It’s a picture-perfect day for a cruise – the Woodward Dream Cruise that is. While this annual event, now in its 20th year, takes place many miles from where I live, you simply cannot escape the hoopla surrounding the granddaddy of all Michigan cruising events.
In my neck of the woods, we had “Cruisin’ Downriver” a few months ago, and I was disappointed when an all-day rain cancelled the inaugural “Ponies in the Park”, the collection of classic Mustangs from the inception of the brand. Maybe next year it will return.
All week, and especially today, I’ve been listening to sound bites of classic car owners talking about their “baby”, and, of course, there are the spectators who would give their eyeteeth to own a classic car, but instead must just enjoy these beauties vicariously. When I’ve wandered over to see the lineup of cars at Cruisin’ Downriver, I must admit my all-time favorite was the Mustang.
Since it is a for dusting off the oldies, and, even though it is not “Wayback Wednesday”, “Throwback Thursday” or “Flashback Friday”, I thought I’d include a photo of my big ride from back in 1968. This old nag didn’t have the horsepower of a Mustang, Pinto, or sure as heck was no Bronco either, but it was good for a photo op anyway. Our family was up North in Alpena, having rented a cottage for a couple of weeks. During that time period, the weather was hot and sunny, but those incessant biting black flies were really a drag, and they weren’t the only critters around – a bull moose called out to his mate nightly and there was a big brown bear lingering around the dumpsite where we had to take our trash. So much for the Great Up North experience. We spent most evenings tucked inside the cottage. The portable TV we brought along received one channel and was chock full of the Republican National Convention, so luckily we all brought reading material, played board games or cards. About five times my father and I visited a local stable which featured horseback riding and I had the same disinterested-looking nag each time. My father remarked that this sorry-looking horse looked like it was ready for the glue factory.
It is a day for reminiscing all the way around, not just for shiny classic cars … it was Day #1 of three days of peace and music, a/k/a Woodstock, circa 1969 and the Beatles played at Shea Stadium 50 years ago today – August 15, 1965. Unbelievably the tickets went for $3.00. Shocking, eh? For $3.00 I used to fill up the tank of my VW bug when I first got it in August of 1973. With the recent gas price hike, you’ve got to figure the gas stations around the Dream Cruise event are cashing in bigtime today. I imagine alot of those old cars will need to stop frequently to cool their engines on this very hot day, while their owners are wishing they could find a malt shop to suck down a quick cream soda, or, at the very least, a bottle of cold Coca-Cola, “the pause that refreshes”.
As to me, I was up and at it early to beat the heat, and went down to the Park, where many others had the same idea. I got my perimeter loops walked and was back home before the cruise began at 9:00 a.m., sipping on a cold glass of cider, though a fizzy Orange Crush or Cherry Coke would have wet my whistle just as well.
Ahh – nothing like a little stroll down memory lane to restore your soul.