NAMGAR's 10th Anniversary Get-Together was held in Plymouth, MI and hosted by non-other than the Michigan Rowdies: NAMGAR's first chapter. This was truly a working GT for us, since we were up to our keisters in the national organization activities and active in the Michigan Chapter. Sometimes the pain of planning was like having a root canal. As a matter of fact, Steven closely associates this meet with a root canal.
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Early in the planning stages, the hosting hotel had a small planning party for the GT planners and guests: a little wine, a little cheese, dinner. We had just flown back from business meetings in the Big Apple, and Steven was experiencing a toothache. Through a comedy of errors, the dentist couldn't see him until Sunday, but did prescribe some drugs to alleviate the pain. Steven, knowing that he was required to talk with guests and caterers at the party, halved the medication dose. But during appetizers, the pain moved in again so he took "a bit" more medication. Finally, we all proceeded to the hotel restaurant for dinner. The waitress had just placed a bowl of soup in front of Steven when Bruce Nichols, who had been talking to him, noticed his eyes glaze over and managed to grab him just before his nose touched the bottom of that bowl of clam chowder. Bruce and Dave Smith managed to wrest his limp body out to our Granada. Diane says the rest of the dinner and planning meeting went well.
Since this was the 10th anniversary of NAMGAR, one would think that we'd have a lot of pictures and things to say. However, our recollections of this GT are limited to what we were doing to assist the Rowdies in making the meet memorable. We only took Gray, the Granada, because there was just so much stuff to take for registration, regalia, and all the other activities we were involved with. Fortunately, it was a short drive across town from Grosse Pointe to Plymouth.
Did we take the driving tour? Nope - worked the registration table. Diane, et al., worked registration for the first several days. Everyone should do this at least once. It's a great way to meet the members and actually put name to face. It's also an excellent opportunity to practice problem-solving, sales, and customer skills. Did we vote for the cars? No - Steve, et al., counted the ballots. There was time to take one picture, we've reproduced it below: Steven, (no that's not Diane), Cheri Smith and Dave Smith. Where's Diane? -- working behind the camera.
At the awards banquet, Steven took the time to recognize ALL of the past NAMGAR contributors who were in attendance. He also made a pitch for more volunteers. Volunteers are important to NAMGAR, so it's important that they get a little recognition from time-to-time.
Steven, NAMGAR Tiki God,
Cheri & Dave Smith
Another NAMGAR tradition was born here: the Rowdies decided that they wanted to host a GT every 10 years. So look for the Rowdies to be there at GT-20, GT-30, with stop at GT-25 for the Silver Anniversary. You may question the 10 year sequence going back to GT-1. GT-1 was hosted by the NAMGAR Board, but GT-1-1/2 was hosted by the newly formed, and first NAMGAR chapter, Michigan Chapter (no name then) at Greenfield Village.
There were many activities: a rally, funkhana, and tech sessions. We heard from many who attended that the activities were great. If we weren't counting ballots, we were counting money, so we saw very little of the extracurricular activities. The Rowdie volunteers did a great job of getting everyone where they needed to be, when they they needed to be there.
The car show was a real winner - aren't they all? We believe it was here that the Ball Tour began. For those of you who don't know, Tom Ball has a very nice custom MGA. He has made many enhancements to his car. Each year we look forward to his tour to see what more he's done. Believe Diane when she says it's tastefully done.
It was also a sad weekend for the Rowdies: RB & Joyce Hart were leaving the next day for their new adventure on the west coast. RB had accepted a position with Moss Motors. On Sunday morning, everyone lined up to hug and kiss RB and Joyce, and say their goodbyes. RB and Joyce were pivotal in the Michigan Chapter. Also Steven was losing RB as a valued member of the NAMGAR board: it was RB who gave MGA! the basic format that it has today.
We drove home - and - c-o-l-l-a-p-s-e-d, with smiles on our faces!