Tales of the Mongrel
“Lights, Libations, People and Change”
It’s Sunday, September 20th, about 5PM and Susan and I just got back from a 3 day excursion of the Michigan shore called Lights and Librations which is the “Lord Schroeder & Lady Ann’s” 2009 Wine & Cheese-type tour for the Chicagoland MG Club!
It started Friday morning, meeting at John’s place at 9:30AM and then continuing to the Lincoln Oasis for more of the faithful with a final count being some 21 cars. What an event!!
I won’t get into tooooo…. many details as I am sure these will be reported elsewhere on the newsletter. I will say that Susan and I have come to look forward to these “tour-type” events and this was one of the best yet!
I am not going to discuss the various restaurants or attractions we visited – I want to talk about the people! 43 folks of all sizes, shapes, backgrounds and age coming together for a single common reason. Well, I guess we have to give the MG some credit for being the catalyst but that is not the dynamic at work here. What I am trying to convey here is best described by the one the great “customs” of these tours. This is the evening parking lot gathering. To start, it is now common place to see folding chairs, cigars, coolers of beer and wine as a normal accoutrement in the MG trunk right along side the clothes bag and sun block.
The tour itself was extremely well structured and coordinated by the Lord and Lady Schroeder but it was also the informal gathering of the faithful at the day’s end that alerted me to the other element at play in this club! Well, there we were outside the Baymont in the darkness of the first night (Friday). The beer was open and cigars lit. Conversation was jovial! We had 2 good friends sporting their English roadsters which were not MGs who have been there with our group before and will certainly be with us again because they are truly club members!
The question was raised about their “marques” club activities
and the reply was, well, let’s just say they prefer the real people of the Chicagoland MG Club!! They enjoy our friendliness, our environment of camaraderie and I guess the down-to-earth nature that is the club we have.
At lunch on Sunday in Michigan City, one could feel the
warmth in the room, the jokes, the stories, the laughing! We all sang “happy birthday” to a club member and the crowd actually got just about all the way through before we realized that the person of honor was not in the room!
For those reading this passage who may have not joined one our driving events I would like to extend a personal initiation to them to come on out and get to know us a little better!
PS – Special thanks to the Schroeder’s hard work in constructing Lights & Libations and the Herman’s (for the now season’s front-end tour i.e. Jo Davis) as they have fortified the social dimension of the club!
-- Ralph Arata
Tales of the Mongrel
“ODE to the Ride”
The morning was clear - the sun not very high…
On the open road was I!
Tight to road is the vehicle I ride….
Feeling the bumps and curves – nothing to hide.
No hood over my head and no windows around….
Only the wind and the road make the sound – of the ride!
Runnin’ the gears sometimes 2 at a time….
Shifting is smooth and the “feel” is just fine.
What a way to go!
Changes of scenery as the trees fly by,
The hills and the valleys are all green oh my!
Hitting a hill so I down shift the gears….
A little more work but no cares and no fears!
All is tight, all is right – the way of the ride.
There are folks around, I know, but none by me,
There I am by myself and just running free.
Curve to the left and curve to the right….
The vehicle I ride just might, take flight – out of sight.
The sun rises higher as the morning races by,
Can now feel it on my neck – that stuff from the sky,
No time for the sun screen – hands are busy with the steer,
As lunch time draws near!
I getting close to the end of this ride,
With a sigh I pull over and stop on the side,
I dis-mount from my Scatante Race – a road bicycle oh yes,
A fast one – no less!
Carbon fiber frame – 20 gears that shift smooth,
A great exercise groove!
Floatin’ like a butterfly and stingin’ like a bee,
I bet you thought I was talking “MG”!
-- Ralph Arata