GREEN If you were around "The Shops of Green" around noon Aug. 19, you might have thought you stepped back into time to the 1930s. That's because all around the parking lot were 50 Model A Ford's from the "Rubber City Ford Model 'A' Penn-Ohio" car club, which is composed of members from 11 chapters in Ohio and Pennsylvania, came together for a two-day "All American Weekend.
The event began with a lunch at Menches Brothers restaurant, sponsored by former club president and Model A owner John Menches. After a chance to eat and talk with old friends, the members then formed up their beautiful vintage cars and began a caravan to the Wingfootlake air dock to hopefully see the latest Goodyear blimp. Serving as their escorts were members of the "Two Wheels & the Open Road" motorcycle group. Helping to make sure they got off safely were Summit County Sheriff's Deputies who directed traffic out of the parking lot onto Massillon Road. Then, to cap off the weekend, the cars were put on display at the Rubber Bowl and any club members who wanted take a run down Derby Downs where able to do so in soap box cars provided by Derby officials. Nine club presidents raced for the coveted "Oil Can Trophy."
"I'm really excited to be hosting this wonderful event in the Akron-Canton area," said Menches. "It really shows off some of the greatest historical venues we have to offer. We really have a lot of nice cars here today for people to look at."
Joining Menches at the blimp hangar were his two grandsons, Sean and Connor, who road in the rumble seat of his Model A. Both boys were excited "to be with grandpa and ride in the car," said their mother Natalie Roarty, who was getting ready to celebrate her 40th birthday later in the day at the family restaurant.
For those attending it was a time to see old friends and meet new ones. Club President Jim Martin and his wife, Margaret, the club secretary have a 1931 4-Door Model A - their second one.
"I came to a meeting and ended up being elected president," Jim with a smile. "It's been very enjoyable and interesting getting together with others who share the same interest."
His wife talked a little about the club.
"We cover the Ohio-Pennsylvania area, with 11 total clubs," Margaret said. "We rotate where we get together. Sometimes it is at someplace like this, or maybe just an evening out for ice cream. We take between two and three long trips each year. John helps to organize those. They are really enjoyable and everyone has a good time."
Linda Norton owns a 1929 Model A that belonged to her deceased husband, who passed away several years ago.
"He bought it and then added his own things that he wanted on it," Norton said.
She was there with her daughter, Carey, and granddaughter, Chhloe, who likes to ride in the old car. Joining her was Paul Baccellieri, a family friend who also enjoys the old car. They often go on outings like this.
Heading up the motorcycle group was Kathy "Kat" Hurd and her husband.
"We got involved after coming into Menches and meeting John," Hurd said. "He got us involved in this after finding out about our group. Its fun to see these old cars and be part of their escort."