Huntsville Drive and BBQ
April 7

What a great day it turned out to be for an early spring drive! This run started out from last year’s impromptu “send off” drive for me prior to deploying to the Persian Gulf. It turned out to be such a fun package with places seen and people met along the way, we decided to make another go of it. Along with an invite from the owner of the “Yukon Grill” to come up and have a show and shine along with that he would fire up his world famous BBQ/Smoker grill to put on a fantastic feed for us.

So with that going for us, one day at my job (Flight Line Tech at Hill AFB) I was watching the Royal Air Force airman out working on their British Fighter jets (Tornados). And I thought “We should ask them if they would be interested in coming along for the drive and picnic to see some vintage British Iron and meet some folks who actually appreciate the likes of Lucas, Girling, BMC and BL."

So there I am wandering into the Hornets nest of the RAF maintenance hub of activity, looking for someone of importance, but came across Chief Technician Dave (Lenny) Henry anyway. (Sorry Lenny!) After shifting a few brain cells around so that we might actually understand each other we hit it off quite well! The Brits were very excited to see that there was a group of Colonials dedicated to keeping the Britmobiles on the road. Lenny suggested we should make arrangements to allow our cars onto the Air Base and actually get clearance to drive them out onto the active flight line for photo opportunities! I thought to myself and said to him “yeah right!” But with Lenny’s insistence and only one day to pull it off, I began making phone calls.

After hitting several dead ends and almost hanging it up, things started to look promising. I knew there would be folks that I was not going to be able to contact until the morning gathering at the Kaysville Checker Auto parts store. I was nervous that we would choke out his parking lot and have customers complaining, but it turned into a quick mini car show for all and the Checker folks there are actually British Car Fans! Several of them actually own Triumphs.

Now off towards Hill AFB because some fast talking at the main gate to the base was in order. Everyone who braved to follow me to the gate got in! Now heading down the main drag at Hill, we were getting plenty of looks and questions shouted “Hey, is there a car show today?”. We arrived at the flight line gate met by our British friends and after a quick tire check for stuff you don’t want to end up inside a jet engine (rocks, screws and nails) we were guided/posed in front of an impressive example of British aviation engineering, the UK’s Tornado (tail number 007). Lenny and his mates lined us up for a fantastic group shot and then we broke into several small groups shots (MGA’s, Spitfires and TR6’s) .

The Brits quickly figured out who our “Cheerleader” was and soon had Mary Scoggins on top of the wing posing with two airmen and the Union Jack. After that our RAF friends gave us a quick tour of the aircraft. Everyone was having a great time and mostly on their best behavior (Mary?). So after we sorted thing out, we were now ready to continue our drive. Lane Farka, a rather enthusiastic MG driver offered to lead us through an alternate but much more pleasant drive off the base and then towards the canyon (which is always what we are about!).

By the time we arrived at the Yukon Grill we were several hours behind our original time schedule, but the owner was most patient with us and was glad to see us. A glorious feast followed, our RAF friends who followed along seemed to enjoy it as well. After lunch folks started parting ways to head off to other Saturday plans, a few including our new RAF friends ventured towards the Shooting Star Saloon to visit the Dog. I hope I speak for everyone I saying that we really had a great day! And I had one of the best birthdays that I can remember!

Unfortunately, I have to report one misfortunate thing. On the way home from Huntsville traveling south on Harrison Blvd. in Ogden Paul Jaroch was in the wrong place at the wrong time. While sitting in the intersection waiting to turn left towards his home, a fugitive running from the law going in excess of 100 MPH on a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle collided into the front right corner of Paul beautiful Mercedes. Paul is doing fine, just glad he wasn’t in a roadster!

Folks who signed the attendance list were: John & Barbara Progess, Terry & Lien Rees, Mike & Becky Chambers, Steve Nelson, Jeff Greenland, Brian Elkins, Lane Farka & Zack, Clayton & Mrs. Merchant, Larry Farrington & Stephanie Arceneaux, Mike & Mary Scoggins, Mitch & Diane Johnson, Rich Goodman, , Kevin & Marie Cowan, Drew Frink, Chris Jones, Pugs & Diane Pivirotto, Paul Jaroch, Bob Wadman and Roland Held, Floyd & Kathy Inman.

-- Mitch Johnson

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