The Spark
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by Joe Dowley
Club President


It’s 2020! Amazing.

Happy New Year everyone! Most years we can simply accept the calendar numbers turning over, but really now, 2020?

2020. When I purchased my first MGB in 1970 I never gave much thought to notions of what the world would be like so far away in time, much less that in 2020 I’d still be driving an MGB. Had I given a moment’s thought to that far in the future, it would likely have been in the context of reading Orwell’s 1984 (short by 36 years!), or within the imaginings of one of those episodes of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone set in a distant future time. Back to the Future hadn’t been invented yet. Star Wars had yet to grace the silver screen. In fairness there was also a lot going on to distract us. 2020 was a lifetime away--or so it seemed. Being honest, can we really imagine fifty years ahead anyway? Perhaps not, but it can be fun to try.

Our Club is inextricably linked to personal transportation as it was in the Twentieth Century. Try to envision the world of personal transport in 2070. Will it be as different then as today is from 1970? Or, will it be a time of unimaginably greater levels of transformation? Will there even be “personal” transport? It isn’t hard to imagine that cars as we have known them—certainly powered by 93 horsepower internal combustion engines—won’t be the norm.

Most of us struggle just to accept that change is inevitable, much less realize that in fact, in our time its pace is rapidly accelerating. Will personal transportation from place to place be completely transformed by technologies dedicated simply to “getting there” in the most efficient manner, or will there still be room to “enjoy the ride”? Although far from a profound question in this context, it is natural for us, as members of the MG Car Club Washington DC Centre, to ask: will anyone remember the MG era and if so, in what way in 2070? As we now regard the early “Brass-era” cars with a measure of reverence and humor, or, as the obsolescence equivalent of horse-drawn carriages? As derided representatives of the fossil fuels era--or revered exemplars of good style, performance, sportsmanship and a happier, simpler time? Who knows?

But, in 2020, aren’t we lucky? We still get to drive our toys like the old friends they are, enjoying their idiosyncrasies, their reliability in the face of age, and their sheer fun. Wherever we go in our MGs, especially as a group, people still stop and smile, admire them, engage in earnest recollections—mostly all positive reactions. In 2020 we have a Club—our Club--that helps us organize these occasional celebrations, renew our interests, and maintain our MGs as well as our relationships. And, while we can’t really know or control what 2070 will be like, we can still impact 2020.

That leads us (you’ve probably been wondering where this is going!) to the Club’s central theme for 2020: GET INVOLVED! Make this the year you dive into the Club’s activities, as a volunteer, as a participant, perhaps as an advocate for the MG marque, or, just to have FUN. Our Committee contact list and our schedule are in this publication. What are you waiting for—the future? As legendary football coach George Allen used to say, “The future is now, baby”.

I want to welcome two new members to the Club’s Board: Tom Renda, who is diving right in by volunteering to be the Club’s Secretary; and new Director Mack Halley, who along with his wife Beth, attended most of the past year’s Board meetings without the title. By the way, all of our Board meetings are open to the general membership and are listed in the “Sporting and Social Calendar in The Spark and on our Club Facebook page. We’d love to have you join us.

Elsewhere in this edition of The Spark you can read about all the events we’re planning this year—hopefully with your help—including what’s happening this very month. Let me focus on just one event: our 65th Annual Awards Banquet. This year, it will be a luncheon with spectacular views of the City of Washington on the 14th floor of the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel on January 18th. If you have not done so already, please make the decision to join us and let us know that you’re coming (reservation details in The Spark and on our Facebook page)—it is going to be a great time. We have lined up many useful door prizes, we have a great menu planned, adult beverages will be available, and there will be, as always, lots of laughs, good cheer and FUN.

Cheers, and Safety Fast!


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