What a perfect day we had for the 64 folks who enjoyed a rare tour of the Martin family’s beautiful car collection. Members of USA’s Automotive Engineering Club and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Corvette Club and joined the DSR for the tour, and we had 11 beautiful Corvettes lined up in front of the Museum. We caravanned to Loaves and Fishes Restaurant in Wilmer for lunch, and everyone enjoyed the delicious catfish and other specialties, including the biggest slices of made-from-scratch cake you have ever seen! Thanks to John Bright, Leslie Sellers, Bill Brown and Deana Landry for the great photos!
The DSR was invited to join the Dixie Wings Motorcycle Club for a day tour to the Wellborn Muscle car Museum in Alexander City, Alabama. Our caravan traveled through typical July weather – pouring rain followed by bright sunshine – both there and back, but the trip was well worth it! This world-class museum boasts many cars with single digit productions, as well as some showroom-original cars with less than 100 miles on them. As if these pristine cars were not enough, the highlight of the tour is museum guide and car guru Alton Freeman who led us on a personal tour. Alton had stories and history for every car, and he made the tour come alive for everyone. If you missed this trip, do not worry. We were invited back for another tour of the museum and a tour of Mr. Wellborn’s private collection at his home.
Jim Henderson, Mallory Henderson, Zeno Chaudron and Jack Fruin had a banner year in The Great Race! Team Henderson won Stage 5 of the race, a first for the family. It was not all smooth sailing as the team battled torrential downpours and engine trouble, but they finished strong. Jim could not have been prouder of granddaughter Mallory, who is the third generation of the Henderson family to compete in The Great Race.
Below are some articles about the history of the Henderson family and The Great Race.
by Belinda Rooney
I think not! Most of us are aware that the right thing to do when our American flag has reached the end of its service is to retire it properly, but then the question becomes, what exactly is the proper way to retire a flag in a dignified and respectful process? Well, let’s give some thought to a few of the reasons why we even honor it in the first place.
What does it mean when we pledge our allegiance to the flag? Not only are we pledging our honor and respect to the symbol of our liberty and justice, but also to unlimited opportunity, hope and national pride. It serves as a symbol that binds us together, our entire country and its citizens, as one united nation under God.
It is also the embodiment of our national history, not just emotion and sentiment, but an innate understanding and appreciation for the years of sacrifice that many men and women have made to establish and keep our country free, none of which are unimportant. It represents our patriotism to the country that we love and in essence it becomes a living thing, so proper retirement somehow gives it a soul.
We all learned early on that the stars and stripes represent the 13 original colonies and the 50 states, but did you know that the colors have significance also? Red represents bravery and valor or bloodshed, white represents purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice. I am ashamed to admit, or maybe I’ve lived in a vacuum, but I didn’t know this or perhaps just never thought about it. Americans tend to take things for granted sometimes. We have had it very good for a very long time. But I digress.
I was also not aware that in 1923 a standard set of civilian rules was created for honoring our flag and establishing how it was to be treated, although it has changed through the years. And that there are many myths about the flag that add a lot of mystery to the equation. For instance, if the flag touches the ground, it must immediately be retired. That is true only if it is soiled, torn, or otherwise made imperfect. Funny how man tends to make up stories to make things have more significance or larger than life. I know I can remember struggling to put up flags, risking life and limb to keep it off the ground, and if it did accidentally touch the ground thinking “now what am I going to do with it?” That is not to say that my respect for this beautiful banner is lessened in any way, just to say that we sometimes make things more difficult than they must be.
And regarding the stars and stripes on our flag, I did not know that according to those who study Vexillology (the study of flags! Who knew?), the entire area of a flag has different named elements, such as the Canton, which is any quarter of the flag, usually the top left corner representing a position of honor, such as the area of the American flag that contains our stars. Then there is the Charge or the field of the flag, also a position of honor which is divided into the Fly and the Hoist, to name a few. I could go on, but I am sure you’re more interested in hearing what the Deep South Region AACA did to honor Flag Day!
Well, we had a celebration, of course! We invited as many folks as wanted to come, we brought our vintage cars, and we feasted in our usual fashion with the quintessential American cookout style meal of hamburgers, hot dogs, and BBQ pork sandwiches! And, oh yes, don’t forget the homemade ice cream provided to us by Eiland Creamery! But most importantly, we invited our local, FM Talk 106.5 radio celebrity, Tom Claxton, along with the Marine Corp Color Guard to officiate the retirement process of our Clubhouse flag.
It was time, so we took advantage of the national observance of Flag Day to do it. It was a very moving experience and I saw a few tears being ever so discreetly wiped away. Mine included. Not so much in the pomp and circumstance, if you will, but the raw emotion that comes along with patriotism and love for one’s country. The participation of the Color Guard also made it especially meaningful in reference to the importance of the flag.
At its, inception, the color guard was originally formed because of a regiment’s need for a central point of reference and to help keep their formation, the loss of which could cause the unit to break up since the battlefield was often a confused, dusty and smokey place. Using colored banners or flags emblazoned with battle honors, fulfilled that need and marked the location of the commanding officer. The flags were treated with reverence, and because of their importance, guards of experience or elite soldiers were adopted to protect their “colors” from being captured which meant defeat.
While the military no longer needs flags and banners to find their regiments during a battle, the color guards remain a formal and time-honored tradition. Through the ages it has become more of a ceremonial affiliation often serving at different functions to honor our flag and nation.
And this is where Tom Claxton, Commandant of the P.L. Wilson Detachment of the Marine Corps League of Mobile came in. They performed a moving ceremony in which we honored the flag with the Pledge of Allegiance, and a beautiful rendition of God Bless America was sung by Jani Bryant. As our folded, tattered flag was placed on the fire, the distinctive bugle melody “Taps” was flawlessly played by Betty Beady. It truly was quite moving.
So, it goes without saying, we had a lovely, patriotic, and first ever, Deep South Region Flag Day ceremony. One that I think will go down in our history books and will certainly bear repeating in the future!
May God Bless America, today and always!
The annual 2023 Silverhill Memorial Day Car Show in Silverhill, AL did not disappoint this year. As is customary, it was held in the Town Square Park with over 225 cars registered. In honor of Memorial Day, proceeds went to add names and stones to the Silverhill Veterans Memorial.
Silverhill is such a quaint little town where they celebrate every Memorial Day with this great show. There were vehicles everywhere, of every type reflecting the many personalities of the folks who own them.
It was a huge success. The weather could not have been more beautiful, and a great sense of patriotism filled the air!
Longtime DSR members, Jim and Nancy Henderson once again opened their collection for members to enjoy. We were also joined by the Dixie Wings Motorcycle Club as well as the Mississippi Corvette Club. From there over 30 of us headed over to Judy’s Place for lunch. Beautiful cars, great food and lots of friends will always make for a great day!
Members of the DSR joined other car enthusiasts from the area to bring a little joy to some special people during Washington County Nursing Home Week.
The weather did not cooperate for this event! Hugestorms had drenched the field, and glowering skies threatened more bad weather to come! Still, a few intrepid pilots brought out their planes. A surprise visit from a Coast Guard pilot in her Eurocopter MH-65 Dolphin caught everyone’s attention. I am sure she was more than used to flying in less-than-ideal conditions.
Several antique cars also braved the rain, and it turned out to be an enjoyable, if somewhat shortened, day. There were a surprising number of spectators on the grounds enjoying the planes, cars and great food. The ladies of Women in Aviation served a great pancake breakfast, and a delicious lunch of hamburgers and barbecue was served by the Boy Scouts and the Experimental Aircraft Association.
With storm clouds growing closer, most people chose to head for home not long after lunch.
The father and son team of Bill and Jeff Brown attended Battle in Bama, a huge car show held at Battleship Park each May. Bill and Jeff took Bill’s two 1955’s – a Buick Special and Oldsmobile Rocket 88.
Our first ever Earth Day Cruise-In & Electric Car Show was a huge success! The DSR had 21 cars lined up chronologically from 1915 to 1998, and Drive Electric Alabama hosted 22 electric vehicles. Held in conjunction with the Earth Day celebration at the Japanese Garden next door, this unique event drew thousands of spectators throughout the afternoon.
The club worked tirelessly throughout the month of April to complete cleaning and repair projects that had been neglected for far too long! The front porch area was cleaned and painted with fresh, bright colors. The new air conditioning unit for the front room was installed. The grounds were cleaned, and electrical issues were addressed. Inside, the clubhouse was scrubbed from top to bottom and new artwork was hung throughout the building. As you can see, the work was well worth the reward!
What a big event this turned out to be! The DSR invited several of our regional car clubs to join us on a trip to Metairie, Louisiana, to visit the Cars of Yesteryears Museum. We had almost 100 attendees, including several from Louisiana car clubs who called and asked if they could join us, as well! Sixty of us stopped for lunch at Middendorf’s in Slidell on the way home, and the restaurant did a great job in handling our large crowd.
The regional clubs that joined DSR were Gulf Coast Model A Club (Mobile), Antique Automobile & Engine Club of Mississippi (Biloxi), Gulf Coast Regional Mustang Club (Pensacola), Mobile Bay Mustang Club (Mobile), Mississippi Gulf Coast Corvette Club (Biloxi) and Magnolia State Model T Ford Club (Ocean Springs).
If you have not been to the Cars of Yesteryears Museum, set aside several hours to truly enjoy everything there is to see. Not only is the museum large and chock full of good things, it is truly a quality museum. Many of the cars are listed as being one of only a handful ever made, and several more are one-of-a-kind!
If you have not figured it out, yet, this club LOVES to eat! Middendorf’s did not disappoint!
Below is a nice group shot of almost everyone who stopped by for lunch.
Bill Brown, Leslie Sellers and John and Debbie Bright braved the cold and rainy weather to attend the Gulf Coast Mustang and Mega Car Show. OWA Parks and Resorts was a beautiful venue for this event and 120+ cars were in attendance. There were many spectators in attendance, including lots of families and small children. What a great way to introduce young people to our wonderful hobby!
Article Submitted by Dick Cashdollar
Saturday February 25th saw the 12th annual car show hosted by Port City Corvettes at Bass Pro. As I’m certain many will remember, several years ago we huddled together in winter coats at this show…..but not this year! A bright, sunny day saw temperatures soar into the low ‘80’s by lunchtime, causing the hearty who attended to bake as we sat on the treeless asphalt parking lot anxiously waiting for the judges to complete their rounds.
One little fellow drew a crowd, after showing that he was smarter than most in getting out of the heat!
Other than the heat and lack of restroom facilities it was a nice show, with 111 vehicles registered. I’d estimate that about 80% of these cars were Corvettes, with the majority being late model ‘Vettes. The Gulf Coast Corvette Club from Mississippi was represented by a number of members, with their standout car being an absolutely beautiful 1961 Corvette.
This was an important show for me personally. It was the first car show that I felt comfortable in attending since the 2020 Port City show, which was closely followed by the life changing COVID pandemic. It felt really good cleaning up my car and getting out with like-minded folks again!
After many years of presenting trophies, Port City Corvettes went to smaller hand-painted awards several years ago. However, this year they reverted to full-sized trophies again.
My 1980 Corvette won a second-in-class trophy (1971 to 1985 class), so I was happy to add it to my modest collection.
Article Submitted By Dick Cashdollar
DSR members Bill Brown & Dan Jacobson also brought cars to the Port City Show.
Four DSR members traveled to Foley to participate in the OWA Mardi Gras Parade. Boy, were we all shocked! We were expecting a local parade with small crowds, but this event was huge! There were 55 entries in the parade including floats, dance teams, marching bands, and, of course, antique cars. The crowds were fabulous, and the event was very family-oriented. Thanks to Bill Brown, Leslie Sellers, Deana Landry and Debbie Bright for the great photos.
The Dixie Wings Motorcycle Cub invited us along on their day tour for lunch at The Shed in Ocean Springs. Between the two clubs we had 33 people. There were several motorcycles and antique cars, as well as many folks in their modern cars.
The food was delicious, as it always is at The Shed, and everyone enjoyed the perfect spring weather!
Leslie Sellers represented the DSR in style at the Ravine Woods Children’s Parade on February 12th. They had beautiful weather for this charming neighborhood parade, and Leslie’s car was used to carry Councilwoman Gina Gregory.
The dreary, wet weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of the 55 folks who came out to the clubhouse for our first annual Open House & Cruise-In. With so many new members added to our rosters, the officers thought this would be a great chance for everyone to get to know one another. In a spirit of collaboration with local clubs, the Dixie Wings Motorcycle Club was also invited. Many of these Gold Wing owners also own antique cars, and several registered with the DSR. We even had a few fearless drivers who brought their Gold Wings and antique cars in spite of the drizzle!
John Bright and his sous chefs took shelter on the front porch as they grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for everyone. We rounded out the meal with fabulous homemade cakes and cookies, as well as homemade ice cream with all the toppings!
After a fun day in the clubhouse, no one was ready to leave, so everyone jumped in to help with clean-up!