4th Annual Hot Rod Reunion
Bowling Green, KY
June 16-18, 2006
6 Pages

Photographer: Butch Pate


Getting prepared for the Hot Rod Reunion was a tougher task this year than planned. I knew with the show being held through Father's Day and the recent passing of my Father that it would be tough going. Once we got settled in on Friday a rush of memories came back that I had all but forgotten. Hot Rod Reunion Weekend is a magical weekend for everyone. It is truly based on memories. Most everyone attending has been to a track before, or seen some of the old drag cars, but for me it was memories of a different time. I wonder just how many people who attended this weekend remember the last time Beach Bend Park held such a large attendance? Anyone remember the Van In that took over the park in 1976? I was there 30 years ago with my Mom and Dad at my first major car show. The event was sponsored by Truckin' or one of the other magazines that was really in to the van movement at that time. Vehicles had come in from all over the country. The carnival atmosphere and larger than life size of the event burned a lasting memory that will stay with me forever. It thrilled my Dad to death to see all these trucks and vans he'd only seen in magazines. He hoped by sharing the experience with me and my brother that we too would enjoy it as much as he did. We never really caught on with the van thing but I've always had a soft spot in my heart for trucks and we both have been attending car shows for years since. I worked a lot of overtime the weeks leading up to this show and would go home each night and rush to get the car back together for the show. With a deadline of Thursday at 6:30 I almost didn't make it. The car was finished at 6:20 and had not even moved from the driveway when I took a quick shower and loaded up to head for Bowling Green. We made it through the whole weekend with only one minor setback. The heater core had finally started leaking after all these years and I forgot to bypass it before we left Friday. The car overheated in traffic but we were able to pull over and make repairs and get on with the fun.
Back to the show. Friday was H-O-T!!!! I don't know if it was everything catching up with me, the heat or a combination of the two but I didn't feel like doing anything but just sit and watch the cars go by on Friday. The drag strip had a constant run of bad luck all day with a larger than normal amount of breakdowns on the track. So we didn't miss a whole lot there. Saturday was a completely different tune. It started out nice and I got tons of pictures that morning. I was so busy someone asked me if I'd gotten any barbeque yet and I had forgotten what day it was. My hat's off to the people who work crowd control at this event. We walked right through the line without a hitch. It was stiffling hot under the tent but we could've just as easily carried our meal back down to our cool spot under the trees. About the time I had gone out onto the track to take pictures with my good friend Alan Mayes from OL Skool Rodz the lightening started popping and the storm was on top of us before we knew it. We went ahead and called it a day, thinking the Cacklefest would surely be a washout. We were wrong! I hate we missed it! We went back Sunday and tried to catch up on some of the sights we missed all weekend. Not long after we got settled in to watch the quarterfinals the rains came again. So it was time to give up and head home. It was a fantastic weekend as always and the staff made me feel right at home right from the start. Now, if you guys could just do something about all those golf carts!!!! Mark your calendars and don't miss this show next year!

































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