WRC Guys & Gals,
Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together ! But let me recede to a few months ago ! As all of you know these past two years have been extremely hard on all of us and the thoughts of not being able to get out and enjoy being with friends a family at the activities we enjoy was a daunting thought on our minds ! While trying to arrange a schedule of meets for the coming season our first meet of the season is usually at the Brooklyn Exchange Club.
So when I got the call from TJ Fitzgerald saying that the club was already booked up for the coming season and there were no openings, my heart sank as I know how everyone always looks forward to this meet ! But with some ideas from our core members as to an alternate place to have a First meet of the year, the suggestion of the Chesterland Orchard Hills Pavilion seemed like a good one ! But our past Chesterland resident, our very own Treasurer Mr Robert Joynt had moved out of the area ! What to do ?? Enter Dave Deck who was able to secure the Orchard hills Pavilion so we could have our meet there !
Although not exactly the same as the Brooklyn Exchange Club location, we thought it was a satisfactory replacement and would suffice ! That meet went off great and I think all that attended had a good time and the exchange of motors, parts and stories had everyone satisfied !
But then I started receiving the calls, “when are we going to have the Brooklyn Exchange Club meet” ? First just a couple, then a couple more, all tolled I think I got 17 calls asking why and when were we going to have the Brooklyn Exchange Club meet !!! Aside from getting writer’s cramp trying to explain that the Brooklyn Exchange Club was all booked up due to being shut down from the past two years of mandates and not being able to book any meets, I was to say the least, frustrated !
And then came the call from Jim Fordosi ! He said “We had a cancelation and if you’d like to book it, we can have the meet on the 30th of April here at the Brooklyn Exchange club !
“It was almost like something Biblical happened ! All the pieces fell into place, Jim also said they would provide the lunch just like they usually did and make all the arrangements notifying the public through Craig’s list and a couple others so we’d have plenty of incoming guests to bring their motors parts and goodies for all to sort through.
I am at a loss for words to describe how I feel about Jim Fordosi, Tj Fitzgerald, Chip Rabbit, Dave (Lunch Helper) Larry Muniak and any others that help make all the arrangements ! These fine gentleman go so far above and beyond to give us all a great facility to host this kind of meet, I just can’t praise them enough !
So with all that said and explained, on to the meet and the day ! Peg and I arrived about 8:15 and were amazed to see the parking lot already half full with cars trucks and plenty of bartering and dealing already going on ! Our first task was to set up our banner so all would know they were at the right place, Yeah, like you wouldn’t know once you pulled into the parking lot ?
Next was a tour through the area to see what I couldn’t live without ! One of the first members I ran into was Marty Belfi who needed something to remove a spark plug from his little 3.6hp ScottAtwater or maybe it was an Elgin ! Don’t let Scott Wimbush see you using channel locks to remove that plug ! Moving on I greeted John Hagerman (our Photographer) who had brought a very nice canoe with a sweet little WaterWitch 3/4hp mounted on his freshly made motor bracket, nice job John !
There were several pickup trucks with the back gates down and all kinds of parts available to bid on ! I greeted several of our members along the way but soon lost track of all that I talked to ! Trying to remember everyone I chatted with at a meet like this is almost impossible, but to remember a few, means my memory isn’t completely gone yet ! The Reed brothers, Bill & John are always among the many picking through the treasures along with Mike Seachrist, Bob Korosa, Dan Curran, Chris Feldman, Bill (it will Fly) Jatzek, (personal joke), Jerry Kay and a few others !
I then ran into Vince Donohoe to whom I had brought several boat bumpers he needed so his wife wouldn’t get sore arms from holding the boat while he parked the truck ! Dave Dufresne was also among the shoppers looking for that one or two things he really needed !
One of our newest members Rex Jackson was makings deals by the dozens. If you ever meet Rex you will have the pleasure of greeting one of the nicest young members that has recently joined our club ! Stan you must be very proud of him !
On the other side of the parking lot I ran into my good friend Larry Muniak, Larry has a warehouse down in Cleveland where he deals with all kinds of outboards, parts and marine paraphernalia ! If you need some rare part or just a fun place to visit, take a trip to see Larry ! Some of you may have stopped at Larry’s truck and saw the picture of him with the prize Tuna he caught while fishing up in Alaska ! Unfortunately he and his son’s boat got rammed and almost destroyed when hit by a freighter; they both survived but the boat didn’t do so well !
As I ventured on through the array of pickups and parts I came upon Mr. Jay Miller’s truck and a variety of things that that certain person can’t do without, of course I had to sit and listen to what my good friend Jay had to say about the meet and the deals he found ! What I heard was he couldn’t believe he and Scott Wimbush were the only ones that expressed an interest in a fairly rare Elto Quad that another gentleman had in the back of his truck ! It was truly a wonder to behold ! But not to be holding it as this beast probably weighs upwards of a couple hundred pounds ! I reminded Jay that most of us being seniors were not in our prime physically and don’t want to be moving these monsters around any more !
John Reed’s truck was just down the way a bit, and I always enjoy talking with John about his latest project and seeing what he has for sale, didn’t see anything I couldn’t live without so moved on to Bill Reed’s truck and found a Mercury tiller handle with my name on it, thanks Bill it’ll go to good use one of these days !
Once through the parking lot I noticed John Hagerman had put his little WaterWitch in the test drum that Chip Rabbit had provided for anyone wanting to test run a motor ! It only took a couple pulls for John to have it running like a champ. I got a couple videos of it running and will have our IT specialist ~ Mr Bill Mohat post it to our web site for anyone to see ! Bill has been great getting the latest videos, pictures, and articles posted to our site ! Please check it our at ~ wrcoutboards.org
I couldn’t leave out Mr. Randy Heinle’s fine Penn Yan Swift boat with an equally nice Johnson electric start 25hp on the transom ! Randy had it parked under the overhang up by the lodge looking like it was supposed to be there on display !
The announcement was made that lunch was ready and it didn’t take long for the line to be almost out the door ! While in line I noticed the three fine ladies, my wife Peggy, Bob Joynt’s friend Leslie, Maryann Elliot and Dave TJ’s helper, were already behind the counter serving ! The menu consisted of salad, macaroni, potato salad, fried chicken, ham, drinks and deserts of various kinds ! No reason to go away hungry, and there are always left overs to go home with those that want them !
Jim Fordosi did want me to thank everyone and say that your generosity was greatly appreciated as the tip jar covered the cost of the lunch !
After Lunch it was another quick walk around the lot to see if there was anything i might have missed earlier ! There were a couple free boxes with some little trinkets (switchs) I couldn’t refuse and a bilge pump that might work as a spare ? Then the crowd started to depart and it was the end of another great Brooklyn Exchange Club meet ! Again many thinks to Jim, TJ, Dave, Chip, Larry and the ladies that helped serve the lunch and to everyone that added to making this a great meet !
And remember our next meet is the Mentor Lagoons meet May 21st. I will be sending out a reminder with details soon so stay tuned and until then, And
Remember ~~~~~ Keep the Blue Smoke Flowing !
Gary & Peg