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10 Years Ago This Month

To Boldy Go

Date: April 24, 1999
Time: 10:00 AM
Place: South Carolina Welcome Center
Members Present: Brian Bogardus, Donna Bogardus, Jim Creer, Hilda Delionbach, Leroy Delionbach, Jill Dobson, Susan Harrison, Kris Kaufman, Ron Kaufman, Stephanie Kaufman, Russ Schwalbert, Cindy Timmerman, Stacey Timmerman, Ernest Van Horn, Rudy Wilmoth and Brian Wynne.

….as usual, it took an act of congress to get the assembled to stop looking under hoods or checking out new Miata goodies and actually into their cars for the drive to Columbia. We finally got going with Ernest in the lead of a 9 strong line of Miatae. Jim Creer, with co-pilot Ronald Reagan (really Shawn Arrowood with a RR mask), took up his usual position at the back of the pack.

We began with a short 4-mile trip on I-20 until we could exit onto US25 for the mostly back road trip to the State Museum. The first few miles of US25N are lined with the elaborate homes of the infamous Travelers, also known as gypsies, that have “starred” on such shows as CBS’s 60 Minutes and ABC’s 20/20. Soon we were on two-lane blacktop zipping through the South Carolina countryside, slowing only to pass through little towns with strange names, like Smegma, Spasmodic, Frog and the far-flung Islands of Langerhands.

First stop was Shealy’s Bar-B-Q in Leesville. This is the official Master’s Miata lunch place on our trips to South Carolina’s capitol city. We always park across the street in a gravel lot, ignoring the numerous No Parking signs, as this is the only place to park a group of cars and you know us, we’re a lawless bunch. Shealy’s is a buffet style restaurant with so much variety I always get to the end of my plate before I get to the end of the food selections. After lunch the group reassembled in the parking lot to dust off cars, open hoods, blah, blah, blah… I swear, we need to issue the Rally Master a cattle prod.

Finally, on the road again. We had mostly smooth sailing until we ran into the town of Lexington, here traffic and traffic lights made keeping the group together interesting. Thank goodness for CBs. Somewhere between Lexington and Irmo we picked up a blue Miata on the tail end of our group. The trip to Irmo was just so that we could drive over the dam that forms Lake Murray before heading into Columbia. Cool side-trip, not exactly Hoover Dam, but big lake on the left and a big hole on the right. Wouldn’t want to drive off either side. Somewhere near the dam we picked up a black Miata, but they didn’t stay long.

Just as we were getting ready for the final sprint down I-126, we snapped the last three cars from our tail by taking a right turn just out of their site. Fortunately we realized this while they were still in CB range and circled the wagons in a strip shopping center while waiting for their return. It took a while because the road we were on didn’t have a left turn arrow to it. Kind of interesting to watch the drivers of giant SUV get frustrated waiting for a line of Miatas to exit the parking lot and have to back up and go use the other exit.

While in line to pay at the museum someone noticed that we could save 50¢ if we were a group of ten or more. Somehow I got elected to collect the money. High finance ensued, fives, ones, twenties and tens flew. When I got to the cashier I handed her a wad of money, but I had no idea how many people were there. Two people counted and came up with 16 so that is what I told her. Well, it turns out I gave her $18 too much. We got the overage back in ones and started to pass them out to everyone as a rebate. Then I handed out the tickets. We were three short; turns out there were 19 of us. So I collected back the dollar rebate from everyone and got back in line. When I got to the same cashier again I told her we miscounted and I needed three more tickets, could we get the discount still? She handed me three tickets and said, “Don’t worry about paying, just go, it will be easier.” For her. I was the one who went back around and handed out 18 ones to everyone again. (I don’t know why there were 18 dollar bills and 19 people. Who got shortchanged? Was it me? Who knows.)

We all made a beeline for the Star Trek exhibit. So had everyone else, it seemed, who was visiting the museum today. This area was packed, so much so that the rest of the museum looked empty. The exhibit was labeled “The Science of Star Trek” and most of it looked like Next Generation computer consoles that were hands-on type of things spaced about in three galleries. Hard to tell what they were about though, as you couldn’t get close without pushing your way through lots people. There were several costumes and make-up heads from Next Generation, as well as costumes from a couple of the Star Trek movies sprinkled about in glass cases. All this was filled in with those cheesy “life-size” cardboard cutouts that you can buy at the mall. The best thing there was a place where you could stand in front of a blue screen and get “beamed” off the Enterprise and then interact with computer generated images on a distant planet. Unfortunately everyone there knew it was the coolest thing as well, because the line for it looked like the one outside Mann’s Chinese Theater for the “Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.” I guess that maybe I was spoiled by the National Wild Turkey Federation museum last month, because we were the only ones in the place.

Still in all it was a great time, a nice top-down drive with all-you-can-eat barbecue for lunch.

10 Years Ago This Month

Wild Turkey

Date: March 27, 1999
Time: 10:00 AM
Place: South Carolina Welcome Center
Members Present: Shawn Arrowood, Brian Bogardus, Donna Bogardus, Karen Breitinger, Kurt Breitinger, Jim Creer, Judy Creer, Hilda Delionbach, Leroy Delionbach, Jill Dobson, Clara Garin, Wes Garin, Jean Schwalbert, Russ Schwalbert, Cindy Timmerman, Stacey Timmerman, Brian Wynne.

Rally Master Stacey led the group on a zig-zaggy route through Aiken and Edgefield counties before piloting us through Edgefield’s downtown square on our way to the National Wild Turkey Federation Museum. You should have seen the looks on some faces as nine flashy little sports cars cruised town. It must have been the quantity, Miatas aren’t totally alien in town, because as we left the square there was a red ‘99 parked on the street.

The National Wild Turkey Federation Museum is not normally open on Saturdays, but they were kind enough to open the doors just for us. The NWTF is along the same lines as Ducks Unlimited, their goal is the preservation and proliferation of this unique American bird. Special thanks to Joel Petersen for taking time out of his weekend to give us the grand tour. While he was explaining about the 5 sub-species of turkeys, Joel must have noticed some glazing of eyes, because he asked if anyone was a NWTF member, no one was. He then asked if anyone was a hunter, no one was. The closest we got was one of our members was also a NRA member. Of course had we taken Joel outside I’m sure we could have gotten the same response in him as one of us described the differences between a ’92, a ’95 and a ’99 Miata. The museum is still a work in progress. It only opened last year, but what is finished, is great. Even seeing the unfinished part was kind of like getting a behind the scenes look at museum making, as they were finishing up more dioramas for two other sub-species of turkey.

Afterwards, we made our way through town and ended our rally at Magnolia Dale. Here Brenda Jones of the Home of the Edgefield County Historical Society provided us a grand tour of the 160+ year-old house. While we poked around the antebellum home Stacey and Cindy Timmerman went over to the Pool Hall on the square to pick up our lunch. In a scene reminiscent of “Gone with the Wind” our group gathered around the table in the main dining room and feasted on chilidogs, fries and pop.

Pleasant drive, we learned something, we ate. Nicely done rally Stacey & Cindy.

10 Years Ago This Month

Phollow The Photo Rally

Date: February 27, 1999
Time: 10:00 AM
Place: Andy Jones Mazda
Members Present: Barbara Blatter, Brian Bogardus, Donna Bogardus, Karen Breitinger, Jim Creer, Judy Creer, Wes Garin, Susan Harrison, Kris Kaufman, Ron Kaufman, Stephanie Kaufman, Sean Kelly, Russ Schwalbert, Cheryl Van Horn, Ernest Van Horn, Anita Wylds and Brian Wynne.

Each team leader was given a picture of a famous landmark. The object of the rally was for each team to decide where the landmark was located, go to that location, and from there find the next clue, which led to the next landmark, etc. The only photo that was the same for all three groups was the last photo, which was a picture of the restaurant at which we were to eat: The Boll Weevil.

The club members were separated into three teams, since there were three routes. Because the photo clues were from Augusta & North Augusta and not everyone was from around there, Brian B. picked a team leader based a person’s volunteered local knowledge. Brian W. was chosen for Loop A, Jim Creer was the leader for Loop B, and Susan Harrison was the Loop C coordinator.

After eating and storytelling we headed out behind the restaurant to a big concrete pad for a group photo. Jim directed us where to park and once we were all settled, he decided the sun was wrong. So we got back into our cars to do an unorderly about face. The photo below is a candid shot by Donna as we waited for our director to get his framing just perfect.

Photo Rally

10 Years Ago This Month

6th Anniversary Dinner

Date: January 30, 1999
Time: 4:45 PM
Place: B. C. Davenports’ in North Augusta
Members Present: Judy Arrowood, Nicholas Arrowood, Zachary Arrowood, Brian Bogardus, Donna Bogardus, Karen Breitinger, David Brock, Noel Brock, Jim Creer, Judy Creer, Hilda Delionbach, Leroy Delionbach, Jill Dobson, Wes Garin, John Haff, Carol Haff, Susan Harrison, Kris Kaufman, Ron Kaufman, Stephanie Kaufman, Jennifer Kelly, Sean Kelly, Kermit Laney, Mary Ann Laney, Jean Schwalbert, Russ Schwalbert, Cindy Timmerman, Stacey Timmerman, Cheryl Van Horn, Ernest Van Horn, Brian Wynne.

Brian W. had arranged for a representative from Andy Jones to bring a ‘99 Miata to the restaurant so we could ooh and ahh over it, ask questions and maybe drive it around the block. Around the appointed time we think we saw the car drive in a driveway next door to the restaurant. Then it was spotted again driving by slow, like they were looking for us. For whatever reason, they never did make it for dinner.

There were three tables for ten set up for us in the back room. With a little help from us it was turned into festive place to eat. Jill brought some fresh ivy from home for centerpieces. She also brought 5 different color candles for the tables to represent the various Miata colors. Jim C. brought a display board with pictures from past club events along with some scrapbooks. Ernest printed out, on a big sheet of paper, information from Miata.Net on the tenth anniversary Miata. We even had balloons tied to the Men‘s Room door.

Everyone ordered from the menu and we enjoyed each other’s company. Afterward, the club members were instructed to feel underneath their chairs for the drawing of door prizes. Those that had pictures of cars either received a free oil change or a car detail (from Andy Jones). Others had pictures of various parts of the car or pictures of restaurant logos. All door prizes were distributed to the lucky winners and then the fabulous cake was served as dessert.

The most exciting part of the whole evening was the splitting of the check. Davenports has a hard and fast rule, all parties over eight are on one ticket with a 20% gratuity added. At least they were kind enough to break it into a check for each of the 3 tables and not just give us one big one for 31. On the top of each check was the total, tip included, then next to each item ordered was the price, without the tip. So not only did you have to figure out what you ordered and add it up, you also had to figure in the 20% tip. Then you had to make change of your twenty from your neighbors who then had to make change from somebody else, sheesh.

We had two new members join the club, Wes Garin (black/tan) and Susan Harrison (yellow). Hope to see them both out for other events.