Monday, April 25, 2022

Moments of Inspiration

 Everyone has moments when a person or event inspires their life.

One of mine was when, at the age of 15, Sharon (Cox) Winne arranged for me to get my first ride in a new sports car -- a fuel-injected 1962 Corvette.  That ride changed my life forever and resulted in a life-long love affair with America's Sports Car!

I've recently learned that I have similarly inspired the idea of Corvette ownership within a young man who lived next door to us 28 years ago.

Matthew Reabold, Jr. moved to the house next to ours in 1995, just in time to celebrate his second birthday.  Our daughter, Canon was about 17 months old.  Matthew and Canon became instant friends, and remain best friends today.  Stories of their adventures would fill this Blog to overflowing.

Matthew's dad, Matthew Sr. (of course) and his mom, Shari, were loving parents and have forged a family friendship among all of us.  Vacations, holiday traditions, and watching our children blossom into accomplished adults fill us with pride.

When we first met the Reabolds we owned a 1984 Corvette.  Matthew Sr. had also owned a 1984 Corvette sealing my bond with him.  In the next two years we bought our 1962 Corvette and began a restoration in 1997.  Matthew Jr. and Canon got to see the restoration unfolding in real time.

I've tried to instill the love of Corvettes in many young people, especially Matthew Jr., typically by giving them their first ride in one.  For me, the most memorable ride I gave Matthew was in 2013, at one of the "Cary's Corvette Club" events.  A bunch of us gathered at the house and caravaned from Carlsbad down the I-5 to the Corvette Diner at Liberty Station.  Matthew Jr. joined us -- he and Canon were big fans of the '62.

When it came time to drive home, Matthew shared the ride with me.

In January, Matthew Jr, started texting me for my opinion of a yellow 2002 Corvette he had found near his home.  He did all the due diligence on his own, and all the negotiations with the car dealer.  Before long Matthew had joined the Corvette Fraternity!

The black and yellow theme looks so much like the Corvette Racing cars from the GTLM years (and my Z06) that I decided Jake needed to be part of the ensemble.  So I mailed Matthew Jr. a Jake sticker for his new car!

Well done, Matthew Jr.  We are so proud of you. And welcome to the brotherhood (and sisterhood) of Corvette ownership!

Love, Cary, Nan, and Canon

Wednesday, April 6, 2022


I'm finding it a bit surreal that some of my closest Beltsville Shell buddies have become nonagenarians!

90 years is a major milestone.  In addition to celebrating Bob Vollmar's 90th Birthday at the end of 2020, Nan and I got to experience two 90th birthdays in recent months for two legendary guys.

The first was for Bonneville legend, Lou Bingham.  Below is a photo from 2016 at the Salt flats -- Lou on the left, Thomas Payne -- who is a champion of Beltsville Shell and the guy who introduced me to Lou -- and yours truly.

Lou's daughter, Denise, arranged for a surprise party and Nan and I were lucky enough to be on the guest list.  We snuck into a lively spot on a Sunday afternoon -- Societe Brewing Company -- along with dozens of Lou's friends.  

 Although we didn't know anyone there, everyone was so friendly and many people told us their stories of long-time friendships with Lou.  This guy is majorly loved by the many, many lives he has touched.

Denise had arranged for one of Lou's friends to bring him to the brewery at the appointed hour.  Everyone was careful to park their street rods a few blocks away so as to maintain the element of surprise. Here we are awaiting the entrance.

The planning was perfect, and Lou was completely surprised!

This is the card we prepared for the party -- before we arrived.  After being there with his friends and family, and hearing all the many testimonials to Lou and his life, I guess the card got it just right!

Plus, we included a Beltsville Shell Sticker as a gift!

Thank you, Lou, for including us in your very special day!

The second party wasn't a surprise, but was equally enjoyable.  This time the birthday boy was Bill Hatch, our neighbor and the original owner of a 1957 Corvette.

[Author note: Cary swears that Bill holds the World Record for the longest period of ownership of a Corvette by the Original Owner.  Bill bought his 1957 Corvette from his local Chevy dealer in April 1957 and still owns the car today -- 65 years later!] 

Here is Bill with his two greatest loves -- his wife Marylyn, and his 1957 Corvette.

Marylyn and Bill's daughter, Lisa, arranged for a wonderful evening at the Seabird Resort, at the water's edge in Oceanside.  The guest list was small -- just immediate family and three couples -- Nan and I were honored to be included in this intimate setting!

Greeting the guests were Lisa, Marylyn, and Bill's Grand daughters Lindsay and Sarah.

We were first treated to champagne and a classic winter San Diego sunset.

Bill greeted all of us with his ever-present smile.

Next was a delicious meal in a private patio.

And the evening ended with birthday cake and a heart-felt speech from Bill.

Bill is about as good a friend as you could ever find.

To Lou and Bill -- I'm looking forward to celebrating #100 with both of you in about 10 years!