THE 36th ANNUAL VINTAGE MEET 2017
The sun comes up early in the long days of summer, but not early before my alarm went off on Saturday, July the 15th. A quick shower and a doubly strong mug of coffee, and it was time to hit the road for another show. This one took place at Shoreline Community College in the state of Washington. The Vintage Meet is hosted by Cascade Kombis and boasts a great show and a fabulous swap meet.
We breezed through the border, because who in their right minds would be up that early in the morning? Braced by caffeine and the promise of adventure, we hit the I-5 not knowing what to expect. As we rounded a bend in the road near North Lake Samish, we found Mike Ray pulled over at the side of the road. We stopped to assist, but he had everything under control, so we wished him well and carried on.
We arrived reasonably early and were able to park with ease. Already the parking lot showed promise of what was to come. Mark Morales was at the entrance to welcome us. Past the gate, the cars were all lined up in their respective sections. As we strolled through we met Tom and Mel Weston, with Jake Rozell and Taylor Clark not far behind. We rapidly made our way down to the swap area, and in no time I had spent all my readily available income with items I could use in Dubcessories and a sweet little stovetop oven I purchased from Jennifer Heib (cookies and muffins at the next campout, yessss!!). But there were more things that caught my eye. And I needed some funds. It turns out that a couple of other people also needed some cash, and so I was commandeered to chauffeur them to the nearest bank.
A small taste of the show
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when Shane and Don got in the back of my car. First of all, we did the bank run, but along the way, they spotted a Fred Meyers and a Walgreens. Don’s eagle eye noticed an Estate Sale sign, and the route was planned by my two rather boisterous backseat drivers. I will, however, give credit where credit is due. Shane is very good at providing directions, although he might have overdone the directives a little bit. Spencer and I followed those two in the stores, having never witnessed the phenomenon firsthand. I have to say, it is highly entertaining. A Nerf gun was located for Jake Rozell at Fred Meyers, a dozen donuts were purchased. Walgreens netted a bunch of Funko Pops and some Pringles for my starving son and then we made our way back to the estate sale.
That deserves a paragraph all of its own. There were several small treasures, and I was literally running, with Spencer in tow, clutching his vintage portable multiband radio find, to get ahead of those two in case there was some treasure. As it turns out, we each found something, and Shane found a one-eyed kitty for Connie, and I found something for someone else. Unfortunately, Shane also found a noisemaker. Which he used. All the way back to the show. And in the show. I knew I should have activated the rear door child locks. In all honesty, the amusement that trip gave me was one of the highlights of the day (don’t tell them that though).
I managed to sell a couple of stacking stools, had a nice Mexican lunch and wandered around buying a few more items and a couple of shirts. Spencer went off with his other Mom to peruse the vehicles in the show and get an ice cream and I relaxed. Until I heard my name on the PA system. Twice. Loudly. Apparently that great place to park where I’d be fine, was not. I quickly removed my offending vehicle (not even a VW, only the Camry adorned with the VW badge) and slunk back to where we were sitting.
The swap meet on the oval
Suddenly the thought of going home and missing Jim Brown racing the following day in the Nationals was unthinkable. When Jim and Connie offered up a spare room for Spencer and me, I quickly made some calls and altered some plans. The purchase of a couple of toothbrushes and we were off at the end of the day for a meal, some rest and to prepare for the upcoming day. What a wonderful show. We enjoyed it immensely, both the venue and the size of the swap meet were amazing.
That evening, we were delighted to be taken in the Thing by Jim and Connie Brown for a personalized tour around Gig Harbor. What a quaint and wonderful community. We all thoroughly enjoyed the burgers and fries and onion rings at Gourmet Burgers and were treated to milkshakes if we were able to finish our enormous meals. I am pleased to say I my salted caramel milkshake was beyond scrumptious. I fell in love with the town and all that it had to offer, but maybe that also had something to do with our wonderful and gracious host and hostess. Bedtime came early, and I think everyone was exhausted from the excitement of the day.
Gig Harbor, you won my heart
THE VW NATIONALS, Sunday, July 16th, 2017
I woke up Sunday morning, not having a clue where I was. All I knew was that I was comfortable and I did not want to get up. I got dressed and was up and about before anyone else, and enjoyed the serenity of the morning. Although it was overcast, there was no threat of rain. What a beautiful view, and what a gorgeous home.
Within the hour, we were on our way to the Pacific Raceways, where there was to be a show, a swap meet and the drags. We were able to enter the pit area as “crew”, which was nice. After doing what we could to help set up, we walked the rows of the swap meet. A lot of the vendors had been at the vintage meet, but there were some new ones as well.
Jim set about getting Jimbo II ready for the day, and before we knew it he was heading to the track to do a run. While we waited for the drags to begin, an actual rabbit bolted across the track. The comments were flying about speed, direction, etcetera, and we were disappointed we didn’t get a picture of it. The irony of it was definitely not lost on us. Both Keven and Scott Brown were there and it was really wonderful to watch the family working together. I just stood back and took it all in. It was shaping up to be a promising day. Meanwhile, Spencer was busy trying to race with the rolling creeper seat. Somehow that day, he became “Number four”, a moniker he seems to very much like. Ken Baker and his friend Tom arrived as well to cheer Jim on and check out the races, show and swap. There were friends and acquaintances everywhere, and it was great to chat with them in between races. There was a lot of down time due to oil on the track and the like; so we took advantage of it, and checked out the vehicles and the now-fully open swap meet. There were definitely new items up for grabs and we scoured every area for treasures. My find of the day was a vintage Empi Imp tin toy in the original box, with the surfboard still attached. I had purchased a Thing as well, but Kevin bought the other one and beat me to giving it to Connie and Jim.
The final run of the day ended with Jim breaking out, which was disappointing, but his time was 11.9, which had been his goal: to make it into the elevens. Watching that run, you could just feel it was “right”. Jim had steadily improved his times throughout the day, and the final one was the icing on the cake.
The day had come to a close, and as we packed up to go, Ken and Tom decided to drive with us. There’s safety in numbers and we go by the motto “No man left behind”. We said our goodbyes and drove out of the pit area, only to meet Kevin, with a big grin on his face and a Schwinn Pixie (albeit in pieces) in his hands.
That pretty well summed up the weekend. There was something for everyone, and tired as we were, everyone left with a smile on his or her face.