, but I know the Garners were going home via Helen, GA. If I had to guess, I’d bet Hartmut took that 911 GTS R3 back for one more run through the Gap before making his way back home to Greenwood.

1 November 2018 Meeting Minutes

When: November 1st, 2018

Where: Nacho Mama’s, Broad Street, Augusta

Who: Brian and Donna Bogardus, Don and Kay Boltz, David and Ellie Brock, Mike and Shirley Dyer, Larry and Rita Garner, Jeff Kelly and David Ly, Dennis and Karol Mason, Bobby Mathews, Hal and Trudy Scott, Stacey Timmerman, Tom Varallo, and new members Sonny and Cathy Black.

Thanks to David and Ellie for making reservations for tonight’s meeting! – I enjoyed the view from the loft. The food was good and filling! A little noisy from the kitchen sounds but enjoyable none the less. Members enjoyed chatting, socializing and eating before the meeting started.

Treasurer’s Report: The balance started at $939.95, no transactions this month, so the ending balance is the same.

Club Business:
• Welcome to our new members Sonny and Cathy Black, who have a 2010 Silver Miata.
Everyone please say hello when you get a chance!

• We took nominations for our new officers (to start 1 Jan 2019) at tonight’s meeting. These are
the nominees – Brian Borgardus for President, Larry Garner for Vice President, Mike Dyer (incumbent) for Treasurer, Karol Mason (incumbent) for Secretary. There were 11 votes cast at tonight’s meeting for each nominee. For the record the following couples placed the votes:
– Brian and Donna Bogardus,
– Don and Kay Boltz,
– David and Ellie Brock,
– Mike and Shirley Dyer,
– Larry and Rita Garner,
– Jeff Kelly and David Ly,
– Dennis and Karol Mason,
– Bobby and Sandra Mathews,
– Hal and Trudy Scott,
– Stacey and Cindy Timmerman,
– Tom and Susan Varallo
Everyone else please send in your vote to Tom or prepare to cast it at the Christmas Party (one vote per membership). Thank you for your participation!

• PLEASE see Karol at any meeting/event or send your money for the Christmas Party to Karol
at 144 Ashbyrne Dr., Martinez, GA 30907. $10 per person paid no later than 7 December. Thank you!
Couples who have paid (in case you’ve forgotten if you have already) –
– Bob & Pat Tarrant
– Tom & Sue Varallo
– Bobby & Sandra Matthews
– Karol & Dennis Mason
– Mike & Shirley Dyer
– Brian & Donna Bogardus
– Larry & Rita Garner
– Don & Kay Boltz
– Jeff Kelly & David Ly
– Dave & Ellie Brock
Thanks to everyone who has paid, and everyone else please get your money out to Karol right
away – the party is not to be missed and you’ll regret it if you miss it! ? We need to collect the money in advance so we can have a check ready for our caterer.

• Tale of the Dragon run (tomorrow) on 2-4 November – Gonna be a beautiful time to catch
some fall colors too! Make your reservations now at the Quality Inn and Suites in Robbinsville!

• Larry Garner has planned a breakfast on 17 November at 9 am at Red Oak Manor in Harlem
(410 North Louisville Street) then a short drive to ‘Feathered Friends Forever’ a Bird Sanctuary (612 Byrd Rd) for their 19th Annual Open House. They have 1400 birds of many types and ages. We will arrive at the bird sanctuary at 11am (when they open) if you want to meet us at the Bird Sanctuary. But please RSVP (on the website) for breakfast, so Larry can give a count to Red Oak Manor.

• Our Christmas Party will be on December 15th this year at the same location (thank you
Patty!), Brookstone Clubhouse (1250 Brookstone Way, Augusta). We will be having the same caterer and same meal (Ham, Turkey, mashed potatoes w/gravy, green beans, garden salad, rolls, pound cake, banana pudding, tea & water) but this year there will be a $10 charge per person. This will keep the club funds in good shape, and it’s a pretty good price for an evening of fun and fellowship. And don’t forget your White Elephant gift for the fun gift exchange/steal. Each person that wants to participate, please bring a wrapped gift valued at $20 or less. Also, BYOB if you wish to drink.

• Dues for the upcoming year will be due on 1 Jan 2019, so please prepare to contribute, and
see Mike Dyer at the Christmas party or the January meeting. Thank you for your support!

• Please remember to RSVP to our events – it makes it difficult for the planner if we don’t
know how many will show – especially for smaller venues. Your RSVP is greatly appreciated, so please don’t forget.

Ongoing:
• See Dennis Mason for name tags, if you so desire.
• Tom and Larry have business cards with the club website to handout to prospective Miata
owners that may be interested in joining our club.
• New club merchandise is available: Pins are $3 each; “Support Vehicle” car magnets are $25
per pair, canvas tote/shopping bag $20 each. The 3” window stickers have come in and are available now.
• Coffee mugs and other items are available from http://www.cafepress.com/masters_miata
Communigraphics in North Augusta has our logo, for $8 you can have it embroidered on just about anything.

New Business/Upcoming calendar events:

DATE EVENT – LOCATION COORDINATORS
2-4 Nov Tale of the Dragon run.  Details on our website Brian & Donna Bogardus
17 Nov Breakfast & Drive – Red Oak Manor & drive to Feathered Friends Forever Bird Sanctuary. Larry Garner
15 Dec Christmas Party – Brookstone Clubhouse          1250 Brookstone Way, Augusta

$10 per person in advance

Everyone!

Extra Credit III

For all those times you get that question you can knock out of the park. What color was George Washington’s white horse? When does Oktoberfest start? What is the best lightweight practical 2 seater roadster? You almost can’t miss.

You have until Monday 11/5/18 midnight to get this Miata related T-shirt from Blipshift.

They also have a couple dozen other car related T-shirts during this weekend’s The Autonum Sale if you are interested.

Fall Steeplechase Report

MMC Steeplechase HQ

Attending: Karol & Dennis Mason, Donna & Brian Bogardus and Jennie & Thomas Hodges. With a guest appearance from Tom Varallo and a special drive-by appearance from Chip Cunningham.

Tom had set up an awning and a table the night before when he was over at the track finishing up for his Sertoma duties for the big day. The Hodges pulled into the driveway of the Bogardus Estate a few minutes early and the Masons pulled in 20 minutes later.  As with any Club event, even the ones not involving Miatas, there were several minutes spent standing around and chatting about how everyone’s Trust Funds were performing and which local gala charity balls we would be attending this particular season.

The three guys hopped into the Mason’s truck to drive over to the field and set up the second awning and the grills, plus unload the coolers and decorations. On the way over, Dennis apologized for their late arrival and blamed it on Karol. The three ladies walked the short mile over to the track, and while I was not there, I bet Karol blamed their late arrival on Dennis.

The weather was forecast for cool and cloudy, giving way to mostly sunny and warmer. The clouds missed the memo and hung around, low and gray all day except for maybe three or four 10 minute intervals. While almost everyone was dressed for the cool start, we really weren’t prepared to spend all day that way. Add in some fairly steady 10-15 MPH winds and the only time we were warm were those few minutes of sun or when we were standing really close to the small charcoal grill the Mason’s had brought.

Between the first and second races, a gust of wind picked up the Mason’s awning and sent it airborne. It was an amazing spectacle. It looked like a cross between a huge metal spider and a monster from the Cloverfield universe as it flipped and fluttered across the the two empty spaces next to us and landed feet down on top of the Honda minivan in the third spot. Somehow it managed not to scrape the vehicle at all. The only real damage done was to the now bent and slightly broken awning and the psyche of a small girl from the landing spot of said awning. We are pretty sure she didn’t get hit by the awning, but she was so scared that she cried in her mother’s arms for the next 15-20 minutes.

We re-propped the damaged awning back up and several next-door neighbors asked if we wanted some stakes to keep it in place. We politely declined as we actually did have them, but somehow the three heads of the set-up guys never thought to put them in, even though it was already quite breezy and Tom’s awning, which we put it up right next to, was obviously staked in. The women chastised the men about their bone-headed oversight and the men tried to deflect by telling them that it was obviously the women’s fault because they didn’t tell them to put the stakes in. One thing is sure though, there will be one woman in the set-up truck next time…

Because Mr. Varallo’s spot in the fall is on the outside rail right after a fence, we get a first hand view of the most exciting part of the steeplechase experience, jumping. And it really is fun to be up front for all that action until, in the third (or might have been the fourth) race, a horse and jockey takes a somersault 20 feet from where you are standing. The medical teams, both human and animal, were on scene within moments. The jockey bounced up fairly quickly, but horse did not. They held it down for about 5 anxious minutes while it was checked over, before he was let up and was walked off. Phew.

There was just one more bit of excitement left for our six participants on this day. The truck riders and walkers home arrived at Boardman Road at about the same time and when Donna entered the code on the remote garage door opener – it didn’t open. Thinking she may have fat fingered a number, she tried again. It didn’t open. She waited about 15 seconds, cycled the cover open and then closed before trying the code again. Still nothing. Brian then tried it and got the same no response. We even told Jennie and let her try. Time for Plan B, open a regular person styled door with a key. Well, Brian carried his Miata key chain but it has no house key. Donna’s key chain does have a house key, but she didn’t take her purse, it was inside the house. Spare key hidden outside somewhere? Nope (that is a whole other story.) Fortunately a local locksmith was happy to come out and do the rescue.

One last lesson learned on Saturday, Brian needs to bring his real camera to these kinds of events, the cellphone just doesn’t cut it.