2008 Eastern Meet
June 27-29, 2008
The 2008 Eastern Meet
By Rob Peters
Anyone who has attended our of our meets knows that our meets are not just about the cars. Many members have arrived without their cars and found they have just as much fun as those with their cars, maybe more since they can spend time bench racing rather than cleaning and detailing their vehicles.
On Thursday, the morning of the start of our meet, at 3:30AM I was jarred awake by a bright flash of light in our bedroom followed by a loud clap of thunder. Our dogs almost joined Patsy and I in the bed they were so afraid. I laid there excited about the prospect of the meet and could not fall back to sleep. I finally decided to go ahead and get up, shower, get dressed and head to Greensburg. I arrived at the hotel around 7:00AM and pitched in to assist John Harvey and his crew from the NMCOA in preparing their goodie bags. By the time we were finished the rain had cleared out and I was able to set up my canopy, string up the new club banner and turn my attention to our members who were starting to arrive. That evening about 85 people from both clubs got together for a dinner at a nearby restaurant. Just as we were ready to leave Capri called. They were running late but wanted to attend the dinner. I told them not to worry and I would hang back and they could follow me to the dinner and Scott Stephens said he would wait with me. Scott and I drove around to where Greg, Drake and Capri were unloading their car and gave them a hand. When we looked up we had about 5 or 6 others from our club lined up waiting to follow us to the dinner… what a great group.
When we arrived back to the hotel, which was perched up on a hill you could see the storm clouds in the distance with lighting strikes jumping from cloud to cloud and to the ground. The rain came but didn’t dampen our spirits or interfere with our evening bench racing.
On Friday, members continued to arrive, all with stories of their journey to the meet. The New York crew with their story of listening to their GPS leading them astray and onto a two lane road with many hills and twists and turns through the mountains through horrible rain. The day Friday was spent meeting up with friends we had met in the past along with meeting the many who we had never met face to face but had formed a bond with from the website or talking to them on the phone.
Friday evening the NMCOA hosted a Pizza Party and we all had our fill. After dark came a little rain which cleared out and allowed us a chance to form our chairs in an ever growing circle in the parking lot for our bench racing. Many were up until after 2:30 Saturday morning.
Saturday was the day for our judging, more socializing, signing up new members, looking at all the cars and our evening Awards Dinner It is always interesting to watch all of the members and how they attend to as many details as they can during the cleaning and prep work to get their car ready for the judging. I was impressed with Steve Cloud and his family in their preparation of their beautiful Black Cherry car. Steve’s young boys worked long and hard to get their car ready. It is great to see how his kids pitched in to get the car ready. This year we did peer judging at the Eastern Meet. The judging in almost every category was done by not only members who had their own cars there but also members who came without their cars. In the past this has been done by the club officers. I think the members found out, it is not an easy task to judge that many cars in that many categories.
Sometimes you find you have four or five cars you want to select in many of the categories and it will usually come down to one little point of consideration in your final choice of one car over another. I was impressed as I watched the members going from one car to another and looking at all of the cars several times to narrow down their choices. We had a couple members whose cars were being judged in the Gold Class as part of the NMCOA Judging. The Gold Class cars were parked in an area which was not visible from where our cars were parked. These two members did not have a choice. They wanted to park with the rest of our cars but due to the fact they wanted to be judged in Gold Class, they had to park in the Gold Class judging area. This meant it would be easy to overlook these cars, in our members judging, if they failed to walk all the way to the other side of the hotel to look these cars over too. What impressed me is that these cars were not only included in our members inspection but both of them won club peer judging awards.
Saturday afternoon we left in a caravan for a 45 minute drive to the Oakhurst Tea Room for our awards dinner. I didn’t get a count of how many drove their cars but we had just over 75 Members and their families. Many of the members dressed in 70’s style clothing and others in the restaurant really got an eye full and were wondering if someone was filming some kind of period movie. The Oakhurst is a restaurant Patsy and I have been going to for a lot of years and we have never left there hungry or unsatisfied with our meal. For just over $15.00 per person including your taxes and tip, you get all you can eat, including your salad, entrée, side dishes, desert and drinks. It is a buffet style restaurant and if you leave there hungry it is your own fault. At the dinner we distributed many door prizes, including our grand prize of a free Two Nights stay at any Hilton Hotel in the continental United States, and our club awards.
As I said earlier, almost all of our club awards were selected by our members with only a few exceptions. The Presidents award went to Dave Reem, who is featured on the cover of this newsletter and a special Dedication Award which we presented to our club president, Andreas Kwetkus. Over the past couple years Andreas has been the driving force in having our club insured, incorporated and submitted as a Non-Profit organization, and he has been responsible for the members gifts you receive when you join or renew your membership. Another award which is presented every year is the Hard Luck Award. As a past recipient of this award, I can tell you it is no real honor to achieve this non-coveted prize. This years award went to Art Petridis for his problems with a fuel pump during his trip. We all arrived back at the hotel in time for those who wanted to participate in the NMCOA Poker Run. We also arrived just in time for a huge storm to move in, but as with the way the whole weekend had gone, the rain came at a time when the day’s activities had pretty much come to an end. Our members again set out to socialize and participate in more bench racing into the wee hours of the morning.
It was time to pack our bags and get ready for our departures on Sunday morning and early afternoon. Following the NMCOA awards Sunday morning we all started our handshakes and hugs, some being very extended good byes because we just didn’t want this to end, and then into our cars we went for our drives home. As far as I know, everyone arrived home without incident. Now we start to look forward to 2009 in North Carolina.
This was the first meet I went to with my car I went to the Carilse all GM show but that was more of a day trip. When it rained people went around maken sure everyones windows were up and stuff was put up. Once the rain was over members of this fine club started drying off each others car. If the car wasn't running right there were a few members that were willing to help.
My name is Jack Cooper (papacoop). I bought my 1972 Monte Carlo in September of 2007, after having my original 72 stolen in 1978. Having another 72 is truly a dream come true. In March I joined FGMCC and began chatting with people, meeting some really great people. I wasn't sure how my schedule would pan out, so I did not register to attent the Greensburg meet until late in May. I was even able to get my wife to attend, even though she had reservations. As the time approached, I got so excited that we left a day early and got there on Thursday. The Greensburg meet was our first but will definitely not be our last. I must tell you what a great time my wife and I had there and how we immediately felt accepted and a part of the group. When I got there, I had no clue about "bench racing" but quickly found that it was soemthing to look forward to every day. I was able to stand and sit around with other MC owners and talk about cars as well as other stuff. Rob Peters, Scott, Capri and many others made the meet so enjoyable to attend and when we left, we truly felt as if we had a great group of friends that would be there for you. Thanks to all who attended and made the First Generations the hit of the meet, as 51 of the 155 cars were 70-72. I look forward to next year in Charlotte and hope that my schedule can be arranged.
This is the second time that I attended a FGMCC Meet without the Monte (last time was at Woodward). My Monte had to stay home because I simply had no time to work on it after my move from Tennessee to Illinois. The total re-wiring and A/C upgrade project is not finished and also the engine is still in need of some major tuning. On a positive side, I was able to take my 3-year old son Leo to the meet. We took a plane early out of Chicago into Pittsburgh on Friday, grabbed a rental car and arrived in Greensburg around noon. There were already a lot of Montes around and my boy yelled "see the Monte Carlos". We met up with a lot of new and old friends that day. Leo enjoyed all the attention he got. It was also the first time I took him into a swimming pool (he had tubes in his ears before) and he absolutely loved it! Seeing the more than 50 first gen Montes in one spot will be something that will be hard to forget when you love this type of car… Rob, Capri, Scott and all the other helpers put on a very well organized event. And the NMCOA meeting was very well organized under John Harvey’s lead. Thanks so much for everything! Saturdays came and went by too fast. The awards dinner is getting better each year, with more than 75 members & family in attendance. Leo and I had a blast and I am very honored to be the president of this fine club with such great members. I sincerely hope to see many of you next year during our Eastern Meet in September in Charlotte, NC. We will make sure that 2009 will be especially memorable as it will be our 10th Eastern Meet!!
I have been a member of this club for 2 1/2 years and this past meet was my first...after talking to the people on the site for so long then finally meeting them in person I was not disappointed in the slightest. My fiance and I had an absolute great time...the two days I was there flew by all too quick though and now I have to wait til next year to do it again, I can't wait.
Awesome meet, awesome people, awesome cars...I had a blast getting to know all of you!! Even though I was bummed about not having my car there I was right at home with all of you and enjoyed your cars. I loved all of them and also loved that many had their own "Personal Touches"...it makes them unique. We had lots of great laughs and ribbed each other in good fun..at one point my face hurt from smiling and my abs started aching too....good times for sure..cant wait to see all the pics...Even that perveted one that someone took with Capri's camera..lol. I think they got a hold of Jareds camera phone too..Heres my list of things to remember.........all of your great personalities.........wacky, but forgiving weather,...Jareds humor,.... bumble bees from hell,... Bills knowlegde of wheels, thanx again Bill!,....Unicycle riding with Rob, Sharing my 5th of Johnny Black with Brian. Yes, my head still hurtz..lol. Bondo falling off Tims 1/4ers. Capri's boots..yeah baby!!..... Endless coolers of beer, Thanx Steve Wagner!.....sitting in the back of Steve L's car(hands in lap/feet on the matts) lol.... Getting lost every time i went to my room...... How heavy Scotts hood really is...and last, the youngest, most handsome 1st gen men who are going to have to carry the torch in the future...Little Leo and Drake!!....I could go on and on but will end here...just want to say thank you to all who participated in putting this meet together and also want to apoligize to anyone I didnt get a chance to say good bye too..I hope I didnt miss anyone...
My Wife, Barb and I attended our first meet this year. What a wonderful time! We arrived Thursday evening and after a quick dinner at the hotel the fun began. The first thing that comes to mind is Steve Levanti’s trip down the little hills on RT 30 and Rob on the unicycle they were the highlights of Thursday night. I think Rob actually got better on the unicycle with more wine Friday started with a little rain but it did not dampen spirits. Scott Stephens even let me dry his car. We met lots of people and put faces to names from the site. We got to see a lot of different cars and got some good ideas. The day went well into the night I think the bench racing went on until 2 am Saturday was judging day and then the banquet. All the awards were well deserved. Rob Peters choice of restaurant was great. I would like to know who just missed the deer on the way back to the hotel. We made it back to the hotel before the storm, some did not. I think Scott Stephens learned the value of wipers and defrosters. Sunday was the awards by the NMCOA the first Gens were well represented and the awards were again well deserved. And then it was time to leave. I hated to leave. We met so many great people and enjoyed visiting with them so much that we were ready to go to the 2009 meet the next weekend. I won’t try to name all the people that we met but you all were great and we can’t wait for the next meet. Rob Peters did a great job organizing the meet, and I noticed Carpi and Scott lending a hand whenever possible. Thanks to all of you for making my first meet a great one.
2nd meet was even better than our first! Meeting members in person is a priceless experience. It truly strengthens the bonds that we nurture throughout the year on-line. Each member you finally see face to face is like catching up with an old friend. There is no pretense and no awkwardness. It is incredible and so indescribable. They share their beer, their snacks & everyone keeps a look out for one another’s children and montes!
This was the second meet I had attended. I went to Indy last year, but was monteless. After many hours of work I got my car together and ready for the trip. When I left for Greensburg on Thursday it only had 11 miles on it. I met up with Rick Miller (montecrazy1971) and his family for our convoy to the meet.
It was great to see members I had already met and to meet new people. Jack Cooper (PapaCoop60) had a hard time remembering my name. Meeting the "Surprano's" was a real thrill, and the story of their trip had us all in tears. We had a lot of good times "bench racing" and listening to all the interesting stories. The best part was seeing all the 1st gens. taking up 1/3 of the parking lot. What a sight that was!
The Awards dinner was top notch. Excellent selection by Rob. But trying to keep up with Rob "Jack Rabbit" Peters on the turnpikewas a trip in itself. There I was with a fresh built engine, running it like I stole it!
Sunday morningI had a dead battery, which I still don't know why. So the pit crew (Mike, Rick, Dave, and Rob) pulled the battery and we charged it in Rob's room during the NMCOA awards presentation. This just goes to show you what kind of people are in this great club.
I can't wait until next years meet in Charlotte!
Best Paint: Rick Miller (montecrazy1971)
George Lines Best Modified: Mark Patrone (6769)
Best Non Restored: Rob Peters
Best Engine Compartment: Scott Stephens (footballubet)
Longest Distance Driven: Jared Richey
Best Interior: Capri Blasco
Best Stock-Restored: Stan Kulikowski (iceman)
President’s Choice: Dave Reem (72MC)
FGMCC Dedication Award: Andreas Kwetkus
Hard Luck: Art Petridis (art)
Member’s Overall Favorite (All Years of Monte Carlo): Jim Fontana (1967vettecoupe)
People’s Choice (Selected by NMCOA Member’s): Steve Levanti
Directors Choice: Dennis Braunbaugh
Members Choice: Jared Richey
Best Dressed in Early 70’s Clothes: Jack and Judy Cooper (Jack)
2 Nights Free at any Hilton Hotel: Chad Hefflinger (heff)
NMCOA AWARDS TO OUR GROUP
GOLD CLASS WINNERS
Jim Fontana (1967vettecoupe)
Dave Brewer (427monte)
Class Winners other than Gold Class
Steve Levanti (71) (monteman1971)
Michael Matney (71)
Mark Wise (72)
Capri Blasco (71)
James Boczar (70)
Dwight Cornell (71) (71 carlo)
Ken Foutz (71) (71 SS Ken)
Stan Kulikowski (70)
Dave Reem (72)
Jared Richey (70)
Scott Stephens (71)