Thanksgiving Day - Cruise to the Rock
November 27, 2003 - Chicago, IL
We were there to celebrate the 108th anniversary of the first automobile race in America. I guess we were fortunate to have arived early. We managed to stage at least seven MGs and a Miata on the grass around “The Rock” (and one Mustang in the background) for a video tape session for cable TV. Then we moved the cars to this rearward area to get our own group pictures. About half the cars in the park (lots of them) were parked on the grass (including those two Farmall tractors with cleated tires). Just a few minutes after taking these pictures the Harley Davidson caravan (about 50 bikes) came into view with their own sirens screaming. About at the same moment the Chicago Police showed up and started announcing that no cars were allowed on the grass, and any which were not moved immediately would be ticketed.
Since first annual instance of this event in 1995, this is the first time that’s ever happened. Since most of the surrounding streets were tow-away zone, and there was no pavement left in the park proper, we decided to cut the party short and go for an early lunch. As we were leaving we noticed Kim Tonry negotiating his driver’s license with a Chicago cop (don’t know how that came out yet), while another squad car was driving across the grass in the general direction of the tractors.
Later at Stage’s Family Restaurant, with about 15 of our members at lunch, there was some discussion about e-mailing the Mayor’s office to stage a formal “statement” and see if this grass situation couldn’t be ironed out for future events. It seems like if the city is going to stage a special event and invite the cars to participate there should be some allowance for where the cars might be parked. Maybe there should be special dispensation to park on the grass for this event, or maybe block off a street or two for parking. We will be anxious to hear about the final resolution. Stay tuned.
More photos and notes at www.chicagolandmgclub.com/photos/to_the_rock03