SAAC: The Haddam Lions'
"Rollin' On The River" Antique Car Show, Sunday, July
11, 2010, Haddam Meadows State Park, Haddam, CT
(this page new as of 7/12/2010)
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It was looking like I would have a chance to get out to a car show for a couple of hours in the morning of Sunday, July 11th, 2010, so I began checking event listings to see what would be going on that day...
As it turned out, just a couple of weeks earlier, we had received some forwarded electronic documents from our local old car friends Orlando Amato and Alan Zelanski about this years Haddam Lions Club Rollin On The River event. Orlando and Alan had received not only flyers for the Sunday car show and the Saturday evening cruise night, but also a very informative cover letter about the event written by Raymond Dennis, Vice President of the Haddam Lions Club. As soon as we received that information from Orlando and Alan, we got the event notices uploaded to our online Calendar page, and also transcribed the text of the Raymond Dennis cover letter, for the 6/26/2010 updates section of our SAAC main web site page.
It bears inserting Mr. Dennis words here again, as they help to remind us of all the many good things that come from the funds raised at this event:
"June 15, 2010. Dear Antique or Classic Car Enthusiast,
It won't be long before the 'Rollin' On The River' Haddam Lions Car Show is upon us again. We would like to thank you for being a part of it in one or more of our previous events, and hope that you will mark your calendar for this year. This year's date is Sunday, July 11th, and we are expecting our biggest and best show yet.
The money we have raised with this event has been used to support scholarships for local High School students, support of the Haddam-Killingworth Recreation Department Youth Basketball Program, Little League, the Haddam Food Bank, Haddam Volunteer Ambulance and Fire Departments, the PTOs of Burr and Haddam Elementary Schools, and a variety of activities to help the needy in our community. We also make substantial donations to eyecare-related organizations such as Fidelco, Campaign Sight First II, the CT Lions Eye Research Foundation, Eastern CT Lions Low Vision Centers, CHRIS radio for the Blind, Camp Rising Sun, and other Eyecare and research-related foundations. We were also proud participants in the 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 'Relay for Life' for the benefit of the American Cancer Society held at Haddam-Killingworth High School, and this year again participated in the 'Kites for Kidneys' benefit for the National Kidney Foundation.
Haddam Meadows is a beautiful place to spend a summer Sunday morning, and we hope you will plan to spend Sunday, July 11th with us. In fact, we have added the 'Rockin On The River' Cruise Night and Community Concert at the Meadows on Saturday, July 10th. Please invite some of your friends to join us from 6:00-9:00 for dinner and some good music.
Thank you for helping us to make the 'Rollin' On The River' Haddam Lions Car Show a success.
Raymond Dennis, Vice President, Haddam Lions Club..."
I also knew that the CT VW Association (http://www.ctvwa.org/) was having their big event in Lebanon, CT the same day, and being a VW enthusiast and long-standing member of the club, I was torn about that event also. The decision about going to Haddam for the Rollin show, however, was helped along by the knowledge that I did not have unlimited time to work with on the 11th (Lebanon being a significantly longer trip compared to Haddam), and also the fact that Diane offered to me the use of her 73 Pinto Squire station wagon (which is decidedly not a VW), which had yet to make any outings for the 2010 season. A third factor was that my folks had recently moved into an assisted living apartment at the south end of Middletown, and so I also knew that it would be a quick trip up Route 154 after leaving Haddam Meadows, to be able to stop in there and see how they were doing. Haddam won out over Lebanon.
IMAGE AT RIGHT: Among some mid-'50s cars was Jack Tary's beautiful metallic fuchsia '55 Bel Air 2-door hardtop.
The day was looking perfect, and I got a start out of Stony Creek around 10:45 in the morning. Heading east on I-95, the little Pinto was running great. Passing through Guilford, it was hard not to notice what appeared to be a seriously big-time event going on at Moroso (visible from the highway, between Exits 58 & 59)of course that was the Club Corvette of CTs big annual show.
I got off the highway in Clinton, and started driving north on Route 81, which I decided to stay on all the way to its northern terminus at the intersection with Route 154 in Higganum. From there it appeared that only a couple of miles drive south on 154 would bring me to Haddam Meadows. What a nice day it turned out to be for a leisurely drive on such beautiful rural roads!
Finally pulling into the park, the show was already in full swing. I got there somewhere around 11:30 or so, and received a very nice welcome from the admissions representative, who got me properly directed to my class, and also with instructions about how to get properly registered after parking the car (for the participants choice judging, and also to get my ballot so I could do some voting myself). Oldies music played over a PA system, and smell of grilled food from the concession stand also was quite inviting!
I had brought Time Machines 2010 flyers with me, though it soon became apparent that someone else had handed many out before I got therethough the late-arrivers in many of the classes did not appear to have them, so I still ended up handing out a bunch.
As I always say, it is the friends who we run into at these events that make them so much fun. It was particularly enjoyable at this event to finally meet our Mopar-driving friends Lori and Alan Zelanski from Meriden! Being the very dedicated car show-goers they are, would you believe their magnificent Chargers were entries #1 and #2 in the entire show?! It was a great pleasure chatting with them in person after having only been able to correspond with them previously.
Continued walking the fields brought us into contact with more old friends like Packard hot rod driver Bob Steller, Thunderbird driver Orlando Amato, MG driver Bob Howard, 55 Chevy driver Jack Tary, and VW driver Manny Feliciano. At one point I even noticed our 66 Plymouth Valiant driving, long-time old car friend Phil Hamilton chatting with several people gathered around his beautiful Valiant. I also recognized our North Branford friend Audrey Fittings beautiful silver 35 Ford hot rod looking fine as usual in the show.
IMAGE BELOW: Alan Zelanski's red with black vinyl roof '69 Charger heading up a class of late '60s cars.
I had a great time walking around the field checking out all the beautiful machines, from brass-era antiques, thru cars and trucks of latter eras, also military and fire vehicles, imports, and hot rods. There were also several vendor spots set up with all sorts of parts and stuff being offered for sale, so I made sure to take the time to scrutinize all of those goodies also.
Eventually I realized that I had better be getting on my way, and about 1:30pm or so, I fired up the little Pinto and headed out, pointing us north on Route 154 toward Middletown, to our next appointment on a busy Sunday.
I cant say enough about what a great time I had participating in this years Haddam Lions Club Rollin On The River car show. It was extremely well-organized, all of the workers were very friendly and welcoming, and, of course, the turnout of great cars and wonderful old car friends was typically first-rate.
We commend all of the Haddam Lions Club volunteers who make this wonderful event possible, and we salute all the tremendous humanitarian things they accomplish with the funds raised from this, and all their other fundraisers. We look forward to coming back to Haddam again next year for Rollin 2011!
More 2010 "Rollin' On The River" Car Show Photos Below...
...A few captions were added here & there where applicable, but otherwise, they're mostly just a sampling of overall-type views--hope you enjoy 'em...
IMAGE BELOW: Overall view, from the south side of the show field, looking directly east toward the river. Some '60s and '70s classes are visible, and way in the distance you might be able to see a bit of the blue water of the CT River... And click HERE for another view facing in the same general direction, where some boats on the adjacent river can clearly be seen... gotta love this spot...
IMAGE BELOW: Lori Zelanski's '66 Charger is at the right foreground.
IMAGE BELOW: Diane's '73 Pinto Squire parked in amongst some early '70s cars.
IMAGE BELOW: Bob Howard's '52 MGTC in the Foreign class (foreground), along with several other beautiful MGs. That's Manny Feliciano's beige '54 Bug further down in the left background.
IMAGE BELOW: That's Audrey Fitting's kool '35 Ford in the foreground, looking great within a very classy overall hot rod lineup.
IMAGE BELOW: Phil Hamilton (red hat) chatting with some friends, next to his beautiful '66 Plymouth Valiant.
IMAGE BELOW: Orlando Amato (in the hat) chats with another fellow antique auto enthusiast, nearby Orlando's spectacular '62 Ford Thunderbird Roadster.
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