40th Anniversary Picnic
Story: Mike Woodings
Photos: Mike Woodings, Judy Woodings and Dwight McDonald
Since we all seem to believe everything that is found on the internet, my research has to be pretty close to fact. A Google search for the FIRST Corvette club revealed no specific information. However, the Corvette Club of America had its first club meeting on July 17, 1956 at Rosenthal Chevrolet in Arlington, Virginia. While it is likely that some club activity existed before this date, this first recorded meeting has become the official birth date.
Our own Santa Clarita Valley Corvette Club’s website states our club was established in 1978 by a small group of Corvette owners locally to bring together enthusiasts from all walks of live to share in the adventures experienced in Corvette ownership. Like the Corvette itself, our club continues to evolve, improve, and change. For love of country, love of the Corvette, and bonding friendship, all Corvette owners are encouraged to become part of our outstanding club as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary.
Therefore, while we aren’t the newest Corvette Club in America, we are known by many (at least 100) to be one of the best of the nearly 400 clubs in the country.
Our first annual club picnic in 2017 was a great event and the new tradition was off to a terrific start. With 2018 being our club’s big 40th anniversary year, our board decided this year’s summer celebration should be included with the appreciation picnic. So from there, the planning was under way to make this year’s event even better than our first, if that was possible.
Picnic day arrived early for our Activities Committee and staff as they claimed our spot at Steckel Park and went about the set-up activity, making sure every detail matched Mark Ware’s extensive preparation spreadsheet.
Meanwhile, scores of members gathered at the designated assembly area in the Walmart lot for headcount and sign-in, eager to get the day rolling. It was an amazing sight seeing 30 awesome Corvettes heading west on CA 126 on unusually open roadway toward our destination.
Our caravan was not only witnessed by locals and passersby but was monitored by a high-flying drone flown by Pilot Mark at over two miles out as we approached the park.
Once we arrived and parked in our reserved “Corvette Corral” we caravaners all recognized the splendid set-up that was done and waiting for us. Two covered pavilions decorated to the hilt, game areas laid out and equipped with all types of picnic games and a band ready to rock us through the afternoon.
John and Sandra Macik of Santa Paula Chevrolet joined us for the event as Vette people enjoying time with other enthusiasts. It was a good opportunity to get to know John and Sandra in this casual surrounding. The Maciks previously introduced us to the BBQ served by Laird’s Butcher Shop in Santa Paula and our planners called upon their cooking skills to once again serve us an excellent picnic BBQ meal. Great call by all involved in putting together our grub and beverages!
But wait, there was more. Our band, “Drop Zone”, rocked. SCVCC’s own Chet Morse even joined the band with a great blues number! I can attest to the great selection of tunes by the band and was posed this question by member “M.C.”, “this is from your era, right?” How could I not appreciate the Rolling Stones song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”? All of us in our earlier days heard that Stones song and probably only wished we or owned a Corvette then, but looking at the parking lot, we have certainly all gotten a lot of “what we want”!
The games, raffles and even dancing all went to making our picnic a fun event.
To climax the gathering, our president Dwight McDonald spoke to us all about the significance of this, our club’s 40th anniversary. Several of our past club presidents were in attendance for our anniversary celebration as well. John Noble, Sara Seeley, Fred Seeley, Jeff Hernandez and Greg Attl all spoke and expressed their well wishes for the future of the club.
All in all, the picnic was fun, delicious and a success. We all convey our thanks and appreciation to our Activities people and their set-up crew for putting it all together and a pat on the back to all of us as well, since without each of us there would be no club. Job well done!