Rain, rain, go away!
by Richard Lewis
As promised, Your Loyal Correspondent (LYC) brings to you a report on what continues to be the premier event of the British car experience on the Gulf Coast. Of course, what could that be except the Panhandle British Car Association’s “Brits on the Bay” Show, held on April 17 and 18!
It was, as promised, a splendiferous event, with a series of tours and visits in and about Pensacola on Friday, ending that evening with what has to be the most exceptional welcoming event for out-of-towners as well as PBCA members, The Commerce Museum beautifully decorated with club banners and British flags and a party attended by about 165 revelers, with great food and drink and warm comradeship, even capped with a parade of bagpipers, led by member Walt Schuman, all rhapsodizing with great Scottish tunes, and hosted by PBCA President Tabor Tompkins. The rainy weather broke with the sun coming out for several hours.
Saturday morning. Ah, Saturday morning. The gods of weather must have had a serious tiff among themselves Friday night, because that Saturday morning, they were in a foul mood. Clouds rolled in, looking like clotted buttermilk, gone bad. The winds picked up, and for a few moments, it looked like their benevolent breaths might blow away those ominous clouds, still looking like a bad headache.
Alas, it was not to be, and an intermittent light rain pelted down on about sixty cars, some swaddled in tarps or others lifting their ragtops in defiance of the weather.
Those sixty-seven cars had defied the threatening weather forecast and had taken their place in the ranks of Triumphs, Jaguars, Mini’s, Sunbeams, , MG’s, Lotuses, and others, those ranks gap-toothed by the absence of some fifty or sixty cars who had planned to show up. Sixty-seven brave, fearless, intrepid souls.
Yes, we had sixty-seven rather than the one hundred-thirty to one hundred-fifty cars that normally show up for what they know is simply the best show on the Gulf.
Still, despite an occasional sound of the gods bowling overhead and a sprinkler’s can of rain once or twice more, the weather never became really rotten, and the band played on. Everything followed the usual course of events, with a wonderful raffle with prizes of extraordinary value, all donated by PBCA members or sponsors. On display was everything ranging from a $200 tool kit, a gorgeous turned bowl by Jeff Olive, terrific paintings by Curt Derby and Rich Willows, a fantastic wine collection of expensive wines, a basket of exotic comestibles suited to the most jaded palate, and on and on. A terrific 50/50, lots of door prizes, and all to the sounds of “The Not Quite Fab” Beatles band, and everyone looking over a beautiful array of cars. All in all, a highly successful car show.
Except, some folks couldn’t make it.
It is perfectly understandable why someone isn’t willing to expose his prized British cars to what might have been terrible weather. While it turned out to be a sissy storm, its forecast was ominous enough to cause someone to decide to stay in and work on his stamp collection. Although many PBCA volunteers, with and without cars, showed up to help run the event and make it a success. The clubs volunteer effort was outstanding and was the main reason for the success of the show in spite of the weather and overly dismal forecasts.
Still, we soldiered on, and next year, the early sacrifice of a virgin (if we can just find one) is guaranteed to keep the weather gods content for next year’s show. Plan on it and plan to be at “2016 “Brits on the Bay” in Pensacola on April 16 and 17, 2016.
Here follows an account of the winners. There were no losers. Also, here’s what else occurred and what’s coming up.
Next month, YLC will be out-of-pocket, so look for a refreshing change from a surprise guest editor. See you in August.