At the 2018 LCOC Board meeting it was proposed to select Albuquerque, NM as the site for the 2018 Western National Meet. The dates October 17-21st was selected for the meet. This was one week after the Annual International Balloon Fiesta, October 5-14th, when hotel room rates returned to normal. I volunteered to be the Meet Chairman for this meet. What a challenge, 1400 miles away from my home and only 16 LCOC members in the whole state of New Mexico! The LCOC national would put on meet with the New Mexico region being the host; in theory that should work. This was a rehab of the New Mexico region and was the greatest effort I’ve taken on with the LCOC. We had a small but great meet, thanks to key efforts by Bill Fletcher and Jim Fletcher. They led the Driving tours, did the Field layout, did the Mechanical Judging, and made the show field numbers. National Director Dave Gustafson did the name tags, meal tickets and meet booklets for this meet, with Jeanne Talbourdet doing the meet registration, so this was a truly a National-produced event. Other key LCOC members who worked to make meet a success were Dennis LaGrange as the auctioneer, Joan Denney as auction clerk and 50/ 50 tickets sales person. Chris Gray, Janice Eby and Mary Johnson also sold 50/50 tickets. Acting Chief Judge Paul Temple ably filled in for Steve D’Ambrosia who is recovering from major surgery and cancer treatments.
The theme for this 2018 Western meet was October in the High Desert and the ABC’s of Albuquerque – Atoms, Balloons and Cars. We toured to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History and the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday the weather returned to sunny with normal temperatures in the 70’s for our traditional Lincoln car show. An added bonus was we invited the local TBird and Cadillac car clubs to visit and park adjacent to our show field. Ten of their cars were parked there; this is what the old car hobby is about.
We had 20 Lincoln’s judged and 5 more exhibited with cars for all decades on display. The Meet bought Jock Finley back into LCOC after absence of five years, with a goal to show four cars. Only one made it, but it was a beauty, a 1939 Blue K Sedan. At the awards banquet Paul Temple announced the Elliston Bell Award winner: a yellow 1978 Continental Coupe owned by Michael and Diana Vickery from Junction, IL. The People’s Choice Awards voted by meet participants were: First Place to a Black Satin 1967 Lehmann Peterson Limousine, Tom and Terry Machado, Stockton, CA; Second Place to a Capri Blue 1940 Continental Cabriolet, Eric Freeh, Alamagordo, NM; and Third Place to a Red with Black Top 1952 Capri Hardtop, Mike and Joan Denney, Tulsa, OK.
On Sunday morning John Walcek photographed the major trophy winners with their cars for Continental Comments using the arches of the hotel as his background. The day was not over for those that wanted to travel to Jock Finley’s home in Estancia, about 60 miles east southeast of Albuquerque, to see his unique car collection. Dave DeGeer, transporting Jocks 1939 Lincoln, led the way. Twelve people were treated to many beautiful cars, several being Lincoln’s. Then it was time to say our final farewells and Mary and I headed back to Shafer, MN.
Hopefully, the New Mexico Region is back on track with Matt Martinez becoming the Region Director, assisted be Dave DeGeer, Nick Manole, Tony Carson, Jim Deck, Paul Bowman, Gerald Gerken and Eric Freeh.