Welcome To My Blog

Weekends are for wandering Wisconsin. That's what Rick, my guy, and I do. Occasionally we wander during the week, too. Sometimes we just drop in on other people's lives.

This blog is my way of sharing where we've been, neat places and things to do that we've found.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Back to the 50s

This past weekend Rick and I wandered to St. Paul for the "Back to the 50s" Car Show. 
I don't know if this is the biggest car show in the country with more than 11,000 vehicles, but it certainly was one of the largest we've been to, Iola Old Car Show included. The setting was the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Such a beautiful place - lots of trees offering shade on a sunny and hot weekend. As much as I hate to say that anything is better than what we have here in Wisconsin, our state fair park can't hold a candle to Minnesota's.
Even though Minnesota is the "North Star State,"
this little fella greeted us at the fairgrounds.
However, a gopher wouldn't stand a chance against
a Wisconsin badger! So take that, Minnesota!
Rick's friend, Wally, invited us. Because he belongs to a car club (one that he founded), Wally is able to reserve a spot to park his and his friends' vehicles and pitch a tent. Our location was terrific - lots of shade all day long and close to the flush toilet bathrooms!
Where's Neda, you ask? Why it's just a couple miles north
of Iron Ridge. And if you don't know where that is,
Iron Ridge is just a couple miles north of Woodland!
The Minnesota Street Rod Association sponsors "Back to the 50s" and this was the 41st annual gathering. Only cars prior to 1964 are allowed so there are no Mustangs (they came out in 1964 1/2) nor 70s muscle cars. Rick was planning to show his 1964 Chevy panel truck but the shop fixing the brakes wasn't able to finish the job in time for him to take it. So we settled for just being spectators during our inaugural visit.

With benches along the side of his pick-up truck's bed and an umbrella to shade us, the touring ride on Wally's truck was quite good. The traffic flowed throughout the fairgrounds all day long with drivers and passengers checking out the many vehicles just as we did. It was also fun just to sit back and watch the interesting cars and trucks pass by.
Wally's truck - our "touring" vehicle.
Here are just a few samples of what we saw while on the tour.

Wally's classic car is a '56 Chevy. I have a hard time telling one year from another. It's even remarkable I can tell a Chevy from a Ford!

Gotta love that turquoise color!
Another friend of Wally's, Travis, came all the way from Colorado to the show. He's staying in Wisconsin for a while before going back west. 
Travis's Suburban is about the same color as Rick's truck. 
Attendees at "Back to the 50s" number more than 125,000. Maybe even more.
The streets were packed. If you look closely, you can see Rick in the
front with his "safari" hat, print shirt, and black shorts.
Now for a few of the cars that caught my eye. . .

Love those Corvettes of the 50s.
And another one - great lines on these cars.
So many bold colors on these classics.
Easy to spot in a crowd!
More colorful cars. . .

I'm always on the lookout for a 1955 Ford.
The first family car I can remember - a '55 Ford custom sedan. My dad
always bought Fords, except for his last car which was a Mercury
Marquis. Apparently the equivalent Ford Crown Vic didn't have the
directional indictor beneath the rear-view mirror so that's why he
changed brands. But at least the Merc was in the same family!
And panel trucks since Rick has one.
This one is a Ford, probably a 50s vintage.
The show even featured a celebrity - Paul Petersen from the Mickey Mouse Club and the 50s/60s Donna Reed Show. 
This former child actor formed "A Minor Consideration,"
a child-actors support group in 1990. Today he is the
most dedicated advocate for protecting both present-day
child stars and shunned one-time celebrity tykes as well.
Gotta love the sense of humor these car guys have.
Restoring old cars can be an expensive hobby.

The work that some owners put in on their restored vehicles is nothing short of incredible.
This is a step van. I'm not sure what year. Maybe
from the 1950s. 
I can't begin to imagine how many hours AND
dollars it took to beautify the interior.

Because classic cars tend to be an interest of more men than women, the MSRA doesn't want to leave the ladies out of the picture. One entire building on the grounds is dedicated to a "Ladies Showcase." Makeovers, fashion, and cake baking were some of the topics on the main stage. On Saturday morning I was able to snag one of the 1,000 canvas bags (with zipper - very nice) that were given out. To get to the bags, however, we had to snake through the entire exhibit hall! Actually, that wasn't bad since we had the chance to briefly look at all of the booths. Then on our way out of the hall, we could fill our bags with beads and baubles.

From our vantage point we didn't miss out on this entertainment.
A Dixieland band on the back of a vintage truck. The musicians were quite good.
Not sure if this DeSoto carried a canoe back in the day, but the combo would have surely turned a few heads.

And one final picture. . .
Lady Rose
We headed home on Sunday morning with two stops on the way back to Madison. First was to have lunch with our vintage trailer friends, Jim and Kaye, from Menomonie. Then it was on to see my sister, Linda, and her husband, Dick, and to share a home-made rhubarb dessert in Eau Claire.

Rick says we'll be "Back to the 50s" again in 2015. Maybe we'll see you there - June 19-21 - in St. Paul.

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