TALES OF THE MONGREL
“The MG Season that almost was”
by Ralph Arata
From an “MG” point of view the year 2000 started out pretty well. After all, I belong to the largest, most dynamic and most participated MG club in the country! Although, I still had trouble making meetings, Susan and I had made several rallies in ’98 & ’99 including Lands End and the Abingdon (former) weekend.
Year 2000 started with (me) making more meetings and the although we had to leave early Susan and I made the Spring Chicken Rally. I got involved with one of the Abingdon 2000 sub-committees and constructed the brochure for the event...the season was shaping up well!
I was having some problems with the ‘ol Mongrel on both the fuel and ignition side but then again, nothing that any 30 year old car wouldn’t go through. As I struggled through my cars “arthritic” condition I, frankly, got re-acquainted with it. I also got to know Jake and Ann (Snyder) better and from this Susan, the kids and I ended up at the Road America camping weekend!!
Well, then things started to happen.
The Lucas Night Rally loomed before us, except that “us” would mean myself and my British father-in-law (the inlaws were visiting from Manchester, UK). My father-in-law would get a “kick” out of a real American MG rally. Well, we got in the car, turned the key and poof!! Smoke! A short on my hot lead to the starter fryed the lead allllllllllll the way back!! Scratch one rally.
Abingdon approached. Susan and I were ready! We even had assignments in the areas of registration and gymkana. then the fateful call came. My dad had died and so our trip to Abingdon was replaced by a trip to my mom and dad’s home in N Carolina. Everyone in the club was understanding and supportive....and we ARE doing very well!
Of course, things would settle for British Car Day.....they didn’t! And so we missed this annual affair without even thinking about it!
There was still one left - Lands End, that had become an annual get-away for Susan and I. We were able to wrestle baby sitters and work, and the day came for the treck to the TA Truckstop in Marango. We arrived and found ourselves alone! Where did everybody go?? A quick call provided the update.
Of course, as usual, my attendence at meetings has been sparse and being out of town, I had not looked up the club web site.
Summer 2000 was the MG season that almost was! Upon reflection it was still a damn good season.
-- Barney and I got a system worked out (that is good for both of us) for getting these “Tales” to press. Thanks for hangin’ in there, Barney!!
-- I got to meet (and know) Larry Daniels this year (Regalia). Bought some great club apparel and made a friend!
-- Got to know Bill and Debbie Mennell much better. Susan and I intend to track them down at future events!
-- Spent a lot of one-on-one time with Jake Synder (getting my car to run). I learned a lot from this guy!!
-- Got to know Rienout better....I found out that we think a lot a like!! (I mean that Rienout)
-- Learned from Jim Evans how an MG Club sub-committee needs to be managed. This was a pleasurable experience and one that will not only help me but the “club” in the future. Thanks Jim!
-- I DID get the Mongrel running the best it has ever been - and to everyone who provided me technical and MORAL support, I am deeply thankful.
-- AND, most of all, to the man that got this whole MG thing in my life started. Who supported that first car at age 16. Thanks Dad!