There are two sayings which tend to be true: There are no coincidences. Mississippi is really just a small town on a large scale. This summer’s events have lead to things that make both of these sayings true, yet again.
It started back in the early summer at the time of the Jerry Clower Festival in Yazoo City, which I did a post about at that time. The festival sponsors like to have car enthusiasts bring their cars to show while the event is happening. At the last minute I entered my MG B and found a spot in the shade on Main Street and settled in for the day. One of the people who stopped by was an elderly man named Bob and we talked about my ‘B’ before he mentioned that he had a good sized collection in various states of operation. He went on to say that he had been a member of the English Motoring Club of Mississippi (EMC) and would be interested in possibly rejoining. He gave me his name and phone number and he and his wife moseyed on.
When I went to find his number days later to make sure I logged it in my contacts I couldn’t find it. Hoping that I would find it soon I just went about life. Just the other week it popped up and I called him to make contact and to let him know that I hadn’t forgotten him. Then a notice came about an upcoming EMC event and I called him back to invite him and his wife to the event. However, I didn’t call the host of the event until the morning of the event and only got a machine. While I left them a message, I decided to check the address via the White Pages, cross checking the phone number to the name.
And then the fun began.
We drove over to their house which was a 45 minute drive out into the country going northeast of where we live. Then the drive would be somewhat straight south to below the Ross Barnett Reservoir. We had switched to their normal car so we could all ride together. I was the navigator in the right front seat and the ladies were in the back. My printed directions differed slightly from my back up navigator’s iPhone so a slight bit of confusion ensued. Meanwhile our drive took a turn off the state road we were on that I didn’t anticipate which added to the fun. I realized that we were doing our own version of a sports car rally and we got to the address that was our goal. However, there was just one white pick up truck in front of it versus a lot of English sports cars. What to do?
My rally partners urged me to go up to the door and ask for help. Why not? As I looked in the side window I saw pictures of semi-teens and the look of a house that they lived in. I pushed the door bell anyway and a man in his 30’s came to the door. I explained my predicament and he said, “You are looking for my father, who used to live here” Whew, at least the day was salvaged! He not only gave us directions, but on hearing that my wife’s iPhone was out of power offered his portable charger what we could leave with his parents.
Off we went again.
On finding our actual destination we pull up to a house with sports cars and pulled around to where the garage must be. It was a 4 garage bay door stand alone building. Upon entering where cars would normally be were long buffet tables and chairs to seat the club members already having lunch as we were about 45 minutes late with our ‘detour’. Our host and hostess were great in making us comfortable. He asked my guest upon hearing that he was actually a founding member of the EMC if he would like to say a few words at the appropriate time. If I had heard from Bob that he was a founding member it hadn’t registered. Bob did stand and talk for a while and ended with the fact that another early member had fallen on bad times and he had a card that he would like members to sign for him to send to cheer the man up. He choked up as he brought this up and then sat down.
The other founder was there and the two of them sat down and reconnected. It was great to see.
We toured our hosts ‘garage’ which has a fantastic inventory of wonderful sports cars. If you ever lusted after a sports car, chances are your dream car is in this garage. Yet, at the back of the garage is a grandfather clock, leather chairs and a television.
Once we got back to Bob’s home, he took us on a tour of his ‘junkyard’: a pasture with cows and MG’s, pick up trucks from the 40’s & 50’s as well as farm equipment.
They are wonderful people and we had a great day. While wondering around trying to find the event, he good naturally said that he has been in similar situations himself with a great big smile.