President's Message

November 2017


Hello Club Members,


Here we are at the end of our season of ‘Thunderbirding Across the Land.’  It seems like it just flew by this year.


Our latest and last event of the year was our overnight Fall Color Tour to Connersville, with a train ride aboard The Whitewater Valley Railroad to the historic pre-civil war canal town of Metamora. Then overnight in Indy, and a tour of Bob Thomas’s Private Car Collection and a tour of The Indiana War Memorial Museum.  Mother Nature has been awfully good to us for most of the year, but October in Northern Indiana can be a crap shoot.  Unfortunately, we got the crap shoot.  Oh, not horrible, but cloudy skies, a little mist, and temperatures in the low forties.  We had good participation from the club with 22 members and friends joining in.  Most members decided to drive the daily beaters as our route, round trip was close to 300 miles long. 


With radio equipment and many Navigation devices on board, we only managed a couple of wrong turns.  We found that our long caravan was not always easy to keep together, with not always getting all of us through some traffic lights, but we did all manage to get to the same place in roughly the same time.  It just makes for good conversation in later times.  The train was pulled by a vintage 1949 diesel locomotive with passenger cars and caboose from the 1920’s.  Missing from our rail cars was a source of heat and restrooms, but our hardy bunch only complained a little.  (It could happen…)  Aboard the train were a Theodore Roosevelt impersonator and his bodyguard.  They told stories from days of yore.  The fall colors were mostly different shades of green, but again, we can’t control Mother Nature.  We did get to see remnants of feeder canals, and locks that were all part of the early canal system. 


When arriving at Metamora, most members stopped at one of the quaint restaurants for a bite to eat and then toured some of the local shops that included Grannie’s Cookie Jar and Ice Cream Shop.   It holds the Guinness World Record for the huge selection of cookie jars.  Other attractions, including the Canal Boat were shut down for the season. 


With a two hour layover, it was soon time to climb aboard the train for the trip back to Connersville.  We then turned our caravan to the West and headed to Indianapolis and our hotel rooms at The Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park Inn for a rest and then out to dinner at the Garrison located nearby. 


Up early for breakfast, we then headed to Bob Thomas’s private car collection.  There we feasted our eyes on many pristine classic vehicles including some very wonderful Thunderbirds.  After lunch at a nearby Olive Garden, we headed downtown Indianapolis to the War Memorial Plaza.  I have driven by this building dozens of times and had no idea of what it contained inside.  We were able to tour a mockup of the Radio Room of the S.S. Indianapolis, which was torpedoed and sank during WWII.  HVTC member and newsletter editor Mike Sercer who is a volunteer there, was there to meet us and give the tour.  Thanks Mike!  As time was getting short, we agreed that we would need to return there again in the warmer months to see what all we missed on this tour.  Our thanks to club VP Darrell Will who spent much time and many phone calls/emails during a very trying period to plan our last event of the season.


NEW MEMBERS:  I would like to welcome into the club our newest members, Irvin Koehlinger and Ginny Davis from Fort Wayne.  Irwin tells me that they do not as yet own a Thunderbird, but they are interested mostly in Flairbirds, the 1964-1966 models and hope to own one someday.  We look forward to them joining us in our upcoming adventures. 


At the last club event, there was talk of wanting to get together after the holidays, maybe just eat out at a local restaurant for all of us to keep in touch over the winter months.  Sounds good to me….it is too early to plan yet, but I think we can make this happen. 


As we shut down for another season, let’s hope for a mild Winter and early Spring!  Stay safe everyone.


That’s all the news from Hoosierland.  Come fly with us!


Best regards,


Roger Noll, President











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