It was a few days before spring time when I received an email from a member named Doug Lofting who lives in Madras, Oregon. It’s worth noting that we are very spread out between Oregon, Southwest Washington, Idaho (and one member in Alaska), so I have yet to meet all the members in our club. I had never met Doug before, and in his email, he invited all of us to a show called the Air and Car Show of the Cascades in Oregon.
In his email, Doug tells me that they will roll out the red carpet for the Viper Club for free, more or less, complete with a VIP tent that has food and drinks included. For some members this would be a longer drive (2 ½ to 3 hour one way for my son and me), so I sent out emails with that in mind and updated our site accordingly, telling all the members to check it out. I told Doug I would be there (despite the heat, which was considerable), and after some feedback, it was to be myself and one other member. Not being particularly picky, I take what I can get.
My son wanted to show the latest purchase our 1997 GTS with one-of-a-kind rims, which was fine by me. There was a big fire burning close to Madras but we were set on going. After seeing more fire spots less than a mile from the highway, I began to wonder whether this was a very good idea. We pressed on and checked in at a very nice hotel, unloading the Viper and less than certain about the days to come.
On Friday we pulled through the gates of the airport, and almost immediately a big guy came running over – Doug, running to put our car in the front, taking care of us like we had been friends for ages. We were in line with beautiful cars, no doubt, but the planes were really something to see. The show started at 4:00 and went until 9:00 at night. Fast planes were doing aerobatics maneuvers, and there were two really famous planes from WWII: a B-25 and a B-17, each of which you can get a flight in for a price, the proceeds of which supported the Air Museum in Arizona. There was also a jet that flew at 640 miles an hour and did stunts too, as if that wasn’t enough. This show continued on the next day, a car show like no other and an air show that was absolutely amazing.
On Saturday morning, the cars rolled in with Doug and myself in place with our Vipers. Lo and behold, Nathan Price and his RT/10, with his grandfather riding shotgun. As a former pilot, his grandfather was thrilled. Nathan, being the great guy he is, arranged for a ride for he and his grandfather in the B-17 flying fortress. As if this all wasn’t enough, Doug came up to us later and asked us if we had heard the announcement over the speakers, which we hadn’t. We had won 1st place our bracket.
Anyone that’s in the area next year should see this event: it’s something that will stay with you for the rest of your life. My son, Lucky, was ecstatic for both day we were there. He told me it was the best show we had ever been to, bar none, and I had to agree: it was one heck of a great time. With planes flying in from all over for this event, my son and I will attend every year to be a part of this show. Many, many thanks to Doug Lofting and all connected with the show. It truly was the show of the summer.
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