As Kelly mentioned, the club enjoyed a terrific Annual Awards Dinner at Normandie Farm and the main event of the evening was presenting Pat Roney with his well deserved Dick Thompson Award for 2017. Perhaps the only snag of the entire evening was handing me a microphone and allowing me to start talking about club history. Fortunately, they were also able to get me to stop! Van and I were snapping some photos during the evening and you'll find them here.

Dick Thompson Award

I also played around with my camera a little before returning the Dick Thompson Award Perpetual Trophy to its home in the display case at Sport Chevrolet. If you have been following the CCA closed group on Facebook you probably have already seen this picture. In case you have not seen the photo, you are missing a lot by not joining the CCA private, closed group on Facebook. There are often interesting, and even serious, discussions about Corvettes and club activities. And sometimes, we even have some silly items like this Lego C7 model and its driver enjoying our Dick Thompson award. The silver bowl was presented to Dick in 1957 as the over all winner of the first SCCA National Event at Marlboro Motor Raceway. The Thompsons gave the bowl to the CCA to create the Dick Thompson Award.

If the history of the club interests you, here is another article you will want to see. I located a story on the CCA that was published in the Corvette News magazine in 1958. This was a magazine published by the Chevrolet Motor Division of General Motors. The GM Heritage Center scanned the magazine as well as a lot of other GM publications and makes them available on the web.

Speaking of history, I often wondered what became of John Ralph. He, along with Charles Eyre, were the two founders of the CCA in 1956. Following the 1959 NCCC organizational meeting, convened by the CCA, he was also appointed the first President of the NCCC. While doing some snooping around on Google on one of the nasty weather days in January, I came across the following obituary from the Washington Post. I still have no information at all on Charles Eyre so if we have any other historical sleuths in the club with part of his story please let me know.

John William Ralph
On October 8, 2005 of Flint Hill, VA. Mr. Ralph was retired from the Kennedy Center as a stage technician. After retirement he moved in 1980 to Flint Hill and became a building contractor. He was a co-founder of the Corvette Club of America. He is survived by his wife Peggy Ralph; one son Michael Monetta of Amissville, VA and three grandchildren Halie and Nicholas Monetta and Lauren Freeman. A Memorial service will be held on Friday, October 14, at 1 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, Washington, VA. Interment Flint Hill Cemetery. Memorials may may be made to the Hospice of Rapidan, P.O. Box 1715, Culpeper, VA 22701.

Published in The Washington Post on Oct. 12, 2005
NCM Banner

Rambling on, Kelly asked me to post this picture of the CCA parking lot banner at the NCM. The club has participated in the banner program for five years that I know of and we will continue again this year. The photo is also significant for the fact that the club sharing the light pole with us was the Battlefield Corvette Club in Fredericksburg, VA. We coordinated with them during the 2014 NCM Caravan and we will be doing it again for the 25th Anniversary 2019 NCM Caravan. CCA members Van Vander Haar and Nicholas N. will be representing the club and helping Frank Sancineto, the Caravan Captain for Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. I am sure that Van and Nicholas will be looking for some volunteers from the club so please keep it in mind.

Continuing to Ramble while trying to connect the dots, one of the two Corvette road trips I have planned for this year is to attend the NCM Le Mans Viewing Party in June. It turns out that Battlefield Corvette Club President, Jack Whitis, and several of their club members will also be at the NCM for the Le Mans race. This should give those coming along with me a good chance to meet some of the members of the BCC. I have been loosely connected with them for a couple of years now and I am a member of their closed group on Facebook. It will be fun working with them again on the Caravan.

Ok, one last topic for the month (but the dots are all still connected...). I received the following email from CCA member, Bob W. It turns out that this will be an extra special year for the LeMans race. Not only will we have members again attending the NCM LeMans Viewing Event but we will have a member in the crowd at LeMans! I hope that he can bring the team the same luck that Evelyn and I did back in 2011. Incidentally, continuing with a "small world theme," Bob is in Missoula now which is less than 50 miles from Hamilton. Hamilton is where one of my cousins has a ranch and it was the site for our 2013 "Cousins" union. That was a 6,159 mile trip in the Corvette that covered 12 states and just over 30 days. It was also the reason there was no newsletter in August of 2013!

Hi, Jon,
I'm going. And our two sons are joining me. We'll already be in Paris for my wife's high school reunion.(She grew up in France and attended the American School in Paris). It's the same weekend as the race, so she suggested I go to the race while she did the reunion. A no brainer.
It's taken some doing to arrange accommodations. Got a place in LeMans on the tram circuit. I wanted to camp in the infield but just too expensive! Race tickets booked, now working on train or bus from Paris to LeMans. Number one on my bucket list and having the boys with me is an unexpected bonus. Just wanted to thank you for your info on your experience. It helped guide me through the maze!
All the best from snowy Montana. I think I mentioned Deb is the Visiting Professor of Journalism at U Montana in Missoula, for this semester. All's going well. Back in late May.

NCM Banner

I'll just close out with a 2011 picture from LeMans that illustrates the "spirit" of the fans. If you want to locate the Danes in LeMans just look for orange jump suits or Jan Magnussen.

And here is a favorite advertisement from that race. It is Tommy passing the Ferrari in the rain for the eventual win after chasing it all night long.

One final note if I can squeeze it in here. The NCM announced that there will be no Museum in Motion trip to LeMans in 2019. (See the NCM Report.) I think this has to due with the WEC "Super Season" announced for 2018 but I will check on it.

Jon Thorn
Corvette Courier Editor, 301-963-4864

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