Schelley’s News from the Road “Vintage Vacation Jefferson Texas”
Have you ever wanted to just get away from it all? Do you find yourself wondering where all the time goes? If you find yourself in this situation and you want to get away from it all. You may want to become a Vintage Vacationer!
Now you ask, “What is a Vintage Vacation?” It is something that I thought up last year to go along with my love of old cars and antiques. It is a way to find and meet other people, young and old, that love the same things that you do. It’s like stepping back in time and going on a family vacation all at the same time, but in the beginning we are all strangers with a common bond!
First, I plan where we’re going to go. Then I call the area chamber of commerce, local restaurants, and points of interest, attractions and B&B’s. I figure out what we can get done in a day or two of fast moving, laid-back action. I print up an agenda, e-mail it out and get it to all the local car clubs and just sit back and see who shows up. That’s about all there is to it!
Our first Vacation was in November of 2003. We left Minden early in a cold misty fog and meet at the Petro Truck stop in Greenwood. I was surprised to see about thirty cars waiting on us in the rain. CAR PEOPLE DO NOT DRIVE THEIR BABIES IN THE RAIN! We had a wide assortment of cars, from my ‘37 Buick to some cool Street-rods, Antique and Classic Cars and Trucks.
We were among family when we rolled on the lot. That is how car people feel around each other, just like one big family. I handed out packets that I had made up for everyone. Our destination was Jefferson, Texas; a great one-tank get away for all of us! We decide to take the road less traveled, following Mr. Dick Nelson and his wife Sherrie in their beautiful Desoto. Now you don’t see those everyday do you? Sam and Donna Rindskopf, the President and First Lady of the Ark-La-Tex Antique and Classic Car Association were close behind in a beautiful Chevy Nomad with a few ‘55 and 57 Chevy’s following. We had a car-a-van of about 30 of the nicest rides around. We even let a 2002 Yukon join in to bring up the rear. My good friends Barry and Debbie Warner were in front of me in their ‘63 Corvette Convertible (I thought this would be the friendly thing to do, so that Barry wouldn’t have to ride in second gear behind me!) You have to go to experience it. To drive or ride in a car and look in your rear-view mirror and see all those antique cars behind you gives you a great feeling.
Just as we arrived in Jefferson the rain and fog cleared and we were good for the rest of the trip. Chrome does look better when the sun is shinning and we had plenty of chrome between all those rides. We all parked together after we checked in our B&B’s. We toured the General Store where you can find about anything you want or just have a good old-fashioned shake at the soda-fountain. Then it was off for a few hours of shopping and back in time for our lunch at Diamond Bessie’s Saloon.
For lunch, we have a great time. I call out trivia car questions or just plain old memorabilia questions. Everyone gets a gift or door prize from plastic cowboys and Indians to Slinky’s and marbles to your favorite old-time music CD.
From there we take a few of the home tours and enjoy refreshments at one of our favorite B&B’s. We were able to see where some of our vacationers were staying so we just sat down in this wonderful Victorian Home in the kitchen and talked like one big family. The home owner served us fresh homemade Pound Cake and some homemade wine with cheese. We finished all our tours and had a little time to go shop or rest a minute before our dinner at Auntie Skinner’s Restaurant & Bar.
We meet back at Auntie Skinner’s, and they had a room reserved for all our crew. We were all having a time meeting so many new people. After dinner our next event was about to happen.
The Jefferson Ghost Walk is something that you need to do if you spend the night in Jefferson, Texas. The lady that does this tour does it every night and does a wonderful job. It isn’t something that is scary but it does make you think, and the hair on the back of your neck does stand up on a few occasions. This is also good exercise; you want to be sure that you have your walking shoes on for the night! My seven year old niece loved the Ghost Tour more than any other thing we did (we did get a ghost on film). We even did our own tour again on Sunday morning so she could see them in the daylight. We did the Ghost Ride in a ’70 Buick Electra convertible with the top down. She had been wanting the top down ever since we left Minden on that COLD, wet Saturday morning. Try the Ghost Walk sometime you will love it!!!
After the walk we were about pooped so we called it a night. I stayed at the Excelsior Hotel. It is a grand old Hotel that I highly recommend if you like to sleep historically! The rooms are beautiful and the whole place has such an air of history about it. Maybe a ghost or two after the Ghost Walk! You must have the breakfast in the Grand Dinning-room. This meal is a treat in itself. The rooms are something to see and the food is delicious.
Jefferson is such a beautiful place. It makes you wonder why some small towns tear down all their old buildings and others still have all the old charm of yesteryear. We all need to learn a lesson from places like Jefferson and Natchitoches. Don’t tear it down, restore it!! That is the Old Car Lover’s motto also.
Speaking of Natchitoches, that is where the next Vacation takes place. I’ll have more information next time on the Natchitoches trip. If you would like to become a part of our Car Family, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org