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Ten Years Ago This Month – September 2001

Eagles Football Game

Date: Saturday, September 22, 2001
Time: 8:00 AM
Place: Georgia Welcome Center
Members Attending: Brian Bogardus, Donna Bogardus, Kurt Breitinger, Leroy Delionbach, John Haff, Andrew Miller, Cathy Miller and Rudy Wilmoth.

Club member Lee Davis, who works for Georgia Southern University, thought that it might be fun to have us come to Statesboro and watch a college football game. Guess what? He was right, it was fun.

Fellow Master’s Miata Club member, Georgia Southern alumni and big time Eagle football fan Leroy Delionbach graciously agreed to lead our pack of buzzing sportscars down to Allen E. Paulson Stadium. After the early morning fog wore off, the trip down US 25 was a pleasant one. And it seemed a lot shorter than I imagined. We may ask Lee about that, next time he drives up and back in one day to attend an event here.

Before heading over to the stadium we made a pit stop at a KFC in Statesboro for those of us who didn’t bring any tailgate fare. The sign outside said they didn’t open until 11:00 am, but the door was open when we got there at 10:30 and we weren’t the only ones getting chicken-to-go either.

Lee had told us that he spoke to someone and they agreed to let us park in a primo spot and waive the usual $10 fee. Because something came up and Lee couldn’t attend we ended up parking in with the rest of the crowd, but whatever Leroy told the guy with the walkie-talkie, it was enough so that we didn’t have to pay the ten bucks. The folks that regularly attend college football games are serious about tailgating. Motorcoaches, pick-ups with full BBQ rigs trailered behind them, tents, awnings, flags, banners, electric fans, TVs…. We looked a little out of place with our tiny folding chairs, KFC box lunches and an amateurish attempt at shade using John’s cockpit cover strung between two raised trunk lids. That is until some students pulled in next to us. They were perfectly happy as the five of them piled out of a small car with just a foam cooler of beer and a foam football to toss.

About an hour before game time we headed over the stadium to shop in the Eagle Gift Shop and find our seats. They were nice ones, about the 30-yard line, half way up and right in front of the cheerleaders warming up. The only down side was they were in the sun, big time. And today was a hot Georgia day. Leroy’s season tickets were about 5 rows up and 10 yards closer to mid-field, but more importantly, in the shade of the luxury and press boxes. Needless to say Leroy had a few visitors during the game to escape the heat.

The GSU Eagles are the cream of the division 1-AA football programs, they have been National champs 6 times, including the last 2 in a row. Today’s opponents were the Mocs of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and not a football powerhouse at all. I thought Mocs was short for Moccasins, the snake not the shoes (after all how fearsome are shoes,) but a visit to their web site shows a picture of a bird in train engineers coveralls. I guess it is short for mockingbird? The game started slowly with each team feeling each other out, but after the Eagles scored once, the floodgates opened (in one direction.) By halftime it was Eagles 42, Mocs 0. Most of us bailed at the half because of prior commitments or having enough sun. The few who stayed were treated to more of the same in the second half, final score, GSU Eagles 70, UTC Mocs 7.

Ten Years Ago This Month – July 2001

Membership Drive/Cookout

Date: Saturday, July 14, 2001
Time: 11:00 AM
Place: Andy Jones Mazda
Members Attending: So many I lost count.
Guests Attending: 4 or 5.

Brian & Donna picked up the food money from Andy Jones GM Ken Straw. They then went shopping for picnic supplies. Just about the time Brian & Donna returned with a car load of eats, in pulled Kurt and Karen, who had agreed to come a bit early to help set-up.

The four of us made ourselves at home in the back parking lot. We set up the grill near a parts trailer, as that was the only shade for miles (and not much shade at that.) We then used plastic parts bins for tables for the food stuff and soft drinks. We needed just one more table, so we asked Ken and he let us use the one from the employee break room (I wonder what they ate lunch on?)

Soon, a crowd gathered. It was made up of old friends, new faces and some casual acquaintances mixed with the usual gang. Conversations blossomed, hoods were raised, soft drinks drunk and food was consumed.

After the 24 hotdogs, 20 hamburgers, potato salad and various chips were finished off we got down to giving away some door prizes. Andy Jones had donated 2 Mazda hats, 2 oil filters and a Mazda key chain to go along with the Enthusiasts Manual and Gates die-cast Miata model the club bought to give away.

Our current club members must have been on their best behavior, because we got a couple of perspective members, and even had one person to join on the spot.

If you see a 2001 BRG Special Edition around town, be sure to wave, it might be our newest member Sharon Pentecost.

Ten Years Ago This Month – June 2001

Pool Party

Date: Saturday, June 16, 2001
Time: 11:00 AM
Place: Georgia Welcome Center
Members Attending: Brian Bogardus, Donna Bogardus, Jim Creer, Judy Creer, Leroy Delionbach, Carol Haff, John Haff, Rudy Wilmoth and Brian Wynne.
Guests Attending: Mike Holland and Taylor Holland.

Jim met Brian, Donna, Brian and Rudy at the Welcome Center. After a short, by Club standards, chat period he led us over to his house. Just as our group arrived at 4047 Fairfax Street, up pulled John and Carol.

Judy welcomed all of us there and handed everyone something to carry out to the pool. John was elected cook this year and fired up the grill. Leroy showed up shortly afterwards. Soon we were eating and swimming and having a great time.

Jim got a call from wayward Mike, seems he was lost somewhere near Gordon Hwy. Mike and his daughter drove over from Florence to go for a swim and also to glean some Greddy Turbo installation tips. Mike has one on order for his ‘91 BRG and was going to install it himself like Jim had done on his car. Taylor made herself right at home in the pool with the rest of us Miata-Aquanauts.

Brian B. couldn’t get anybody else interested in a Big-Splash Contest so he had one amongst himself. Naturally he won.

Usually we are hapless sitting ducks against Jim and his water cannon, but Rudy came prepared this year. He was armed with a model XP 310 Super Soaker, sporting two compression chambers, a pressure gauge, a wide, easy to grip pump handle and a big capacity tank. While the Super Soaker is awsome it is still a little under powered compared to the “Cannon.”

Food, swimming, diving and water fights, top it all off with some of John Haff’s XL5000 Super Calorie cheesecake and life doesn’t get any better. Sorry you missed it.

Ten Years Ago This Month – May 2001

Drive-In Movie

Date: Saturday, May 19, 2001
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Big-Mo
Members Attending: Judy Arrowood, Nicholas Arrowood, Zachary Arrowood, Brian Bogardus, Donna Bogardus, Karen Breitinger, Kurt Breitinger, Jim Creer, Judy Creer, Bruce Douglas, Chris Kaufman, Ron Kaufman, Jack Norris, Karen Norris, Cindy Timmerman, Stacey Timmerman, Rudy Wilmoth, Anita Wylds and Henry Wylds.
Guests Attending: Almost as many.

Man did we have a big crowd to go along with the 9 Club Miatas. Judy was there in the VW Bug convertible with the kids, four Miatas from the Columbia area came over to check us out and Stacey invited half his neighborhood: a Miata, a Z3 and an actual Austin-Healy Bugeye Sprite, plus Bruce‘s sister, a friend and the friend’s kid in a Hyundai. Good thing the trip to the Big-Mo is 40 miles or the first car would have reached the drive-in about the same time as the last car left the Sonic.

We got to the drive-in about 40 minutes after they opened the gates and it was packed. There were only a few spots together on the back row, the rest of our caravan had to tuck into spots scattered through out the place. I’m sure the draw was the two movies on the bill, Shrek and Mummy II.

Of course just as we were settling in, the rain started. Not too hard and it stopped just as soon as we all got our boots off and tops up. The silver lining was that it cooled the temperature down by about 10-15 degrees. Nice night for a movie. Shrek was the good movie for the night. Of the half dozen flicks we’ve seen here, I think it was the best one.

Only a few stayed after the first movie. Good thing some of us left too, as there was a line of people waiting outside the drive-in to get in to see Mummy II.

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.