Trip Observations – The People

I hope that all of you continue to take both joy and solace in the simple act of driving. There is nothing quite like firing up your own car and traveling on your own terms. We will miss it when it is gone. Let’s hope that day never comes.” ~ Jack Baruth – Avoidable Contact

This is a compilation of comments I have made in the thirty eight Blog Posts during and after the trip. The number in word form that begins each comment is the post from which it was taken if you wish to get context for the comment. My hope is that the comments taken together here will form a picture of the impressions I had from the Places, Roads, Weather, People and the Elan itself on this once in a lifetime trip. Enjoy.

The People:

I met lots of regular people doing their jobs along the way and they were, almost without exception, kind, helpful and generous with their time. Additionally, almost everywhere they were great advocates for their special place and eager to show it off to a traveler passing through. I have not included them here as there are so many, but I thank you all. Rather I have chosen to acknowledge those who are within the Lotus community, or who went out of their way to assist this hapless tripaholic in some specific manner.

Three. I found Tim Cupp and his helper Floyd who took pity on me and donated a gallon or two of their personal supply [of gasoline] and would not take any money.

Seven. This has been the most social day of the trip starting with a visit to Gail and Tony in Naples. The GT visit was followed a couple hours after I left their house with a CD visit…my other sister Cynthia and her husband David. From there I was in the magnetic field of the I-4 corridor and a stop to visit Mike and Betty Kennedy who had staked out a table at the Main Street Café in Auburndale. [Tom] and Polly Bungay had prepared a lovely evening with dinner drinks and friends which was just wonderful. They had invited other “Car Guys” including Bill and Jane Warner, Chris Tchorznicki, and Joe Petty who told more stories and memories than you could ever believe and all of them fun and funny.

Ten. I had a meet up with Bill Timmons and his wife and their two friends Roger and Doreen for a late breakfast at a place in Candor NC called Blake’s. [They led me clear to the town of Robbins, woohoo!]

Eleven. I met up with Ted Taylor at a gas station near Warrenton, VA with an ailing car but glad to have another car with me for peace of mind on the way. Ted guided me to our lunch stop at a wonderful BBQ place where we met up with Glen Schostak, Don Butler and his son Brandon. Thus, it was a blessing that I was headed with escort to RD Enterprises the premier Lotus parts supplier in the eastern United States. I had planned to stop there anyway at the invitation of Ray and Linda Psulkowski. Linda, Ray, Ted, Glen and Dave & Charlene Hutchison and I all went to a wonderful dinner while the Elan waited in the shop.

Fourteen. I met up with Chris Perkins, a writer for Road& Track. He interviewed me over lunch at a cool little diner in the middle of Red Hook and after we ate we were joined by Dave Burnett a photographer who drew the short straw. Watch for something in R&T, maybe.

Eighteen. I was headed to Buffalo for a meet up with another Caterham dealer and then lunch with the LOONYS (Lotus Owners Of New York). Both were great. I also got to visit Lotus of Western New York and the owner Matt who has a virtual Lotus museum of memorabilia as well as personal memories and stories of 40 years of Lotus in F1. I got a big lift from my visits with Rick and the LOONY folks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the cars may be the connector but the people are the connection!

West Four. I called my friend Kiyoshi Hamai to see if he knew of anyone who might have the parts I needed and he called Jay Makwana of JAE a fine Lotus parts supplier located right where I intended to go…Goleta, CA. [Before that I would have] my ARCO meet up point with Dan Crow who was going to guide me through the hills around LA. I am humbled again by the generosity of spirit and actual support from the Lotus community. What a neat brotherhood we have.

West Five. What I didn’t know was that I had several magicians waiting to perform. The first magician was Jay Makwana. [The second was] a Honda repair shop called DiMauro’s Independent Honda/Acura Service [and] Robert the owner who actually worked on the [Elan.] That’s when Joe Sulka magically showed up with a gourmet lunch conjured by that magician Jay. Then Kiyoshi Hamai magically removed all the traffic from the north bound lane, conjured spectacular scenery and a smooth road. I am too blessed to have had all the support I have had from some of the nicest people in the country and they have all gone out of their way to provide that support. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is.

West Six. Mike Graham who lives in Aptos, CA, suggested we start from Marina at about 7:45, drive to Aptos and stop there to have breakfast with him as the jam on Highway 1 starts at Aptos and clears by about 9:30. [After breakfast] I followed my fearless leader Kiyoshi up highway 1 to Half Moon Bay and our meet up with Dan Wise in an Elise, Tom Carney in a Europa Custom, and Jackie Seakins in an Evora, from the Golden Gate Lotus Club. [We all drove to] Barry Spencer’s shop and got to meet him. Kiyoshi says that my plan to visit the four points has nothing to do with geography and is really a very clever subterfuge to get my car repaired at the best Lotus suppliers and shops in the US quickly and cheaply.

West Seven. Off I flew and finally connected with Brad Baum. He then led me on a series of back roads to his home [in Brookings, OR] and a beer.

West Nine. I had set up a meeting with Doug Jackson from the Evergreen Lotus Club at the McDonald’s in Hoquiam Washington for 10:00. I led Doug up the peninsula to the Makah reservation on which the Northwest point sits, and it was smooth sailing up until the border of the reservation.

West Ten. I saw a man in a green shirt with a Lotus logo approaching. It was Alan Perry who had come from Bainbridge Island. We were to connect with Victor Smith and his wife in their Elan [at the Whidbey ferry terminal], but his ferry was late and we jetted off to the meeting place with Dave Ellis (M100) and Mark Gleason (Elan S2).

West Fourteen. Thanks to my wife for making the final piece of all the donations to achieve the goal I set of $1.50 per mile for a total of $17,250 for the kids at Roundup River Ranch. I am so grateful for all of you who have supported me and the kids.

West Fifteen. I was greeted by some of Alma’s officials, the town manager, the chief of police and the public works manager who knew I was coming and wanted to welcome me. Along with them were several LOCO folks who were there to escort me to lunch and home…Peter Monson, Jim Collins, Mike Ingelido, Tim Haas, Dave Green, Paul and Kurt.

And, thanks to all of you who have been riding along and have donated to the kids. I’m told that we had over 105 donors which is just astonishing. Thank You All.

About Me

Hi, I’m Ross and I’m a tripoholic. I love driving especially in my old cars and then writing about the adventure that always follows. I’m old enough to know better but that doesn’t stop me. If you like stories of the road, every word true no matter how far fetched it may seem, then grab a beer or a cup of coffee and join me!

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One thought on “Trip Observations – The People

  1. Hello Ross, Thanks so much for allowing us to tag along here in NorCal, up to Barry’s shop. It was wonderful to finally meet you and taste some of your outstanding “road snax”! You’ve done an amazing trip and raised money for a wonder camp for amazing and resilient kids. God Bless and best wishes to you, Ann and your family. Best regards,Dan Wise

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