Cars, Cars, Cars, and More Cars

This has been an awful summer for me. The 2013 Monet Vision escaped being photographed, Peggy and I did not leave home for anything,, and I failed to visit a single Cruise Night in Frankfort. Maybe it was latent grief creeping out on the tenth anniversary of Barb’s death, or maybe it was a lower back pain that wouldn’t quit, or maybe learning that I suffer from Low T, or maybe it is simply because I reached middle age, whatever, the summer blues took over my mind and body.

Today, a good friend sent me a video link, that cheered me and picked me up beyond my expectations. I only wish he could have done it earlier, like in June. The video features a very large car show in Minnesota, touted as the largest in the world. The cars are amazing and beautiful. If you grew up in the fifties like I did, this video was like traveling back in time. Take a peek and enjoy these mobile works of art.

Top Ten Low Pass Flybys

English: San Francisco, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2005) ...

English: San Francisco, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2005) – The Navy’s Flight Demonstration team, the Blue Angels lead solo, performs the sneak pass, a maneuver that demonstrates the F/A-18 Hornet’s ability to sneak into a target area undetected at speeds approaching 700 mph. The Blue Angels perform more than 70 shows at 34 different locations throughout the country each year. U.S. Navy photo by PhotographerUs Mate 2nd Class Ryan Courtade (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I love it when military pilots play games with our equipment. Watch this video to see some daring and exciting flying stunts.

 

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We all remember Tom Cruise in the Movie ” TOP GUN” when he makes a low pass

near the control tower and causes an officer to spill coffee down his shirt.

Well here are short clips of the top 10 low pass flybys ever filmed … and

of course for nostalgia, let’s see that Top Gun low pass again.

 

Pay particular attention to the last shown low pass. It is number one. Watch

the halo of water around the plane. It happened during a Blue Angels event

over San Francisco several years ago. It was the pilot’s last show with the

team and he had nothing to lose.

 

Many of the boats in the bay lost windows to the sonic blast. It’s a kick to watch.

 

Number 3 was pretty impressive too.

 

http://biertijd.com/mediaplayer/?itemid=19448

 

 

Who Needs Uncle?

Twenty years ago Frankfort Illinois was still a small town out in the country. Today, Frankfort is still a relatively small town (Pop ~16.000) but the big city has expanded to reach it from three sides. The south suburbs of Chicago touch us on the north and east, the suburbs of Joliet reach us on the west, but the south end of town is still wide open farm land with horse farms and gentrified farmers who commute to the city. Even though the population has exploded by five times in the past twenty years the small town feel remains.

Frankfort has many traditions and institutions. One institution is Camp Manitoqua established in 1955, but whose roots go back to Chief Manitoqua of the Potawatomi Indians. Manitoqua is a Reformed Church summer camp that ministers to the surrounding area. A newer institution which has become a fixture within Camp Manitoqua is a group called Camp Quality. Camp Quality began in Australia in 1983 and expanded to the USA in 1986 as a respite for kids with cancer. The camp specializes in giving kids with cancer a new life. They do an amazing  job of making these kids who are on chemo, radiation, and in many cases their last days forget their disease. Volunteers staff Camp Quality, and the need grows every year.

The Frankfort Car Club began in 1976. Car Club members  love cars: old, new, fast, and loud. The car club has many charitable functions like awarding scholarships to Lincoln Way High School students headed into the automotive field, they collect food for the township food pantry, or by matching each dollar collected for the pantry on Cruise nights. As an example, last Thursday evening they anted 500 dollars to match the amount donated that evening from the visitors to Cruise Night.

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The car club began a new tradition a few years ago in cahoots with Camp Quality. They give the kids a ride in a hot rod.

Here is a quote from the car club press release for their event with Camp Quality:

 ” The Frankfort Car Club put quite a few smiles on the faces of kids with cancer who are attending what is called CAMP Quality. The group takes over Camp Manitoqua facilities for a week and provides many and varied activities. Our car club gathers up 60-80 cars and parades to the camp where we load up with the kids who pick out their ride. Off we go with Frankfort Police Department escort service over about a 10 mile run south of town. Upon return we enjoy some ice cream donated by Culver’s of Tinley Park. It is our privilege to give these kids a night to remember and wish them well on their return to good health.”

A friend from the car club sent these photos of the event.

First the Club gathers in downtown Frankfort:

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Then they parade to Camp Manitoqua:

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They regroup at the camp:

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The kids pick out a ride

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Everyone blows off steam with an escorted ten mile ride on the roads south of town.

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Finally, they all come back to Camp Manitoqua for. . .

ICE CREAM!!!!!

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Thank you Frankfort Car Club for providing smiles to a courageous bunch of kids.

A Golden Nugget

Once in a while life hands you a golden nugget. Last Sunday, Peg and I were at the Frankfort Farmer’s Market when the nugget appeared as a kid riding a pedal tractor down a painted track. We went right to it. The Will County Farm Bureau was there with a kiddie tractor-pull competition. They hitched a replica weight sled to a red Farmall pedal-car tractor, and joined fifty feet of 4×8 plywood sheets to make the track.  The big boys from the Farm Bureau did a great job of announcing the event. They rewarded each kid with a  ribbon and a prize to the winner. One thing I learned is that kids with short legs had an advantage. The tractor was a bit small for long-legged kids who couldn’t extend their legs into full stoke on the pedals.  Another thing became obvious, that is, the amount of weight placed on the sled makes a huge difference in the amount of effort required to pull it.

 

I watched the event to the end. Attending a local tractor-pull is on my bucket list of things to do. I’m not sure the kiddie pull qualifies as having seen one though. The kids did their best and I loved seeing them compete, it reminded me of all the days and events I ran for kids during the Boy Scout era of my life.

If you are not familiar with tractor pulling, here is a video of a highly modified tractor in a German big boys competition.

2012-Cruise Night Yearbook

Another year is gone, and I haven’t published a single car feature. This album has every cruise night I attended this summer. The crop of cars this year were great as they always are. I had opportunity to photograph some really nice antiques and hot rods. The Frankfort Car Club and the Chamber of Commerce sponsor Cruise Night as a weekly event on Thursday evenings throughout the summer. Attendance is very good on balmy summer evenings. This summer we had a disproportionate amount Thursdays when it threatened to rain. Rain always keeps the cars and the crowds at home. Some of the nights were too hot to walk around, even in the evening. 

 

Benghazi Cock-a-ma-me

 

Imam Obama

Benghazigate is exploding into a major nightmare and embarrassment for America. Why in the world would the Commander-in-Chief tell us a lie? Why did he feed us that cock-a-ma-me story about the uprising in Libya being a reaction to a video about Allah? When I listened to Hillary’s proclamation on live TV about the attack on Benghazi I smelled a rat. She made a forced dramatic speech about how this vile video claimed our Ambassador. The story line persisted and went on for days. Obama never veered off course from the phony story. Even as more information leaked out to confirm that our government knew about the terrorist nature of the attack within an hour after it began he persisted in spreading the lie. He even knew it was Al Qaeda attacking.

The latest news is that Ambassador Stevens orchestrated a secret gun running deal between the USA and Syrian rebels (Another Fast and Furious?).  What is that all about? Open and transparent like a lead box is what I call this scenario. Another factoid that I can’t resolve is why in the world would Obama allow a fellow gay to work in a radical muslim world. Muslims hate gays. Most likely that is why the terrorists sodomized Ambassador Chris Stevens before killing him.

Obama wears a gold ring on his left hand. Everyone believes it is a wedding ring. It may be, or it may not be. He has worn the ring on that same finger since his college days. Reportedly the ring’s Arabic engraving interprets into “no God but Allah.”  That makes me wonder about the motives of this President. “In “Audacity of Hope” he writes: “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” The quote comes from page 261 of the paperback edition of “The Audacity of Hope.” The Benghazigate situation doesn’t get any uglier.

The cartoon displays one opinion of his motive for not sending help to Benghazi. There is an US airbase in Italy just twenty minutes away from Benghazi. Instead Obama allowed a seven hour firefight between a terrorist mob to go on against two Navy Seals. But Muslims don’t shoot their fellow faithful practicing Muslims do they?

All it would have taken was one US helicopter gunship to blow these heavenly virgin seeking bastards away. Why Mr. President, why?

Late Summer Evening In Frankfort

Old Plank Road Trail

Old Plank Road Trail (Photo credit: reallyboring)

Yesterday, after supper I took a long walk into town. I went by way of the mushroom water tower on route thirty and then south to the Old Plank Road Trail. I arrived in historic Frankfort and saw the remnants of cruise night. At least what was left of cruise night. It was after seven when I ambled into town and the sun was only a glow of pink in the western sky. There were still a few die-hard car guys sitting around chatting in front of their hot-rods. There were about six in all. Too dark to take pictures I thought. I kept walking to Oak Street and Kansas. There across the street was Francesca’s Fortunato restaurant lit up with mini-lights. Patrons sat on the new sidewalk seating area enjoying the warm humid evening while eating and drinking with friends. Neat, I thought to myself as I continued to walk. Then the same scene unfolded in front of the Smokey-Barq restaurant on the opposite corner. I’ve got to take a picture I told myself.  I will be  sorry if I don’t at least try. Besides, what have I got to lose, a few electrons? The only camera was in my phone. What the heck, point and shoot. Surprise, an image froze on the screen. That started me thinking about another photo essay on Frankfort.

Here are the few pictures I took.

You may read my writing about Frankfort, many times I whine about the high cost of living and the latest infra-structure improvement we don’t need, but overall I love this little (16550 souls) town, and will most likely be buried from here.

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