I would like to welcome all of you antique and classic car lovers to the 1st of I hope many stories to come. For all of you that don’t know me let me introduce myself. I’m Schelley Brown and I love old cars. I have a special attraction to the ones with the paint falling off and cotton coming out of the seats.
It has been said of me that if it is buried, rusted out, falling down, paint peeling off or want crank I must have something to do with it. I am currently the Jr. Vice President of Mid- America Old Time Automobile Association (MOTAA). The MOTAA headquarters is located in The Museum of Automobiles atop beautiful Petit Jean Mountain in Morrilton, Arkansas. MOTAA was conceived in 1958 by a group of antique car owners living in Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Mississippi, who found that the major national antique car clubs were located too far away to fulfill their needs. The concept of the organization was to bring together the several local antique car clubs in the region for mutual support and cooperation, but to allow the member clubs to retain individual autonomy. It was incorporated as a Tennessee non-profit corporation in January 1959. This club is a national purest club and has hosted the annual Father’s Day Car Show for over 30 years on the mountain http://www.motaa.com/ this show draws in over 100,000 people to central Arkansas every year. This is a great honor for me to be elected by my piers and also being a female to sit among such a prestigious board of directors. I am also the past President of the Ark-La-Tex Antique and Classic Car Association in Shreveport for three years in a row. I am a member of several other National Car Clubs and a few more local clubs.
The Minden Cruisin For A Cure For St Jude Car Show http://www.mindencruisinforacure.com/ is my baby and has just completed its 4th year. So far this show has given $55,000 to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I am the 2007 president of the Minden Historical Residential District which means I am in charge of the tours of homes for the Historic District of Minden. I am a board member of the Minden Cemetery Association and creator of the annual Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk Tour that is held in November in conjunction with Veteran’s Day. I am also the director of the up and coming Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, Inc. in Minden, Louisiana, this is my REAL JOB! In fact I would say it is my dream job. I get to put on events and preserve out history all at the same time!
I have loved old cars since I was a kid. My first car in 1975 was a 51 Pontiac Chieftain, bought from local car nut Wayne Chance. It didn’t always run, but that wasn’t the most important thing, because where I was going was only two blocks from home. The local hang-out back in the 70’s in Minden was the Dixie Cream (now Cotton’s Chicken) and the Dairy Queen. I could usually get the car to the Dixie Cream, even if I had to push it or coast out of the driveway. I would just sit in it, till I could get a ride, with someone else with a more dependable set of wheels. This worked out pretty good on the weekends, for awhile. I would just abandon it at the Dixie Cream parking lot for Friday & Saturday night, until Sunday when Mr. Joe Guthrie owner of the Dixie Cream would tell me to drag it home. This arrangement also worked out for others that didn’t have a car. The Chief was like the covered seating area at the bus station. You just sat in it till someone came along and picked you up to make the loop through town. You could even use the horn to stop someone if you didn’t run the battery down. A sure way to keep this from happening was to slide a match book cover under the voltage regulator. In the summer it would vapor-lock so you carried milk jugs of water and ran clothes pins up and down the fuel line. It works every time!
Today kids have it made. I don’t see many kids out pulling their car home anymore. Now that I’m older I’ve figured out why my Daddy bought me the ‘51 as my first car, other than the fact that I wanted it. Number one was that it was only $200.00, 2nd it was made out of solid iron you could beat it with a baseball bat and it wouldn’t dent, 3rd it would only go about 40 miles an hour, 4th you wouldn’t dare try to go out of town in it (or would you). I put 10,000 miles in one year on that old car just making loops from the Dixie Cream to the Dairy Queen. It was cheap transportation. I still have the keys to the old Chief and maybe even the log-chain that was standard equipment with it!
That old car started a life-long love of antiques and anything old and in need of repair. I sometimes seem to live in the past or at least have a strong passion to preserve it for others. I believe that if you don’t know where you come from you will never figure out where you are going. We learn from out mistakes and the past can sometimes teach us a better way and improve our lives.
I now have a ten year old niece that I have passed the love of old things to. She likes old cars, old houses and antiques. In fact she helps me with most of my ventures. I hope you will enjoy my column and if you are a local car enthusiast please give me a call. I want to learn more about you and your car and your car club events. So until next month, “Keep it between the ditches, tell your mama-n-em I said hello and ya’ll come see me real soon!” You can contact Schelley Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org