Welcome to the Suwannee River Region AACA

P O Box 7095, Lake City, FL 32056, Phone: 386-365-9643 Email: wilshirav@aol.com.

The Suwannee River Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America (www.aaca.org), is a family friendly organization, located in North Florida. We love old cars, good food and enjoy above average comradery with each other. Our members are involved in local, state and national events. Our meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at the El Potro Restaurant on US 90 across the street from the Lake City Mall and start at 7 PM. We cover necessary business, but the meetings are always light, interesting and involve all members and guests. If you have an interest in old cars, please consider joining us. For more information, contact:  Shirley McManus, President, 386-365-9643.

A message from our President:

The sign read “Isolated but not Forgotten, God Bless.” Tod Boucher made this sign and had it hanging on his Bentley for the Drive-By Parades. I know that sign had a profound message to everyone that read it. That was the message that we wanted everyone to know, that even though they may be Isolated WE did not forget them. I know how hard it has been for so
many these last few months. Sheltering in Place was on every news report, every TV station, the newspaper, and the Internet and still is. This has been our life for months now. Far from normal and as uncomfortable as we have been through all of this, there are so many out there who through no fault of their own have been Isolated. Mothers, Fathers, Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents in Nursing Homes, that have basically been on lockdown since the end of February. No family to visit, no walking the grounds, no shopping trips, mainly just staying in their rooms. I thank God for all the Nurses and Health Care workers and Staff that have taken care of our loved ones.  They have gone over and beyond to prove that they are in the profession they were meant to be in.  I searched my heart over these last weeks to find a way for our club to reach out to the community. Several weeks ago I got an Email from a neighbor about “The Canopy Nursing Home” having a Drive-By Parade for their Residents. Right there in front of me was the answer I had been looking for, why not take the Club. It’s safe for all of us, it was a place to take our cars and most importantly one of our members (Louie Bianchi) is now living at the Canopy for the last few months. I also had another neighbor (Ray Dolbow) who is now living there too. It seemed like the perfect idea.  So, Sunday April 26th we all met over at Hobby Lobby parking lot and lined up. Much to my surprise we must have had over 150 cars there. People were so eager to get out; there were neighbors, families of the Residents and all of us with our cars. Everyone decorated their vehicles with balloons, and signs and I passed out small flags for everyone to wave.  The Canopy is a very long building and they had their residents outside all around the building in masks and gloves and 6′ apart. In the midst of chaos in the world, what a sight to see the Residents had made us signs too. Thank You for coming, Honk for a Hug, We Miss You, and my favorite was a Resident who’s sign said “Bring on the Toilet Paper” We all got a big laugh over that one.  I have to say I went home from there feeling so good. Well the following week I heard of another Parade at Solaris Nursing Home.

For this one it was kind of short notice, but still in meeting at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church parking lot to line up we had over 100 cars. Then the following Thursday I heard of another Parade. This one was only one day’s notice at The Rehabilitation Center in Lake City, but still you came out. But we weren’t done yet. The VA Domiciliary was coming up next on May 13. We could never forget our Veterans. So off we went again to let them know we care. And even though we couldn’t get out of our cars, they knew they were loved. The cars waving the flags and honking the horns told them so. One little lady had a small sign she made that just plain said “Thank You.” You know to us… it was lineup and wait 1⁄2 hour for the parade to start and then drive around the building twice waving and honking our horns. What seemed like taking minutes of our time to do this, was days and who knows maybe years of memories to them. The Activity Director told me as I was going around for the 2nd time that this was the most excitement they have had in the last 2 months. I’m so proud of each of you who came out for these parades. It meant the world to these Residents, friends and loved ones.

The last few weeks we’ve been meeting at Hardees for a cruise-in and each week we have seen an increase in folks. Then we took our cars to Sal’s for our normal 3rd Tuesday Pizza Night
cruise-in and had a great crowd there too. I counted 16 cars and 27 members. What turned out to be a month where I thought there would not be any activities for the club, ended up with as a full schedule.  We gave of ourselves this month. Thank you all for being responsible and keeping social distance and wearing masks. You are all great people and you are what make SRRAACA so special.