Do you believe it?? (or not)





Whether or not you believe it, the month of June and the Fourth of July weekend are over and gone. It was a wonderful but hectic time around the old workbench, or should I say, away from it. As a result, there was no “Workbench” last month.


We left shortly after the monthly meeting for the Grand National in Santa Clara, Calif. However, we made a few stops along the way, beginning with Salt Lake City, to spend a couple of days with our son and his family. From there we went to Reno, Nev., to help their local economy, then on to Martinez, Calif., where we based for a couple of days visiting old friends and sightseeing in San Francisco before getting to Santa Clara, so we could devote full time to the Grand National and observe in preparation for “Mile High Fun in 2001.”


The host region allowed us to help at the registration desk. They did a great job, and I think we might even be able to add some improvements. What a wonderful way to meet old friends and make some precious new ones. It was very flattering to hear all the good comments about The Dagmar and “Walt’s Workbench.”


From that time on, it was hard to keep me away from the swap meet and the cars coming to the parking lot set up for the main show. The parking setup was a work of art the way it was done, where every car either for judging or show had an assigned space where they could come and go for the whole four days. We participated in some of the scheduled activities whenever Phyllis  could pull me away from the cars (mainly the LaSalles).


Would you believe it, many people looked me up to find out if there really was a Walt Brewer at “Walt’s Workbench?” It is amazing how many people from other regions read The Dagmar.


As the judging is really the main objective of Grand Nationals, the national officers were in charge of this aspect. Being asked to be a judge meant a free meal at the judges’ breakfast (as you know I don’t miss many free meals). After getting all the instructions and forms, my team was sent out to score ’37 to ’42 Cadillacs. There were about 15 teams of judges and this took until late afternoon to do all of the cars.


The hospitality room and our own room provided a nice rest before the awards banquet that evening. Would you believe it — one of our local members tied for first place in his class? That’s right, Harvey DeLockroy with his newly-restored ’47 convertible. Congrats, Harv.


Of course, my favorite car (would you believe it?) was not a LaSalle but a very beautiful, fully-restored 1939 Cadillac Cathedral hearse that was shown by a member family who operates a funeral home in Moses Lake, Wash. There are no words to describe the artistic beauty of this coach.


Also, would you believe it, but there was even a 1940 LaSalle that drove from Illinois with a carload of spare parts, including a rear differential. After cleaning off bugs from all those states, he even won a trophy. I heard later that the car ran so well, he even sold most of his spare parts at the swap meet.


I really feel sorry for you folks that missed this Grand National and remind you that you have only one more between now and the time we are the hosts in 2001.


On our way home, we stopped a couple of times in Nevada and won back some of the money we left on the way out. Of course, a big highlight was stopping is Salt Lake City, where our granddaughter had just come home on leave after completing her boot camp in the U.S. Marines.


After getting home, we just had a couple of days to rest and get ready for our Regional Meet in Fort Morgan, part of the Glenn Miller Days celebration. Would you believe it, we had over 25 cars there and, of course, old Walt here took a ride in a WWII AT6 airplane and did a couple of barrel rolls over the crowd. Of course, at the People’s Choice voting, the LaSalles had a clean sweep, taking the top three places in their class.


As long as we’re at it, you should take note that at the Grand National the big-fin ’59s had to take a back seat, with only five being shown while there were 23 beautiful, well-loved LaSalles. You better believe it!!!


See ya next month.