The Spark
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by Joe Dowley
Club President


By most measures, much has happened since our August visit in The Spark, but by other measures, not a lot. We did schedule an event, cancelled another, worked on some necessary “brick and mortar” upgrades to the Club’s infrastructure, and then due to weather, had to postpone the one event we had scheduled. It has been that kind of year so far. On the bright side, we can still caravan our cars (weather permitting) in a safe way. We can also just get out on the road solo and have some FUN. We also know that at some point, hope will turn into reality as we conquer this pandemic.

Everyone had hoped, perhaps beyond reason, that the late summer and fall would bring happier news on the coronavirus front, and that we would be fortunate enough to have our Club schedule get more back to normal. That, of course, has not happened, and it appears our hopes for normality need to be aimed at a later timeframe. By now, you know that we decided to cancel the Hunt Country Classic this year, in the hope that when we have it in 2021 it will come back bigger and better than ever…I would like to thank the Members who took time to write us and support the Board’s hard decision. It is clearly a disappointment, which is perhaps best viewed as only a “temporary setback”.

Mother Nature again intervened, this time as heat forced cancellation of our July Fun Run to the Bealeton Air Circus. We had a good number of cars signed up to join in the Run, and rumor has it that one of our newer members even planned a surprise announcement of great personal significance at the event. Steve Boyce and John Puglisi had pre-run the best scenic routes, and Ed Johannemann had organized the meeting-up spots from which two caravans would embark to make the run to Bealeton. Our hats off to them! But at a predicted 95 degrees it might have been a bit too steamy for other Members. In any event, the matter was decided for us when the Circus’ pilots informed the Club that such a temperature was too hot for them to safely achieve airborne status. It’s really hard to have an Air Circus without the vintage planes…kind of like the Hunt Country Classic without the cars. For our sake, and for the sake of those intrepid pilots, we’ll endeavor to reschedule in the cooler months of the fall. The Club has actually been to Bealeton before, so we know this will be a FUN event with lots of photo ops at which we can safely socially distance!

Going Virtual Anyone?

As I pen this column in early August, we are awaiting feedback from the Members on an activity which cannot be impacted by Covid-19 or by the weather: a virtual British Classic Car Show. As we’ve said about this frequently:  the idea is NOT to replace Hunt Country—that can’t be done. The notion is to provide some unique FUN, albeit indoors by your computer, maybe by your fireplace, with an event that has elements of competition, British classic car history, and human interest (in the form of personal stories about each car entered). Please take a second if you can and respond to our Constant Contact emails on this subject, or simply let us know via email to John Puglisi. Your feedback will help us assess whether there is sufficient interest in having us conduct the Show.

Despite occasional weather setbacks, we have found that car caravans are a Covid-19-safe activity in these times. We have done a couple this year (Winter Romp and the July Great Falls Park Run) and have concluded we need to do more—if only to give our MGs a bit of exercise. So, please be on the lookout for announcements for September and October. As always, our goal is to find reasonably distanced routes that are scenic and FUN to drive—with ample opportunities for pit stops, etc. Bringing along our own food and drink seems also to be a staple of these rides. We will begin to put rides on the calendar—likely as replacements for events we just can’t do now. We recognize that not everyone can get away during the work week, and so are making all efforts to have Fun Runs on weekend days. Let us know if you’ve got an idea for just where you’d like to drive.

Although we’ve been somewhat hindered in terms of event scheduling, the Board has been active in reviewing some of the opportunities we have to improve our Club’s infrastructure, including the website. We’ve been looking at ideas for modernizing the technical side of our website to make it more user-friendly, relevant and useful. Many of the devices we use today to access our website weren’t invented when our site first came on-line. “Blogs’ were also not part of the jargon, either. We feel we can offer Members more MG Club content, interest and capacity to get engaged if we modernize our site to permit more activity. Look for some announcements on this front in the near future.

Folks, we need to stay active! Don’t let any moss (unless it’s something useful from Moss) get under your wheels. Make a pledge to yourself to get that MG of yours (or just one of them if you own more than one) out on the road. Early beats the heat, but a great ride can be had as well when the sun starts setting. Take a video of the ride (do it safely, of course) and send it to us. We’d love to see it!

Stay well. Safety Fast!


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