Reflections on the 39th Annual ACBS National Meeting in Skaneateles, NY
As we were driving home from my first ACBS National Meeting my husband asked me ”what were my thoughts about the show and meetings?” I was at a loss to answer him at that time. I know now, why it was my destiny to attend these meetings and dinners. After visiting the barn of an old motor collector, Steve Shadhai, I had to peel Bob and past board member, Jim Patrick, away to make it back to the boat show for a presentation on Miss America IX, by Chuck Mistele. He is another ‘Founding Father” of our club. His presentation reminded me just how important our Southeastern Michigan is to race boat history. It all comes back to Chris Smith and Gar Wood.
I live in a suburb of Algonac, and see the statue of “Chris and Gar” as my Granddaughter, Audrina, refers to it, every day. No, Clayton, it did not all begin in Clayton, it all began in Algonac and surrounding towns of Southeastern Michigan! I realized how important that fact is when having dinner with a couple from Montana. They were in Ann Arbor for another reason, but took the time to drive up Lakeshore Dr., Jefferson and M-29 to find Algonac, MI to see the statue and the museum. Wow! How cool was that?
Our club needs to revive our history and spread the word that it truly did all begin here, in the area of the St. Clair River to Detroit River chain of water. We have a beautiful new museum in downtown Algonac. We need to help show the world just how important Chris Smith and Gar Wood were to the beginning of power boating and more importantly, racing. I encourage each member of the Michigan Chapter to become acquainted with this museum.
On another hand, I want to thank Art Armstrong for reminding me of how personal the history of this club is to me. I do have a lot of the early history of the club, but I am sure there are others of you out there with some, too. Ours is one of the oldest and largest ACBS clubs, and we owe it to the other clubs to keep the history alive here in the place where it all began.