December 2019 - FoMoCo Times Editor visits the Old Northwest
Submitted By Travis Sheaffer
Picture it. Seattle. Labor Day weekend 2019. Your humble mild-mannered (ha ha!) reporter lands in Seattle on a flight from Motown. I was there to attend a Regional Meet. I landed in Seattle on Friday, August 30th and picked up my rental vehicle. I found the highway driving around Seattle to be not too bad. Of course, if you have ever driven in New York City or Chicago, everywhere else is not too bad. I arrived at the hotel about dinner time and I managed to find a nice local restaurant to quench my dinner time hunger pains and then settled in to combat the jet lag.
Saturday morning, I was up and on the move in search of a story. The meet started off that day with everyone meeting at Dennis Barci’s house. Dennis and his wife are awesome people! I looked around for familiar faces and lo and behold I saw Brian Kelly there. Brian had driven his classic car all the way from British Columbia to the Lexington, Kentucky National Convention. We first met on the phone so I could guide him into Lexington from the Columbus, Ohio area. I believe I told him to get the heck out of Columbus as soon as he could, or he may get swarmed by Dirty Buckeyes (Go Blue!)
We toured Dennis’ shop and then we hopped into the vehicles for a cruise. I rode with Brian and we had an awesome conversation along the way. If you ever need to know anything about forestry or plant life, Brian is your guy!
The first stop on our cruise was to the Triple XXX Drive-In for lunch and one of their fantastic floats. After eating the place out of food, we headed off on a scenic drive to Dennis Togstad’s place for a tour of his private car collection. Dennis’ yard was setup like a small 1950’s town with all kinds of memorabilia and absolutely beautiful cars. It was at this collection that I was first introduce to our member, Bruce Midlane. Bruce is a jokester and I knew that I liked him right away. If you know me, you know that I am an instigator and a jokester and so is Bruce.
After we finished at the car collection, we hopped back into our vehicles and headed back to Dennis Barci’s house for dinner. My friend, Brian Kelly, had caught some salmon and brought it down for our main course. This salmon was the best salmon I have ever had. I think it had more to with how Dennis and Susan Barci cooked it on the grill, but Brian Kelly’s keen eye for salmon certainly played a major part.
After the meet was over, I made my way back to the hotel intending to do some work on my dissertation, but that never happened. I was out like a light.
Sunday morning, I was greeted at my hotel by Dennis Barci and Brian Kelly. Bruce Midlane was supposed to come with us, but I think I picked on him way too much the night before that he ran quickly back to Canada, muttering something about rascal East Coaster Americans. Dennis and Brian had volunteered to be my tour guides for the day. The first stop that we made was at the Microsoft World Headquarters campus in Redmond, Washington. In my previous correspondence with Dennis, he learned that I was a big geek and that I really wanted to see the home of the Evil Empire (I am an Apple guy). It was Sunday, so Microsoft was closed but Dennis did take my picture next to the Microsoft logo at their main building. Next, we headed to downtown Seattle and toured the iconic Seattle space needle. The sky was gorgeous that day and you could see for miles. A better view could not have been had.
Next door to the Space Needle was the Seattle Museum of Popular Culture. We decided to head there after a quick stop at McDonalds to refill our tanks. The Seattle MoPOP had some great displays of local artists. There was a huge display about Jimmy Hendricks as well as local group, Nirvana. Having grown up in the Grunge era, I found this to be incredibly interesting. After a great tour of the MoPOP, we hopped back into Dennis’ car and headed south to the Curtis LeMay car museum.
On the way, we drove past the famous Seattle fish market. How cool! At the LeMay Museum, we met up with Tom Bridgham. For those you involved in this region, you know what an asset Tom is to the Region but also to the whole CVA. Rumor has it that Regional Director, and my friend, Karen Moore is not going to run again this next summer. Tom Bridgham is strongly considering a run at it. If you ask me, and please do, I give my support 100% behind Tom. I cannot imagine a better person to fill the Director’s shoes previously held by Monte and Karen Moore. So…. get out and vote!
The LeMay Museum is a multi-floor airplane hangar just stocked full of every kind of car imaginable. It was super cool and a car lovers heaven.
By the time we got back up to my hotel it was dinner time. I bid my farewell ado’s to Dennis and Brian and thanked them for the great time. I told them that if they ever needed anything from the National club, let me know.
On Monday morning I flew back to dreary Detroit and headed home. Back to work on Tuesday.
I want to thank all of the members who showed up for the meet and were such gracious hosts to a weird guy from Ohio. I think you kinda have to be a weirdo to be the editor for this publication – right Paul? The group was so fun to be around, and I really enjoyed myself at this meet. A big shout out to Tom Bridgham, Dennis Barci, and my friend, Brian Kelly for being the ultimate hosts. You don’t know how much I appreciated the hospitality and friendship that you showed me.
Here is a shameless plug…. This group will be holding their 2020 Regional Meet in Penticton, British Columbia at a car gathering of more than 800 cars. Our club is extremely lucky to have Tom Siddon, a former member of Canadian Parliament, as one of our members. He lives in Penticton and still has enough pull to get the CVA in the best locations. You will see the announcement for this meet in our Regional Meets section. Make your plans to be there….I am.