The definition of which is “used to express surprise or joy, to attract attention to something sighted, or to urge onward: Land ho! Westward ho!” Ours being a car event which is sort after, applied for and subsequently voted for years in advance, to hold and host, to cater and car-ter. An accolade to acquire for an avalanche of cars classic, many old, some just interesting, from across the country descending upon our Arizona Biltmore Hotel. A three day weekend of “ho-ing” and hosting with Friday sundowner cocktails on the Biltmore Cottage area lawn with temperatures hovering around a dry Martini 100˚.
Purely serendipitously, I ended up “visiting” with a group of Texans who became my people, my out-of-towners, my foreigners for the weekend to guide and inform. Refreshing not being the English alien for at least one weekend. Surprisingly, I had eaten in all five restaurants listed in the Ho guide so I was able to suggest. I joined them at our Car Group’s usual Friday rendezvous at the “5 and Dine” were everything advised was realized. The food the Texans thought great, the atmosphere definitively, auto 50s. We drove the few blocks over from the Biltmore, in Texas Joe’s originally purchased, burgundy and black, 1969 Chrysler 300, soft-top. (Sort of like riding in a soft road badge). Who knew that a modern-day GPS still works plugged into a never used cigarette lighter?
And even “Kid“, our usual server whose cheeky lapel badge states his name as, “your server“, matched the Texan, twisting twang with his usual Arizona whip-crack wit, sass and fast come-backs.
My dinner faux pas was revealing Roger’s Folly. An acre and an hanger of ‘Mopar’ heaven. Chryslers, Dodges and De Sotos, some ‘resting’ before restoration, and a further number beautifully restored indoors. A sea of 50s and 60s pastels. “Why isn’t that on the Westward Ho tour? That would be great to see“. Expecting Roger not to favor a Saturday morn schedule change and intrusion, he in fact welcomed the travelers and strangers with endless and seamless detail, archival histories and nuances of wide head, block head, and over-my-head. A childhood passion grown mature and expanded with years.
I was somewhat regretting the decision to skip the Music Museum tour in favor of a return home, freshen up and quick nap after being rear ended sitting at a Bell Road traffic lights . . . again. By a Pest Control truck . . . again. The driver “just forgot” and took his foot off the brake pedal . . . again. I have permanent neck injury from my first, 2007 collision with a large Terminix truck. This time it was an independent owner who happened to also be a neighbor in my apartment complex. I began to wonder if cars are like dogs. Something inexplicable, but irresistible about their butts that requires constant contact and intimate inquiry. Tickey’s cut off butt is cute, but this truck fetish is getting tiresome. And the sound of a 5000 lb vehicle colliding with a 2000 lb vehicle that is indescribable, but unforgettable.
Siesta-ed and rested, the evening ended back at the Biltmore for a quirky tradition called “Tail Light Glow”. A gathering of enthusiasts and owners in the dimness of our exclusive use garage to turn on all car tail lights for viewing and admiring. One husband remarked to me, “I don’t get this. Never have“. I wasn’t sure that I did until I started to tweak and adjust and redden and enliven the tripod stabilized night images. In comparison I could admire the design and diversity of all these makes and models. Pure auto art. Our ladies in red.