by Steve Selan, Club Secretary
The author Thomas Wolfe once wrote, "you can never go home again." Obviously, he never attended a University Motors Summer Party. For the 22nd year in a row, MG guru John Twist presented what has now become the premier British car event in North America. Many of his regular followers feared that this year's event might be abbreviated due to John's recent surgery; however, they had concerned ourselves unnecessarily.
Arriving late Friday afternoon after three hours of playing bumper-tag around construction traffic on the way to Grand Rapids, I was pleased to find a nearly full parking lot at the Hilton. There I found many of the same vendors, MGs, and enthusiasts that I had gotten to know over the last six years. Holding court in front of our club banner, Don Anderson regaled us with tales of his Around- the-Lake rally as we partook of the traditional three Bs-- beer, barbecue, and B.S. After a few hours of walking and talking, I felt I was home again among my MG family. Even the "chicken dance" put on by the local Speckled Hens somehow did not seem out of place.
Next morning we convoyed out to Douglas Walker Park for the annual car show and to scrounge among the numerous vendors. Though rain threatened, the MG gods smiled, and the weather was perfect. At this point we in attendance saluted Sharon Anderson, Diana and Oscar Gonzales, and Maynard Hirsch from the bottom of our burger and beer-filled bellies. Through their efforts we had the best-fed club on the field and, in fact, picked up two new members who were also impressed by the spread.
Saturday evening many of us attended the Awards Banquet and Address at Calvin College. Despite his humble manner, guest speaker Graham Paddy was very entertaining and clearly a shrewd businessman. He brought us along with him as he turned a junked MG into a multi-million British pound parts business in the UK. At the awards presentation CMGC members did themselves proud. Not only did we have the largest number of club members in attendance, but we also carried off 16 awards including four first place trophies.
John Twist graciously acknowledged the efforts of Scott and Don Anderson for the successful coordination of the largest Round-the-Lake Rally ever put on. Several club members successfully competed in the event, including a club team entry.
Two club members, Kelvin Palmer and Mahlon Hillard, raced their prepared MGs at the nearby Grattan Race Track in wheel to wheel competition.
On the whole, a great MG experience was had by all and hopefully, we'll all be able to "come home" again next year!
AWARDS WON BY CMGC MEMBERS:
License Plate: Fifth Place, Kim Tonry; Sixth Place, David Bralich
MG TD: Second Place, Curt Bork
MGB-MARK I: Fifth Place, Fred and Mary Dornbach
MGB-MARK II ('68-'69): Fourth Place, Esteban Selan
MGB-MARK II ('70-'72): First Place, Shirley and Roger Goebbert
MGB-MARK II ('73-'74.5): First Place, Mary and Mike Cobb
MGB-MARK III ('74.5-'76): Fourth Place, David Bralich
MGB LE: Fifth Place, D'arcy Ballinger; Sixth Place, Diana and Oscar Gonzales
MGB GT (72-74.5): Sixth Place, Jake and Ann Snyder
MGC: First Place, Russ Casolari (second year in a row); Third Place, Reinout Vogt
MG MIDGET MARK I: Third Place, Bill Hedrick
MG SEDAN: Second Place, Jeff Powell; Fourth Place, Sheri and Chris Schwingle
PREPARED CLASS: First Place, John Hubbard.