Happy New Year! with a strong emphasis on the word “New”. For six years this space has been a must read and the domain of Club President Chris Kintner. During that time he has more than ably guided our numerous activities, shepherded our energies, served as protector of the marque, Editor of the Spark, and earned our sincere gratitude along the way. If you are a regular reader of this publication you know how alive he has made this column, weaving amazingly fun tales of the Kintners, past and present, including travels and pursuits with MG and other car enthusiasts everywhere. His recollections of the famous Put-In-Bay road races come to mind, along with a very recent trip to London and Abingdon to see Frontline Developments—and so many more.
Alas, good things can’t always last…With the recent acquisition of a terrific 1958 Magnette, Chris thinks it’s time to relinquish the wheel to new leadership, and to take time to “smell the grease” of his new favorite MG for a while. The amazing thing is that Chris has carried the load all this time, along with his trusted mates on the Board, while maintaining a very important to the country full-time day job. That amounts to lots of personal hours sacrificed for the good of the Club (he would say happily) that hopefully he can now reclaim for himself.
The really good news is that Chris will remain Editor of the Spark and our website, so we know we’ll continue to have great stories and the same fun of reading about our MG passions every month.
For all of us in the Club, a great big shout out to Chris for a job well done. Chris, I know your shoes (not brake shoes!) will be dauntingly hard to fill.
We would be remiss if we didn’t also mention Cheryl Kintner, who, after serving twenty plus years as our Secretary—a thankless but oh-so-necessary job—is also taking leave of her post. This is truly a scary prospect for the Club, (and especially for Ed Johannemann, who has courageously volunteered to take the job) since Cheryl really does know where everything is, how it got there, and why. She has also been the gracious and charming face of the Club for a lot of years. Both Chris and Cheryl deserve a bit of a stand-down, but if past is prologue, we know they both won’t be strangers at our Club functions in the future. We take solace in knowing they’re both only a phone call away.
Another Club stalwart, Jim Lunson, is taking a well-earned break after serving many years as our Treasurer. Under his watchful guidance, the Club has steadfastly maintained a good financial posture, and he leaves our fiscal condition in excellent shape--and in good hands--as Club Board veteran Todd Wells steps in. We have been so fortunate to have Jim’s services for so long, and we thank him sincerely. And thank you, Todd, for volunteering.
I mentioned that Ed Johannemann is our new Secretary. Ed is a new member of the Club who has already distinguished himself in his first year by volunteering at various events and even hosted a wonderful, and well-attended, Club luncheon at his home in Mt. Vernon this past summer. Ed has a really sweet B Roadster that looks “showroom new”…We also welcome to the Board Jennifer Giunta, who many of you may know for her work-in-progress-but-nonetheless-stunning white MGA which made a surprise debut at the Hunt Country Classic in October. Her “best-decorated” “A” was also one of six stalwart cars at the rain-plagued Middleburg Christmas Parade on Dec. 1st. Jennifer has been actively helping the Board work on generating new interest and enthusiasm in our Club and especially to attract younger members, and we’re very excited to have her help. Steve Boyce, a Club legend who needs no introduction, has agreed to return to the Board and extend us the benefit of his long years of Club involvement. I am particularly happy that Steve is back on the Board (he had been serving as Quartermaster) since it was Steve who recruited me initially to join the Club several years ago, and no one knows more, or cares more, than he does about our history and traditions.
So, as seasons change, so does our Club. We thank those who have served us so well and we thank our new volunteers for stepping up, as we do all of our continuing Board members for their efforts and dedication. Be on alert: in the coming months we will be working on involving more of you in the activities of the Club, and reaching out to you directly for creative ideas on ways to have even more fun.
Meanwhile, don’t forget our Annual Banquet on Feb. 2nd, details of which can be found elsewhere in this edition of the Spark.
Finally, this time of year, as it gets colder and wetter and darker, and as it becomes less likely that we’ll spontaneously decide to hop in our MGs for a little ride--“just for the fun of it”--it is easy to get a bit “down.” If you’ve ever looked at your MG in the garage with snow falling outside, or sleet and rain in the near forecast, and yet you’ve still had that yearning to get out and drive—well, you know what I mean. These are the tough months that are only partly offset with projects, tinkering and fine tuning. Better weather days are coming, though, and when they do just think of the fun you’ll have.
So, before we begin to notice the days getting a bit brighter and longer we would do well to remember these fine word images of Cecil Kimber, who was not only the major force behind MG from its earliest days, but was also someone who obviously shared our driving passion:
“The secret and charm of an MG is the way they handle. Whether you’re dawdling along enjoying the spring sunshine or shaking out a reef and making knots along an empty arterial road…”