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October Meeting Minutes

When: October 3, 2019

Where: The Back Porch, Belvedere, SC

Who: Brian & Donna Bogardus, Don & Kay Boltz, Kurt & Karen Breitinger, Mike & Shirley Dyer, Larry & Rita Garner, Brenda Hays, Thomas & Jennie Hodges, Hal & Trudy Scott, Darryl Shipman & Sherry Moore, Bill & Margie Vandermaas and Tom Varallo.

Treasurer’s Report: The balance started at $1016.91. The only debit for the past month was $133.88 to GoDaddy for web hosting and domain registration for the club website leaving an ending balance of $883.03.

Thanks to Brenda Hays for arranging to have the meeting at this little neighborhood Bar & Grill. Many of us have driven this way and noticed a building up the hill just off the road and wondered what was here. As typically happens with our meetings at restaurants without a separate room, the actual meeting was held outside in the parking lot after dinner.

Club Business:

  • The President announced that at the end of this meeting he would be resigning his post rather than risk impeachment proceedings. Okay, not really, the Bogarduses have sold their house and are going to follow through with the whole moving to the left coast thing.
  • Brian agreed to keep maintaining the website from Oregon (they have internet out there too) until someone locally steps up to do it.
  • A small chunk of time was spent discussing upcoming events, both pre-existing and new. See the calendar below and keep your eye on the website for details.
  • Along those lines, for the Club’s Christmas Party, Tom Varallo has spoken to the Masons about trying to line up the same venue and catering as the previous years.
  • Nomination for Club officers happens at the November meeting. To paraphrase George St John, former headmaster at Choate School in Connecticut, “As has often been said, the Miata owner who loves his Club will always ask not ‘what can it do for me?’ but ‘what can I do for it?’ “


  • See Dennis Mason for name tags, if you so desire.
  • 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 are yours for the asking, 1 per Miata.
  • Coffee mugs and other items are available from Cafe Press
  • Communigraphics in North Augusta has our logo, for $8 you can have it embroidered on just about anything.
  • 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.

New Business/Upcoming calendar events:

Oct 12 Pumpkin Run Car Show – Back Side of Augusta Mall On your own
Oct 26 Fall Steeplechase – Bruce’s Field, Aiken Tom Varallo
Nov 1-3 Deals Gap Trip – Robbinsville, NC Brian & Donna Bogardus (sort of)
Nov 7 November Dinner Meeting – TBA Tom Varallo


The Secretary was not present for the meeting, and unlike 2 months ago, the President didn’t bother claiming that he would remember what went on. Also unlike 2 months ago the quick thinking Acting Recording Secretary, Gary Ly, wasn’t present, so there is no audio. Any errors or omissions in these minutes are purely unintentional and solely my responsibility – respectfully submitted, Brian Bogardus.

25 Years Ago – Fall 1994

Vroom with A View

By Barbara Feinman

BANGOR, MAINE–There aren’t a lot of people in Maine, and there are even fewer Miatas. In fact, there isn’t a surplus of much up here, except lovely views, black flies, cheap lobsters, and good roads to explore.

For as long as I can remember I’ve had this romantic notion of living in New England, driving along winding coastal roads, a perfect blend of nature and technology. So when the executive editor of The Bangor Daily News asked me to come be the newspaper’s summer writing coach, I accepted immediately, visions of lighthouses and Longfellow preoccupying my thoughts.

When it was time to leave Maryland I stuffed clothes, books, etc. into every square inch of my Miata, setting out on the longest trip I’d ever driven solo–more than 700 miles. Because I have a highly developed aptitude for losing my way I make a point of bringing along a navigator on excursions farther than the video store. But there wasn’t room for a passenger and I knew, once and for all, it was time to confront my cartophobia.

“It’s easy,” my sister said, “You don’t even need a map. Just go north. If you hit Canada you’ll know you went too far.”

Thanks for the advice, sis.

A few days later I arrived in Bangor–a sprawling metropolis famous for Paul Bunyon, home of horror writer Stephen King, and also the final stop on Greyhound’s bus line.

My boss had invited me to stay at his home until I found a place to live. Before I began my apartment search I needed a day of acclimation–get my bearings, as my father would say. Come to think of it, I’ve yet to see my father lose his bearings. He’s the kind of guy who drives with one of those dashboard compasses; not because he needs it, but just in case.

When I turned the key to get in the trunk the latch failed to release. My boss gave it a try. Still no action. There’s nothing like not being able to get at your toothbrush after spending two days on the interstate.

“I read about this in a Miata newsletter,” I told my boss, jiggling the key compulsively. “Defective trunk locks are not unheard of.” It was Saturday. Forty-eight hours till I could seek professional help. And of course, I noted to myself wearily, my warranty had run out. This was not boding well, karma-wise, in terms of my summer.

Monday morning first thing I drove over to the Bangor Mazda dealership. I went into my routine about how the trunk lock must have been defective, that it shouldn’t matter that the warranty had run out… The mechanic was silent as I went on and on. Finally he said, “Yup, I’ll have a look at it.”

About two minutes later he came and found me in the waiting room. “You want to see what was wrong with your trunk?”

I jumped up and followed him.

He stuck the key in the lock, smirked, and then the trunk popped open. Goose feathers flew everywhere.

“Err, I guess I packed it a little too tight,” I said, removing the culprit.

“I guess so,” he agreed, blowing a feather away from his face. “It jammed the lock.”

“Yeah,” I said, flushed. “So how much do I owe you?”

“Nothing,” he replied. “Welcome to Maine.”

As I drove off, pillow now safely stashed in the front seat, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw he was watching me drive away, laughing and shaking his head.

“Welcome to Maine,” I mumbled, remembering the state slogan while plucking a goose feather out of my hair, “The way life should be.”

After I got the trunk situation resolved it was time to find a home. I circled an ad in the classifieds: “Reliable, responsible roommate needed. Room available in horse farm.” Horse farm, huh? Now that would he a Maine experience.

Forty-eight hours later I found myself settling in to my new room at the Horse Of Course horse farm in Winterport, an old village along the Penobscot River. My roommates were to be eight horses, a beagle, an Irish Wolfhound, a barn cat, and one extremely nice riding instructor named Linda, who owns and runs this place.

My Miata was an interesting addition to the collection of trucks, hay conveyors and other assorted contraptions that cluttered the barnyard. In fact, my car was a conversation piece for the endless stream of equestrians, potato farmers and neighbors stopping by for a cup of coffee.

The attention my car attracted was fun, yet there were days when I would have preferred to be inconspicuous.

“Hey BLUE!” I heard someone yell as I sat at a red light in downtown Bangor one afternoon. Our police reporter and I were out on assignment. We looked over. There were two guys in a pickup truck hanging out the window. Emphasis on pickup.

“Yeah?” “What kinda car is that?”

When I replied they looked the car over, then us. “Ya wanna trade?”

“I could use a truck,” I said, shrugging. The sting of my jammed trunk had not completely worn off. The light changed and I moved to shift into gear.

As I drove off we could hear him yell, “You want to go for a motorcycle ride?”

A friend from New York came to visit towards the end of my stay here. She craved a few days away from the city and the humidity, and she wanted to make the most of her temporary liberation while her two teenage sons were at camp. She told them she was going up to Maine to drive around with the top down on her friend’s Miata–summer camp for adults.

The weather cooperated, delivering four days of perfect cruising conditions. I charted a route up and down the coast of Maine, and armed with my newly honed navigational skills and a Maine road atlas, we set off. My friend, Flip, spent a lot of her time, eyes closed, smiling, enjoying the sea air as we zoomed along.

“LOOK!”, I would yell, whenever I noticed a particularly beautiful view. She would open her big green eyes, peer out at the ocean, and then with the serenity of a Trappist monk, she would smile and gently let her lids slip shut again.

During our four-day road trip we passed a few Miatas here and there. “Why do you wave at some Miatas and not others?” she said, momentarily rallying from her zen coma.

“Well, you’re supposed to wave,” I explained. “It’s like a secret fraternity or something. But sometimes I can tell that the driver isn’t going to wave back, so I don’t wave.”

Flip was silent, eyebrows raised. “You always wave at other blue Miatas,” she pointed out, trying to identify a pattern. “Well yeah, because there’s a special bond there.”

At this, she couldn’t help herself, sighing, eyes rolling dramatically.

She may have outwardly mocked my Miata fever, but by the end of the trip I could tell Flip was secretly coveting my car. We stopped at one of those scenic overlooks and sat watching the water. “It’s perfect,” she murmured, eyes fixed on the waves pounding the shore. “Perfect.”

One of our final stops was an L.L. Bean outlet. When we returned to the parking lot with our loot we tried to jam cotton blankets and flannel shirts into the trunk. I remembered the pillow incident and warned Flip against over-stuffing. If we couldn’t fit everything in the trunk we were going to have to put the top up and use the back shelf for storage, I remarked.

“No,” she said firmly, shoving packages around fiercely, “whatever happens, the top stays down.”

Whatever happened, I couldn’t go back to the dealer with a stuck trunk again. Where’s a guy with a pickup truck when you need him, I thought.

Copyright 1994, Miata Magazine. Reprinted without permission.


September 2019 Meeting Minutes

When: September 5th, 2019

Where: California Dreaming, Augusta

Who: Cathy and Sonny Black, Brian and Donna Bogardus, Kurt and Karen Breitinger, Mike and Shirley Dyer, Larry and Rita Garner, Jeff Kelley and Gary Lynn, Glen and Deb Link, Dennis and Karol Mason, Hal and Trudy Scott, Darryl Shipman and Sherry Moore, and Tom Varallo.

Thanks to Kurt and Karen Breitinger for planning this dinner meeting.  We all talked, ordered, and ate a tasty dinner before adjourning to the parking lot to hold a quick meeting.

Treasurer’s Report: The balance started at $1056.91, and added $10 in dues (New member Pat Charlotte), and deducted $50 to Alzheimer’s Association for flowers for Dennis’s Mom, ending balance is $1016.91.

Club Business:

  • As of now, Brian & Donna are still planning the Deals Gap/Leaf Peep drive on Friday-Sunday November 1-3rd.  We will be spending Friday and Saturday night there and head home on your own whenever Sunday.  (This drive will be held unless Brian and Donna sell their house before then)  See the website for updates, and more info.
  • Karol is planning a drive for 21 Sep, and had intended to plan a drive to White Hills Farm in Dearing, GA.  But it looks like they go to the Augusta Market on Saturdays so we may not be able to get into the farm that day.  Look to the website for updates.
  • 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.


  • See Dennis Mason for name tags, if you so desire.
  • 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.

Upcoming calendar events:

21 Sep Breakfast & Drive – TBD Karol Mason
3 Oct Dinner Meeting – TBD, North Augusta Brenda Hays
12 Oct Pumpkin Run Car Show –

Back Side of Augusta Mall

On your own
1-3 Nov Deals Gap/Leaf Peep trip Brian & Donna Bogardus

2019 Bug Splat Summary

This is not an actual photo of the number of cars that showed up to kill bugs, but it felt that way to the organizers…who at the start were way too busy handing out dot stickers and route maps and removing any previous bug splats off the noses of cars and then again at the end with judging and handing out prizes to take any photos, so if you did take pictures, could you kindly email them to masters.miata.club@gmail.com, so I can add them to this post.

When: Saturday, August 17, 2019
Where: Greg’s Gas Plus, Sonic and the dark back roads of South Carolina in between
Attending: Sarah Acord, Donna & Brian Bogardus, Don & Kaye Boltz, Ellie & David Brock, Pat Charlotte, Shirley & Mike Dyer, Brenda Hays & Guest1, Glen Link & Deb Tonini, Dennis & Karol Mason, Trudy & Hal Scott, Stacey & Cindy Timmerman, Margie & Bill Vandermaas, Ralf & Annie Wilms and Sue & Dave Woomer.

There were 3 cars already parked in the usual spot by the time we arrived at Greg’s Gas Plus.2 And soon after Miatas started rolling in. And rolling in. And rolling in. Quickly we filled the left side of the parking lot. They still kept coming and now they were lined up in a double row on the left side of the building. It has been a few years since we have had this large a turnout. Departure time was set for 8:15 and just about the time everyone were heading towards their cars to leave, an 18-wheeled behemoth inched its way into the parking lot to fill up the business’s gas tanks leaving barely room for the first 4 or 5 cars to get out.

Consequently, when we did leave, where we normally lead the troops, Donna and I ended up about car number #4. Cars #5 & 6 were not too far behind us, but after that the next 8 had to wait a bit to leave the start point as random OTMs3 came along on SC230. We were not too worried as I had gone over the route with several people and we did hand out a copy of the map for the technical 6 right turn route. When the light rain started after about 10 miles of the first leg, most everyone shrugged it off, but it started to come down a little harder as each of the next few miles were driven. When we got to the turn onto SC23 we caught car #2 with it’s roof up already and could see car #3 pulled over and raising theirs. A little further down the road we found the lead car pulled over and car #2 pulled over with them. So now Donna and I were in our usual spot, in front, with the rest of the 13 cars stretched back beyond our visible horizon. About then the rain tapered off to nothing and nearly all the folks who stopped to put their tops up, just left them up rather than stop again.

The rain, besides the damp car interiors and occupants, had little effect on the overall outcome of the Bug Splatting Contest because it seems that most of the insects came out of hiding after the rain stopped. At turn No. 4 onto Sweetwater in Car #10, the Timmermans, noticed that the cars ahead of him continued on straight. I guess the lead car of that, as it turns out 4 car group, either missed my briefing or didn’t look at the map or both and they all went the more pedestrian and 2 mile longer route to end up at the Sonic with everyone else.

The big, and I mean literally big, winners of the night were the Dyers as they claimed the beautiful Biggest Bug Trophy to take home with them. There were a couple other cars who had very similar sized splats on the front, but Mike & Shirley also had a quarter-sized, still twitching, partially flattened mayfly on the lower bumper that put them over the top. Glenn and Deb earned the Fewest Bug honors by arriving at the finish with as clean a car as when they started and if I didn’t know it was impossible, I would swear they must have activated a Star Trek-like front shield. The Vandermaas’s, er, Vandermaases, oh never mind, Margie and Bill did a direct flight path crossing with a formation of miniature housefly looking insects to take home the Most Bugs prize. Trudy and Hal Scott were awarded the Closest to the Dot prize for there own squashed mayfly that was within a couple inches of their green Avery dot.

Because the Rally Masters had a little bit too much fun in the Dollar Store there were also four Door Prizes up for grabs for the rest of the folks who didn’t claim any of the “major” prizes of the night. The Timmermans took home a pack of edible glowing worms.4 The Boltzes left with a wooden 3-D puzzle of a spider that they didn’t have before. The Brocks were the lucky recipients of a Matchbox-sized Chip Foose modified VW Beetle. And Ms. Acord received a possible cheat for a biggest bug win next year with a prize that consisted of life-size plastic Palmetto Bug dining on a fried egg.5

New Member Pat Charlotte’s Photos:

Dave & Sue Woomer’s Photos:

August Dinner Meeting

When: Thursday, August 1, 2019

Where: Ferrando’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant in Aiken

Who: Donna & Brian Bogardus, Karen & Kurt Breitinger, Shirley & Mike Dyer, Brenda Hays, Gary Ly, Margie & Bill Vandermaas, Annie & Ralf Wilms and Sue & Dave Woomer

Treasurer’s Report: This covers the months of June and July. The balance started at $1026.91, and $30 in dues for new and renewing members was added, so the ending balance is $1026.91.

Club Business:
• The President opened the meeting and welcomed our 4 guests/prospective members – Reese & Tara and Steve & Robin.
• The next couple of events were fleshed out.
• The President then lost control of the meeting for several minutes, as these things are wont to do, before finally adjourning it.

• See Dennis Mason for name tags, if you so desire.
• 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 Cafe Press
• Communigraphics in North Augusta has our logo, for $8 you can have it embroidered on just about anything.

Upcoming Events:
Please remember to RSVP to our events by commenting on the event post or directly to them via email or phone – 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.

17 August Bug Splat Brian & Donna Bogardus
5 September Dinner Meeting Kurt Breitinger
1-3 November (maybe) Deals Gap trip Brian & Donna Bogardus


The Secretary was not present for the meeting, and after the President claimed that he would remember what went on, quick thinking Gary Ly decided to act as Recording Secretary by hitting the record button on his phone. He missed the Treasurer’s Report, but for those of you who couldn’t be there and really miss the “excitement” of a Club Meeting, below is 5+ minutes of audible bliss: