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May 7th Meeting minutes

Sorry all!  I truly thought I had uploaded these minutes not long after the meeting in May but never bothered to check!  🙁

When: May 7th 2015

Where: Bucca di Beppo – We met at the restaurant, ordered our food, had a short meeting and accepted nominations for officers while waiting for our food.

Who: Mike and Shirley Dyer, Larry and Rita Garner, Dennis and Karol Mason, John and Jackie Nicholls, Hal and Trudy Scott, Richard and Evelyn Whitehurst and Rudy and Patty Wilmoth.

Treasurer’s Report: Started at $1321.47 added Income from Dues ($50 from Ludwick) and Pin sales ($20):New total $1391.47.

Old Business:
• New members please see Dennis Mason for name tags.

New Business:
• Thanks to Shirley and Mike Dyer for coordinating this dinner.
• New member Don Ludwick (not in attendance), bought Tom Varallo’s maroon and tan 2000 Miata.

Nominees:
• President – (new) Tom Varallo
• Vice President – (incumbent) Dennis Mason
• Secretary – (incumbent) Karol Mason
• Treasurer – (incumbent) John Nicholls

The following events have been planned or are anticipated:
• There is a Cars & Coffee event held every 1st Saturday in the Carolina Pottery shopping center on Washington Rd. It’s from 8-11 am. Bring your car to show it off!
• June 4th – dinner, John and Jackie have reserved an area at DeNovo on Martintown Rd. N. Augusta
• June 4th-7th is Zoomin’ in the Mountains in Jackson City, TN. There is a link on this website for more information. (Tom and Larry and Rita are planning to attend)
• June 20th – Breakfast is planned at the Airport Grill and then on to the Trenton Peach Festival
• No other breakfasts or dinners have sponsors so we are looking for folks who want to coordinate a drive, breakfast or dinner for July and later.

If you have a good idea for a drive or place to go, please bring it to a meeting and we can put it on the calendar.

Driving Matters

Alternate Title: Zoom-Zoom

Breakfast at Betsy’s Wrap Up

Donna and I arrived at Greg’s Gas Plus about 15 minutes early, so we would be there before anyone else. We were, but for too long as Hal and Trudy Scott joined us. We chatted for awhile about the usual stuff while we waited for other Miatas to arrive, but mostly marveled at the shear amount of traffic that stopped at Greg’s and 90% of it was pick up trucks. The mix was 50/50 with lawn care trailers headed south to the lawns of the cities and boat trailers headed north to Clarks Hill Lake.

At one point the lot was so full that a truck hauling a boat stopped directly in front of us. The passenger disembarked and headed into the store for ice, a rest room break or maybe just a cup of coffee. The driver came out and called to us, “You guys don’t need to go anywhere in the next 5 minutes do you?” So I asked, “What time is it?” He dug into his pocket, pulled out his phone, unlocked it, pulled up an app and said, “Seven thirty-seven.” “Actually, we probably should be gone already,” I said, “But you don’t have to move, we’re small and can get around you.” He got back in his truck and by the time I finished a quick Drivers Meeting1 and the four of us got in our cars, he was fully out of our way, so we drove off with a wave.

We arrived at Betsy’s about 10-15 minutes later than advertised and there were three Miatas already parked outside. Inside we found John & Pat Clark, Rita & Larry Garner and Tom Varallo at a table with enough empty seats for the 4 of us plus a walk-in2. The nine of us ordered our food and in typical Miata Club fashion one plate was slightly late, one plate needed to be returned for fixing and a couple of dishes weren’t piping hot.

Counting today’s group we had a total of 14 people for Breakfast at Betsy’s if you count the 5 members who ate there last week too after I published the detail’s of this month’s breakfast on the front page of the web site without the date in the post.

All and all, Betsy’s is a splendid spot for breakfast in Aiken on a Saturday morning3, the food is good and the prices are not that expensive.

1 I handed Trudy a map she didn’t need and told them, “Follow me.”
2 No one did.
3 The only day they are open for breakfast.

10 Years Ago – May 2005

TSD Rally

Date: Saturday, May 14, 2005
Time: 7:00 or 8:00 AM
Place: Rader Mazda

We had 4 cars from the Peachtree Club in Atlanta, plus 2 cars from the Carolina Cruzzzin Miata Club in Seneca to go along with the Master’s members in running the rally. In spite of the two below accounts several cars did not get lost and here are three of them; Team #8 – 1st place, Team #3 – 2nd place, Team #12 – 3rd place.

Team# (not order of finish)
1. Angela & Rick Sherwood
2. Brian & Donna Bogardus
3. Rudy Wilmoth & Patti Letizia
4. David & Nancy Glodowski (PMC)
5. Hank & Sheila Bayles (PMC)
6. Sid Brayton & Jane Bryan (PMC)
7. Sue Gray & El Powell (PMC)
8. Bruce Douglas & Norm Rischbieter
9. Dave & Bobbie Winkler
10. Bill & Janice Martin (CCMC)
11. Bill & Nancy Carkhuff (CCMC)
12. Scott Rushton & Marty Rutkowski
13. Russ & Jean Schwalbert


How many minutes is 692 seconds? And just how far will you go at an average speed of 53 MPH? Donna and I weren’t to sure about the answer to either of those questions, plus more like them, and that was our downfall. We totally blew a turn and had to backtrack several miles to re-engage the course. It threw off our time and mileage for the first segment, plus it skewed our Fiero checkpoint time so that we ended up losing out on 39 points. That probably would have been enough to put us near the top of the standings.

The general instructions for the Rally said have at least a watch with a second hand. We thought, “What for?” Last year the instructions were, turn right at the third opportunity. This year the instructions were full of: Turn right. CAST to 42MPH. Drive for 800 seconds. Turn left at next opportunity. That’s why.

First problem was all we had for a clock was the one in the dash, which just gives just hours and minutes. Second problem was our rusty math skills in dividing triple digits numbers by 60. Third problem was remembering to remember the next approximate time for a turn all the while trying to find the answers to esoteric trivia questions with the surrounding environs speeding by.

We didn’t repeat our last year’s second place finish, we finished totally out of the money, but we did win a nice prize for having the highest score on the trivia portion of the contest. – Brian Bogardus


After all the gimmick rallies I have helped put together it was time I participated in one. Sue Gray asked me to be her navigator, so I decided why not, it can’t be that hard!
I brought the stopwatch that my mom and dad used on their time speed distance rallies back in the 50’s and 60’s when they ran an MGTC and bathtub Porsche. I figured it would bring us luck.
We had to do math and drive and watch for clues while trying not get distracted by the beautiful countryside.

We started off just fine making the first few turns correctly but then I did not trust my instincts and told Sue to turn too late. Thirty minutes later we had backtracked and thought we were good to go. That’s when we started passing Sid and Jane. Hmmm… now what? Then we were doing just fine when we passed the Fiero checkpoint figuring we just needed to see the street sign for Wood Duck road and then turn right.

Well when we darn near reached Canada we decided to turn around. Another 30 minutes gone. OOPS … all along Sue and I were just totally blown away by the beautiful countryside, so we decided, “Who cares that we are lost, it is just a beautiful day for a top down Miata drive.” Several times when we were lost, we just would look at each other and howl with laughter and say, “you wanna turn around?”

We made it to the final destination restaurant with just 10 minutes before the kitchen closed! Needless to say we did not come in first place, but we like our answer for one question about a Beatles song better than the correct one!

Answer sheets were graded and prizes were provided from Rader Mazda that included gift certificates, oil changes, chrome top latch covers and Mazda baseball caps.

All seemed to have a good time and I did not hear of anyone having to ride home without their navigator! Thanks to Sue for driving and next time we will do better! – El Powell

Note from Sue: You bet we’ll do better. I’ve got the hang of this now, and I can’t wait to do another one! Thanks El for being my navigator and for not minding all my quick U-turns on country roads. :-)

April 2nd Meeting Minutes

When: April 2nd 2015

Where: Red Bowl in Aiken – We met at the restaurant, ordered our food, and had a short meeting while waiting for our food.

Who: Brian and Donna Bogardus, Kurt Breitinger, John and Pat Clark, Mike and Shirley Dyer, Larry and Rita Garner, Alan and Jill Johnson, Dennis and Karol Mason, John and Jackie Nicholls, Karl Painter, Bob and Pat Tarrant, Tom Varallo, David and Sue Woomer and prospective new members Charles Crosby (friend of Mike and Shirley Dyer), and Steve (friend of Karl Painter) .

Treasurer’s Report: Started at $1271.47 added Income from Dues ($20 from Brock and McCorkle) and Pin sales ($30): New total $1321.47.

Old Business:
• New members please see Dennis Mason for name tags.
• Larry Garner has more cards to tuck under windshield wipers or handout to prospective members.

New Business:
• Thanks to Jackie Nicholls for coordinating this dinner.
• President Larry Garner and Rita, Karol and Dennis Mason and Denise and Robert McCorkle all went to Miata’s at Myrtle Beach. Not as big a turnout as in the past but still a fun time. Weather was a bit chilly but otherwise nice. There was a poker run, a 160 mile round trip drive to an excellent restaurant called Captain Pete’s, and a car show and judging. Next year the plan is to tour the New South Brewery as one of the events.

The following events have been planned or are anticipated:
• There is a Cars & Coffee event held every 1st Saturday in the Carolina Pottery shopping center on Washington Rd. It’s from 8-11 am. Bring your car to show it off!
• May 7th – dinner coordinated by the Dyers at Buca di Beppo at Augusta Mall at 6:30 pm
• May 16th – breakfast Brian and Donna will coordinate
• June 4th – dinner, John and Jackie will coordinate (maybe DeNovo on Martintown Rd. N. Augusta)
• June 4th-7th is Zoomin’ in the Mountains in Jackson City, TN. There is a link on this website for more information.

Other news:
• Gerald Jones Mazda is moving to Gerald Jones Group on Flowing Wells/Washington Rd./Columbia Rd. and may have the new Miata this summer.

If you have a good idea for a drive or place to go, please bring it to a meeting and we can put it on the calendar.