I’ve been absent from blog space for a while, but as many of you may know, my house was destroyed by fire on December 23. My mother actually passed away on that same day. So Mrs. Lincoln…other than that, how’d you like the play?
I was 400 miles away with my mom at the time of the fire, but imagine being at her bedside and getting a call at 3:00 am telling me that my house was ablaze and my wife and son were not accounted for. I’ll certainly never forget it. Fortunately about 10 minutes later as I was frantically gathering my stuff to leave, I got another call saying that Ellen & Sam were OK and at a neighbor’s house. That was probably the longest 10 minutes of my life.
I know; most history books list Hawaii as the 50th state (at least until the Texas School Board gets a hold of them and then anything’s possible). But for MCC, Nebraska was the only state in these great United States that we had not shot in. That situation was finally remedied a few weeks ago when we shot The Last Fling till Spring in West Point, Nebraska. It took me 15 seasons to stumble onto this show altho it’s been going on for 21 years.
West Point is a town of about 3,600 people situated roughly midway between Omaha and Sioux Falls, SD but somehow they manage to pull in 700+ really nice cars to the brick streets of the downtown for this one day show.
One of the first vehicles to come rolling in on the morning of the show was a completely restored ’51 Oliver 77 tractor. (Hey, it’s Nebraska!) I ran out and flagged the guy down because this was the tractor I had grown up on. Ours was actually a ’53 Super 77, but they were virtually identical, except that ours never looked as good as this one. From a styling standpoint, these are really cool tractors (if you’re into tractors, that is). Strangely enough, the Oliver was followed by a ’47 John Deere B which was the other tractor we had on the farm. You can see that the woman driving the JD is operating the hand clutch with her right hand. Man did these take me back!
As for my gloves in this picture, I wasn’t doing my best Mickey Mouse impersonation; I was freezing! It was so cold that the cameraman was having trouble operating the camera so he ducked into a dollar store and scored a 3-pack of these goofy gloves. I took him up on it when he offered me a pair.
The weather got better as the day went on but not by much. I’m not sure it ever made it up to 50 degrees with overcast skies and a constant fine mist that you could barely see with your eye, but that was attracted to the camera lens as if it was a mist magnet. Considering the previous two days had been even worse tho with heavy rains, I wasn’t really complaining.
Lake George, in upstate New York, has been the site of the Adirondack Nationals for 22 years, and man, what a beautiful place.
This area has been a vacation destination since the people started taking vacations in this country, and it still has some vestiges of an earlier time like really elaborate miniature golf establishments that are a complete throwback to the 50’s.
The 10-day weather forecast leading up to the show had shown four days of fairly crappy weather, a beautiful Saturday (which was the day we were planning to shoot), and then several more days of crappy weather. I was more than a bit skeptical of the nice Saturday when we flew into Albany on Friday, and you could see from the air that the entire area was covered with a fairly thick, unbroken cloud layer. This is usually a bad sign but to my amazement, the forecast turned out to be spot on, and we had an absolutely stunning day to shoot.
The event itself is held on the grounds of the Fort William Henry Resort, which has also been around for quite some time. It’s situated roughly at one end of the strip that is the town of Lake George and has a gorgeous view of the lake and the low mountains that surround it. And when you pack a little over 1550 show cars onto the 18 acre property, it looks even better!
It looks like Auto Expo 2010 in Hawkesbury, Ontario will be the only Canadian location in the upcoming season. I always try to do a couple Canadian-based episodes per season since the show has such a strong and loyal north-of-the-border following, but it just didn’t work out that way this year.
No worries tho, this little town on the Ontario/Quebec border about halfway between Ottawa and Montreal puts on a heck of a show and packed about 700 cars into just about every nook and cranny the town had. It’ll make an episode that all Canadians can be proud of!
The day was a bit chilly, but we were certainly given a warm reception. And they fixed us up with a couple of the coolest golf carts I’ve ever seen to get around in.