ABCS Insignia

The August 2001 Newsletter

July 12 Meeting Highlights

Margaret Calcote

There were 18 members present at the July meeting. President Carl Floyd presided.

Dick Williams announced that the drive to the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, TN would originate at Bean Station at 9:00 AM on July 14.

The FunFest rally is planned to cover 90-100 miles and take approximately 3 hours. Entry fee is $25 per car.

Our annual drive to Grayson Highlands State Park is scheduled for August 18. We will meet at Cracker Barrel in Abingdon for departure at 10:00 AM. Be sure to bring a lunch. This is always a fun trip so put it on your calendar now.

There was no program but Al Bradley displayed some beautiful artwork he brought from Bill Stroud. Bill makes signed and numbered pencil drawings of Healeys, Triumphs and MG TD’s. Stroud’s web address is www.whotookmy Herren displayed a new set of tools he recently purchased.

The door prize was won by Mitch Byerley, Jr. The meeting was adjourned.

ABCS Drive to Museum of Appalachia

Herren Floyd

We met for breakfast at the little restaurant at the Harris Court Motel in Bean Station shortly before 9 AM. The early drive from Kingsport required a jacket to be comfortable driving topless and was long enough (a little more than an hour) to work up a good appetite. Several restaurant customers were interested in admiring and discussing our British cars.

There were only five of us, perhaps due to the unfortunate conflict with the FunFest Road Rally. Hopefully our club leadership will plan to avoid a similar scheduling conflict next year. Dick Williams led us in his dark green Jaguar XKE followed by Jon Whitt in his blue 1978 MGB, myself in my light gray 1963 MGB, and Allen and Margaret Calcote in their S.O.B. (Some Other Brand) Honda.

Under a deep blue cloudless sky, we followed 11W South, 61 West, 331 South, and 441 to Norris. The roads were delightful even without any hairpin turns, and the temperature was perfect for open roadsters. We stopped at a service station in Norris which happened to have a Lotus Elite and a Jenson both owned by the mechanic, and both to be for sale after they get new paint. He started the Jenson by just turning the ignition key from outside the car.

The Museum greatly exceeded my expectations. It consists of over thirty authentic outside structures in a very pleasant setting. The entrance is a large Craft and Gift shop with a sizable antique shop and a small restaurant. Admission was $7 each ($6 for seniors), and you could easily spend more than a day to see everything. In the Hall of Fame Building you get personal glimpses of the people of Appalachia and how they lived. What they had was what they made themselves. The Display Barn houses one of the nation’s largest collections of frontier memorabilia. Eventually we had lunch at the little restaurant and were pleasantly surprised with the tasty food and the reasonable prices.

The Museum of Appalachia is the work of John Rice Irwin, and we all met him while we were there. He knew Dick from way back as he had once taken room and board at the home of Dick’s family.

I thought this was one of our best destinations. I wish more of our members could have come. I will definitely go back.

Truth and Beauty

Al Bradley

This is another one of those stories that is not only painful to admit, but probably should never be committed to paper and pen. It did happen and it makes an amusing anecdote that I was discussing with my good wife only yesterday. She suggested that I should admit it to you. Confession is good for the soul.

This conversation with my other half was occasioned by a recent purchase that I made of an original gearshift knob for our Bugeye Sprite via e-Bay. For any of you who may not be aware, e- Bay is an Internet auction site where, just like any other auction, you may spend more money than you really have to buy things that you really don’t need. I bought the gearshift knob.

The gearshift knob is fine, but, of course, doesn’t fit the car now that it has a second or third generation transmission installed. That doesn’t matter – it is a piece of historic significance to me and that it will remain.

What does matter is that I used this experience as an opportunity to trade gearshift knobs between my two cars. The Sprite had a large but plain and manly gearshift knob. The Big Healey had a wooden gearshift knob topped by an Austin-Healey emblem. The emblem is one actually associated with Sprites, rather than this car, so the trade was a natural, made-in-heaven one. The Big Healey gets the plain but manly gearshift knob and the Sprite gets the nice walnut knob with the Sprite emblem.

Now, you may have one of these decorative walnut wood gearshift knobs yourself. It is made up of a nice wooden central body topped by a beautifully rendered emblem in your choice of auto companies, probably made by a company called AMCO. The problem with these gearshift knobs was that the bottom piece containing a metal insert that threads on to the gearshift lever just would not stay attached to the knob itself. I needed to repair the AMCO gearshift knob and switch the two between cars. I dutifully mixed up some epoxy cement to reaffirm the bond between the disparate parts of this knob.

It could have been epoxy fumes, but the need for and subsequent repair brought about a flashback to an earlier time for me.

I think it was in the late Summer of 1967 that I bought my first car, known as my (t)rusty Triumph. It was four years old, then, and white with white top, white tonneau, oval wire wheels and lots of intricacies that I didn’t know a thing about. But I thought it was cool and it was fun to drive. So, that Fall, I intended to drive it back for my final semester at Lynchburg College, including the daunting Student Teaching course where I would need to drive across Town to the local high school, then back to the campus for classes. First and foremost, though, were some human touches that the car needed in order to really be my car. The first necessary change was replacement of the plain black gearshift knob with shift pattern embossed in the top. Not cool. I ordered — you guessed it, didn’t you? — a new AMCO wooden gearshift knob with the Triumph emblem on top and eagerly awaited its arrival. I was pleased with its appearance when I installed it and that was probably my first ever attempt at any mechanical repair job. Screw off the old knob and screw on the new one. Life was good!

I don’t remember how long it actually took for this to happen, but even before I returned to college, that gearshift knob became loose. Its wooden part was separating from the metal base that fastened it to the gearshift lever. As I recall, when finding reverse gear on that Triumph, one was supposed to physically lift up on the gearshift lever, then over to the right and then back. The force of this lifting action tended to exacerbate the natural tendency of the gearshift knob to come apart. This beauteous addition to my car had let me down, but I worked around it. Just another one of the many drawbacks that we endure for the sake of aesthetics! My return to Lynchburg was a victorious one for me that year. Having wheels was a major advancement in my status, in addition to being a Senior and all. Once ensconced in the environment of the ivied halls, I made my way over to the Admin Building to stock up on my usual requirement of antihistamines necessitated by the many trees and probably the very ivy in that environment and also because the pills were free at the college dispensary. This particular building also just happened to be one of the women’s dorms for freshmen — merely a happy circumstance , you understand. Did I walk across the campus to transact this business? Not on your tintype. I drove my (t)rusty Triumph, top down, of course, tonneau cover over all but the driver’s compartment, and, sure enough, there were freshman girls there.

Transacting my business in the dispensary, I swaggered my way back out to the parking lot where my (t)rusty steed awaited still in the same space where I had left it. I could see I was being sized up by a group of new female college students, too!

I slid deftly into the car. The engine comes to life with maybe just that little extra bit of throttle so that the engine roared just that extra little bit. Now I depress the clutch pedal, grasp the shifter firmly with right had, lift up and — DAMN — what was it that went sailing past my right ear? Yep, it was the new and beautiful AMCO shift knob. Out of the car it went and flew across the parking lot, landing under a huge ’61 Oldsmobile. I watched as it rolled ‘way back under that car. Well, there was nothing left to do, but turn the engine back off, set the handbrake and retrieve my lost shift knob. I eased my way across the parking lot, found the offending Oldsmobile and reached underneath, but, try as I might, my gearshift knob had rolled too far away under the car to reach easily.

That is just about the time when the Dean of Students appeared and, recognizing me from several conferences we held the previous year in his office, inquired as to just what it was that I might be doing beneath his transportation. I stammered out the best answer I could under the circumstances, but I don’t think he fully believed me until I got down on hands and knees right there in the gravel, shinnied my way up under that behemoth automobile and returned with my lost prize in hand for his examination. The good Dean dismissed me with only a mild rebuff after that and a warning to me concerning my previous misbehaviors.

I managed to return to my car, no longer under observation by the female group, I noticed now, and then return to unpacking and arranging my dorm room. I replaced the offending but beautiful walnut shift knob with its old, plain but more trustworthy counterpart.

I never got around to repairing that first wooden replacement. The repair I was doing on this latest version seemed long overdue. Editor’s Note: Great to enjoy a new story penned by Al Bradley. Thanks, Al!

New Dues Structure

At the July 5, 2001 Board meeting it was decided to change the initial dues for new members in order to defray costs associated with new name tags. The new dues for new members take effect October 1, 2001 and are as follows:

October - Deccember $20 (includes the next year)

January - March $20 (for current year)

April – June $15 (for current year)

July – September $10 (for current year)

Renewals $15

Voice Mail Options

Author Unknown

Answering machine at the Mental Hospital:

“Hello, …. And welcome to the mental health hotline…….

If you are obsessive-compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.

If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.

If you have multiple personalities, press 3, 4, 5, and 6.

If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want. Stay on the line so we can trace your call.

If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be transferred to the mother ship.

If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a small voice will tell you which number to press.

If you are manic-depressive, it doesn’t matter which number you press, no one will answer.

If you have amnesia, press 8 and state your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, social security number, and your Mother’s maiden name.

If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, s-l-o-w-l-y and c-a-r-e-f- u-l-l-y press 0 0 0.

If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short- term memory loss, press 9. If you have short term memory loss, press 9.

If you have low self esteem, please hang up. All operators are too busy to talk to you.

If you are blonde, don’t press any buttons, you’ll just screw it up.

Bumper Sticker

(Seen by Eddie Penley)

Confucius say: He who stands on toilet seat is high on pot.

ABCS Officers & Committee Chairs

President: Carl Floyd, 423-477-7757,

Vice-President: Mitchell Byerley, 423-247-4730,

Secretary: Margaret Calcote, 423-288-2297,

Treasurer: Al Bradley, 540-628-4763,

Newsletter: Jane Ogle, 423-282-5687,

Driving Events: Dick Williams, 865-993-2710

Programs: Richard Williams, 423-990-6994,

Webpage: Herren Floyd, 423-239-5455,

The next ABCS newsletter will have pictures of the History Channel Great Race as promised.

Past Newsletters

July 2001

Jun 2001

May 2001

April 2001

March 2001

February 2001

January 2001

December 2000

November 2000

October 2000

September 2000

August 2000

July 2000

June 2000

May 2000

April 2000

March 2000

February 2000

January 2000

Past Meetings

May 2000

April 2000

March 2000

February 2000

January 2000

December '99

November '99

October '99

September '99

August '99

July '99

June '99

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December '98

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