Bruce Toelle, Ralph Rhees and other
members of The 300 Club, Inc. did a magnificent job laying out and
running the People’s Choice car show at Alameda Park Saturday
morning – a setting of green grass and large cottonwood trees
and sunshine in the middle of the desert. There was a class for
every 300 and Mopar. Every letter car was represented except a 1962
300H. Congratulations again to John Begian for winning his class,
winning Ladies Choice and winning Best of Show with his black 1961
300G Convertible that he drove from Detroit to New Mexico and back in
rain storms with Noel Hastalis and his 300F. See Bill Adams’
issue of Brute Force for meticulous coverage of all car show
awards. Thanks again to Mick and Martha Kreszock for all of their
video / photographic work for this event.
Marilyn and I must apologize again for
the awards banquet. Having attended many events at our “best
restaurant in town” with 100 people or more in the middle of
100+ degrees outside, 72 degrees inside, we were
confident everything would be perfect. Wrong! Who would have
dreamed the air conditioning system would freeze up / fail due to
extremely high humidity in the desert. The food was good as
expected. However, three of the wait staff failed to show up for
work. This left only three people to serve 125 people in unbearable
heat and humidity. We were able to negotiate a sizable refund for
The Chrysler 300 Club, Inc. I just wish it had been large enough for
a partial refund for the attendees that suffered through our banquet.
Kermit Eskelsen and Bruce Toelle wisely
relocated our awards presentations to the Fairfield Inn and Suites,
the host hotel. Unfortunately, only about 80 of us were able to
attend this enjoyable event. We lost a few attendees between the
restaurant and the hotel. Again, see all the pictures of award
winners in the Brute Force publication.
Although only a few hot air balloons
launched on Saturday due to a flooded Balloon Park launch site, a
record of 38 hot air balloons launched early Sunday morning at the
White Sands Balloon Invitational. Congratulations to Mark, Pauline
and Mathew Obermann as well as Tom and Bea Gorse who received free
tethered rides in hot air balloons. We are unaware if others
received balloon rides. If so, let us know.
Another special thank you to Tony
Rinaldi for his artwork for our White Sands 300 Classic.
Congratulations to Tony also having Vickie Wood as Grand Marshall for
his upcoming meet in Pennsylvania. We spent time with Vickie at
Daytona Speedweeks last year and everyone will enjoy meeting and
spending time with Vickie.
Virtually everyone attending our meet
helped in some way and credits go to everyone we failed to mention.
In closing, we had two unexpected,
unplanned, unofficial Grand Marshalls at our White Sands 300 Classic.
One was Dean Smith with his 1961 Mexican Pan-American Road Race
Chrysler 300G from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Another was Hershel McGriff
and his 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst from Green Valley, Arizona. When
Hershel registered for the event I kept asking everybody if he was
“The Hershel McGriff,” First Mexican Pan-American Road
Race winner and many time NASCAR West Champion, driving mostly
MoPars. No one seemed to know. When I looked up and recognized that
it really was “The Hershel McGriff” that walked into
registration I almost passed out. It was truly an honor and
privilege for him to attend our event. A little known fact that
Hershel shared at the awards ceremony was that he purchased his 1970
Chrysler 300 Hurst new and used it as a tow vehicle for his race cars
What surprises await us at our next
Chrysler 300 meet? Great meet opportunities are coming up in
Arkansas in April, in Sparks, Nevada in June and in Pennsylvania in
Bill and Marilyn Allen, Meet Hosts