|The Monthly Newsletter of the Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association
Copyright 2007 - Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association - Sacramento, CA 95662
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|A Run through Yolo County and Two Museums
Adi & Parvin Damania
Although Parvin and I had made at least 3 pre-runs the arrival of Saturday October 13th still sent flutters through our stomachs as
we got up early and made our way towards Davis from Woodland and arrived on time of 9:00AM at McDonalds on Chiles Road.
This was the first run we were leading and we did not want anything to go wrong. It was a beautiful sunny Indian summer day
with not a cloud in sight. To our surprise at least 4 cars were already there, but there was one driver crouched close to a red
2005 MazdaSpeed grimly inspecting his left front wheel. It was Skip. It was apparent that his tire had gone flat after bringing him
to Davis from Sacramento. Mike DeLaurentis and others helped him put the doughnut spare on and directed him to the Davis Les
Swab just a couple of blocks away on the same road. Skip told us to start the run without him and that he would join us at the
run’s first stop, the Heidrick Truck & Tractor Museum in Woodland.
A detailed route itinerary, map, and waiver sheet were passed around. And with that, a group of seven Miatas (minus Skip’s red
turbo) led by Adi & Parvin’s Mica Blue 10th Anniversary “Blu Belle” departed Davis at 9:30 AM sharp. Following them were two
yellows, one red, one white, one dark green automatic (Skip’s other car driven by CeCe) and the Mahogany of Mike and Helen
graciously acting as the sweep. Mike insists that Mahogany is the best color Mazda ever produced, which is a good topic for
debate any time any day whenever Miata enthusiasts meet. Me, I just like the 1994 white with the tan color top on my first Miata
(alas, with us no more). One of the yellow (Jim Stewart & Barbara Jarvis) and the white (Bill Cline) Miatas belonged to the BAMA
Club and were welcome (if Barrack wins they may change their name to OBAMA!!!). The other yellow belonged to our own David
Anyway after a very smooth drive through east Davis, with the sun mercifully behind us, we took the Pole-Line road to Woodland
went over the I-5 and arrived at the Heidrick Ag Center juts before 10 AM. Our docent Mr. Bacon was waiting for us and we
started our tour of the Ag museum, gazing in wonderment at the ancient agricultural machinery (see the photos posted on the
SAMOA website under “Photo Album”). There was even an electric tram harking back to the days when that mode of public
transportation ran on Main Street in Woodland. There were the first mechanized hay bailers (the John Deere “Dain” baler from
1902 worked by one or two horses), the first engine-driven combine harvesters that needed four men to operate. The engine
had to started manually by inserting a rod in to the flywheel and turning it, but not before retarding the spark and priming the
little cups above the firing chamber with petrol. One of the exhibits that amazed me was the armor-clad tractor which was used
in WWI. The funny thingw as that the armor protected the engine but not the driver, for he was totally exposed. A huge open
tourer car restored by Mr. Heidrick himself from scrap was also another star exhibit. All this time we were entertained by a live
band playing 50s and 60s music, including Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk” from 1959.
Next, at the half way mark of our tour, we were led by the docent in to the Truck Museum whose first exhibit was a 1904 flat-
bed truck that ran on a single cylinder ‘engine’ that was simplicity itself. Top speed was 4 mph. During the next 30 mins. we saw
trucks that had ourselves seen our childhood. We were shown the last of the 4-cylider Chevrolet flat-bed truck from 1928, after
which they came only in six and eight cylinder engines and do so till today. There were some amazing fire-engines too from the
1950s, a 1928 Indian motorcycle, and a modern truck, complete with red velvet lining inside the driver’s cab that looked like the
inside of a bordello. Most of the trucks were started, we were told, every once in while and even loaned to film companies to
shoot period scenes. By this time few of us noticed that Skip had quietly joined the group at the rear. Apparently his tire was
under warranty and Les Swab just gave him a new one!
Next, the group now eight cars strong, drove through Main Street in Woodland, and managed to stay together, thanks to
synchronized traffic lights and sensors embedded inside the road. By the way, these embedded sensors that tell the traffic lights
to remain green, were first used nation-wide in Davis. We arrived at Reiff’s Gas Station that has memorabilia from the 1940s and
50s. Mark Reiff himself was there to greet us at the door, while his fat tom cat “Cannon” made lots of noise through the iron
mesh door craving attention. The amount of Route 66 gas station memorabilia accumulated in one place was, to say the least,
mind boggling! It was apparent that Mrs. Reiff had left the scene a very long time ago, as Mark joked that he has been receiving
lots of marriage proposals from the ladies as bus-loads pass by his exhibit on their way to the Cache Creek Casino. Unfortunately,
he told us, all of the proposals were from ladies over 80!
As we were leaving, a black 1938 Ford Pilot V8 in concours condition came out of the garage on the opposite side of the road,
perhaps going on its weekly warm up run. The car brought back a flood of memory for Adi, whose dad had one exactly like this
one! So back on Main Street the group went and continued on Hwy 16 west towards Esparto and Capay. Day-time headlights are
mandatory on this road, and the line of 7 Miatas in Adi’s rear view mirrors with their shiny headlights made a beautiful sight. At
Capay the run turned right and landed on the deserted E4 and for the next 5 miles it was really a “zoom zoom” run but
unfortunately a boxy “Scion” had clandestinely inserted itself in to the line of Miatas and slowed things down for those behind it. I
cannot understand the mentally of such drivers, who just are not bright enough to realize that this is a car club run devoted to a
single marquee that would like to remain together and not have a renegade in their midst! All sense of common courtesy would
require for the odd bird out to pull over for a few seconds and allow the run participants to pass. But no! These guys have to
exercise their “rights”.
Anyway the cars re-grouped just before they arrived at the secret/mystery stop at the R.H. Phillips winery. Tucked away behind a
hill, and amidst rolling vineyards is this 30-year old winery with some exquisite wines. We had not seen the last of vintage tractors
at the museum, for this day just happened to be also the run for the vintage tractor owners of Yolo Country who were all out in
numbers on their vintage mounts! There were about a 100 old tractors almost all fully restored all lined up in double rows at the
vineyard! There were Fordsons, old McCormicks, Allis Chalmers, etc. Mike was specially impressed with them and just could not
stop clicking his digital. After purchasing a decent amount of the winery’s fine produce the group headed back on E10, passing
Zamora and once again over I-5 towards Knights Landing.
Sadly there was an extremely bad head-on accident of two SUVs just as we entered the town, reducing the traffic to single
lanes. CHP were just about to finish the clean-up as we came to the parking lot of the Los Yaquis family-run Mexican food
restaurant. David Chin had some important work so he peeled off on to Road 102. But the rest of the group had a delicious
Mexican lunch that was also most economically priced. It was in keeping of things, since the two museum visits had already
depleted $10 from each Samoan! Thanks to everyone who came to the run. Thus ended a most interesting and pleasant outing
with something to please everybody who came.
Finding the Best Car
By Mike DeLaurentis
Automotive magazines are always reviewing new cars and publishing their “best of” results. I tend to put more credence in
Consumer’s Reports April annual auto edition because they don’t accept advertising and my gut tells me that you are less likely to
call a car a dog if you’re accepting advertising dollars from its manufacturer. There is a new auto rating service out this month and
it is from US News and World Report. US News has rated colleges, universities, hospitals, and medical plans for many years and
now is branching out to the automotive industry. For their initial foray into the latest rankings they selected the 2008 Miata to
grace their cover. In the “Affordable Sports Cars” category the Miata wins with a score of 9.0 (10.0 is the highest) followed by
the Nissan 350Z (8.8 points) and the Honda S2000 (8.7 points). A few quotes from some of their sources are:
-“The MX-5 lost its least-expensive roadster title to the Pontiac Solstice but prevailed on the basis of its all-around goodness. It’s
quicker, more agile, more refined.” -“If we’re talking endorphins per dollar, maybe no car compares.” The full details of this article
can be found at www.rankingsandreviews.com.
Life’s Lessons from Ft Bragg
By Fran Rowell
Well you’re never too old to learn some of Life’s Lessons as I found out on the trip to Ft Bragg this year. My passenger this year
was Jan Leininger.
Lesson #1 – Two women have a harder time getting their things in a trunk of a Miata than do a man and a woman. Of course
we can blame it on the spaghetti pot but thank goodness Margie, traveling alone, had some extra room.
Lesson #2 – Don’t believe the Skunk Train when they tell you it will be a 3-4 hour trip because it will be 6 hours.
Lesson #3 – Be careful who you sit by on a train going through a long dark tunnel. The darkness brings out some strange things
Lesson #4 – Don’t be late to help prepare dinner or you could be the cook next year. Please forgive me Ralph and JoAnne!
Lesson #5 – If there is something on the Italian menu that you don’t understand and the person in your group that speaks Italian
tells you it means “spicy”, ask for the literal meaning and if there is “devil” or “revenge” in it, order something else.
It was a really fun trip and I have never done so much laughing in one weekend. Let’s do it again next year.
Meet SAMOA Members Part 4
By Jeanne George
I am still collecting member information sheets and the following were given to me at the last meeting and the picnic.
Joined February 1993. JoAnne and Ralph Gingrich, are some of our more seasoned members, notice I didn’t say older. They
joined the club a few years after it was organized. They have a 2004 Silver Miata and previously owned a 1993 White, 1999
White, and a 2000 Red. Ralph was serving as Events Coordinator in 1997 when Robin and I joined the club. Ralph and JoAnne
were involved with the former Gold Rush Event for several years. In addition they have organized the Holiday Dinner Event for
the past several years. They are involved with organizing the annual Ft. Bragg weekend trips along with Fran Rowell. Ralph is the
main cook at the Saturday night dinners. Over the years they have done it all: performed sweep detail and lead various events,
usually involving wine or champagne brunch. JoAnne indicates Fort Bragg is her favorite, a nice quite get away. Ralph indicates
he likes the Birthday parties, as he gets a chance to see members that he normally doesn’t see any other time.
Joined August 2003. Jim Stewart drives a 2003 yellow he purchased in 2003. He indicates he enjoys the driving events
SAMOA offers. He hasn’t led an event or run at the back of the pack as sweep but he has been able to attend more events this
Joined December 2005. Doug Lockhart owns a 1993 LE Black and a 1994 Black Miata. When he joined in 2005 he was driving
a 1990 white which he has sold. Doug indicates he enjoyed the Redwood Trip, Scrabble Scramble, the picnic and all runs. He
hasn’t led an event yet nor could you find him at the rear of the line. Doug enjoyed his first autocross this year representing
SAMOA at the Shriners event.
Joined December 2005. Bill Fall and Elanora Drake have a 1993 Red which they purchased in 1998. They attended the picnic
this year, which was their first event with the club. They enjoyed meeting many of the members and the food and fun.
Joined August 2007. Ann and Eric Vance own a 1992 Black Miata which they purchased in 2006. Eric has been very actively
attending events and monthly meetings since he joined SAMOA. Ann was with him to attend Scrabble Scramble, Moaning
Caverns, and the Birthday picnic. He brought his young daughter to the Blackhawk Museum. I’m not sure which she enjoyed
more, the ducks in the pond or the ice cream.
By Robin George
This is the time of year that slows down. The weather becomes a guessing game and the upcoming holidays have become the
main focus. Jack Frost nips the air and the atmosphere becomes soggy. But Miata World drives on. SAMOA has several events
scheduled to help celebrate this time of year (see the events page for dates and times).
If you want to take an edge off the fall chill, Fran Rowell is conducting a Chili Cook-off in Garden Valley. We have some great
cooks in the club. There’s nothing like riding in a Miata after a good Chili party. We have a Teddy Bear Run organized by Jack
Parker. Fill your Miata up with toys and enjoy a great romp though the foothills. The Teddy Bear’s are given to the Children’s
Receiving Home of Sacramento. I have been to the Receiving Home when the stuffed toys are handed out before Christmas and
the kids are smiling ear to ear. It’s a great cause. If you would like to donate and you’re not able to attend the run please bring
your stuffed toys to the general meeting. We also have our annual Holiday Party at Lions Gate on the old McClellan Air Force
Base. We look real pretty all dressed up.
Scheduled in December during the annual general business meeting are the elections. Here is your chance to step forward and
make a difference. All offices are open. Please notify any current officer of your intent to run for an office. Your name will be
put on the ballot and the election will commence. It’s your club and it’s up to you. We have one of the most active car clubs in
the area and we are getting bigger and better.
Member Mark Brooks has become an unofficial Photographer for SAMOA and has posted many pictures on our forum and in our
picture gallery. He is very talented and tries to take pictures of everyone’s Miata on each of the events, even OTM’s. Check
them out. Sign up and check out the forum anyway. It won’t hurt.
See you at November’s meeting.
Society For The Blind
By Jeanne George
In the past, SAMOA’s Birthday Party attendees have made voluntary contributions to a local charity. This year the Officers chose
to support the Society For The Blind, which has provided many benefits to our SAMOA member, Ralph Gingrich. Members
attending the Birthday picnic and October’s general meeting were very generous in their donations. A total of $673 was
collected. The check will be presented to a representative from the charity at the November general meeting. Thank you to all
of those who contributed to this worthwhile organization.
Teddy Bear Run
By Jack Parker
On November 17, our annual Teddy Bear Run will take place to benefit the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento. The run is
open to all members willing to give up a little time to benefit the Children’s Home. Each participant is asked to donate a teddy
bear and an item suitable as a Christmas present for a child ages 3-17.
The run will start at Mar Sha Tes on Murieta Drive in Rancho Murieta. You can find this location on Mapquest by using 7200
Murieta Drive, Rancho Murieta, California, or check our website. Our meeting time will be 8:45 to 9:00 AM and we will be
collecting toys and bears and filling up the pickup truck and driving off to High Hill Ranch for apple pie, fritters and everything
apple at about 9:30. There is also an extensive craft fair and trout fishing. Other weekend special events are always planned.
There is also a cafe for burgers, dogs and other assorted goodies. So let’s have a great SAMOA turnout for this worthwhile event
and help out some very deserving kids for the holidays.
Treasure Trove News
By Jeanne George
WELCOME to these new members joining in October:
Cliff and Lois Benzel
Barbara and Larry Penfield
Memberships Expiring on November 1:
Paauwe, Bob and Genny
Smith, Mark and Suanne
Memberships Renewed in October:
Parker, Jack and Sally
Somplack, Jon and Alice
By Jeanne George
The Officers have received requests from club members regarding SAMOA attire. Robin did some research and found a company
which provides embroidered articles. To test the interest, Robin purchased polo shirts for his Board of Officers as a personal gift
Members indicated they liked the design. As a result, 20 ash colored long sleeve T-shirts were introduced at the picnic. They
were a success and 18 were sold that day. The company offered a special on baseball hats. He ordered 12 black and 12 tan,
which will be available for $9 at the November meeting.
At the October meeting, an order form for sweatshirts was passed around. Sixteen requests were made for sweatshirts. We
have placed the order for them and are waiting for their delivery. We have ordered a few extra, as we are sure those that didn’t
select one will wish they had.