Friday, September 2, 2011

End of Summer?

We held our last big BBQ of the summer along with the High Desert A's in the annual End of Summer Car Cruise.

And it felt like the end of summer. I had been watching the weather reports for a week, hoping that they were wrong but to no avail. This time Bob was right and just the day before, the temperatures dropped. This caused worry throughout the day but all was set and the show must go on.

I arrived at 3PM to find two rigs parked in the main line area. One was an employee but the other must have been from one of the surrounding businesses as when I made a couple of calls, it disappeared. My Model A friends showed up at 4 and we quickly filled up the 16 prime spots with the polished A's.

The guys helped finish off the remaining set up while the ladies stood by and supervised. Then we got them all together and set up two shifts for the BBQ. That way, one could eat while the other worked. As we prepared, many beautiful cars showed up and garnered good spots in the lot. A motor home showed up and took up 5 spots. They were playing cards inside when I asked them to move just outside the lot. The man was gracious and the spots filled up just as fast as he pulled out.
At 5:30, Jimmy rang the dinner bell and the feed began. The band finished their set up and the tunes began to waft out over the line of hungry eaters. Richard had once again put together a great group including two Grammy award winners in Andy Armer and Ken Emerson (Ken is considered by many to be the best steel guitarist in the world).
As I walked around looking for problems to solve, all seem to running smooth and the people sitting down eating seemed happy and quite satisfied. Everything seemed to be going so well. At 6, I looked out over a parking lot crawling with people sitting by their cars eating while others looked over the variety that had shown up. The band was rocking and people were dancing in the lot to the music that they provided. All seemed to be running perfectly....all except the weather.

As the temperature began to drop, so did the customers. Judy and I ate with some friends and when I came back out into the lot, I noticed the line was now sparse and a couple of cars had left. The colder it got, the more people left and so did the cars.

By 7, the lot was looking empty. By 7:15, it looked deserted. By 7:30, the band was playing to an empty house except for a few cars and our Model A's. By 8, we were all packed up including the band.

As we packed things away, I noticed a few cars showed up and we did get some customers inside but the End of Summer car show had officially ended. A tale of two hours...success at 6...failure at 7.

But in that short period of time, we fed 133 hungry customers who enjoyed a great band while walking around some pretty awesome cars. Any restaurateur will tell you, to feed that many in that short of time and have them all happy is an accomplishment of it's own.

Thanks to the High Desert A's for all their hard work, to Jimmy for another delicious BBQ, to Richard for another great musical set, to all of the car guys who brought in their polished autos, and to the many who came and helped us raise money for the automotive scholarship at COCC.

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