Vintage Street Rodders of America
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January - 19

   Ron's Corner

Wow – where does the time go? Can you believe we have started a brand-new year? And that we are nearing the end of January? Time is scooting by faster than my money leaves the bank, and that's too fast!! Anyway, I hope everyone is enjoying life and staying healthy. As most if you know I had my right knee replaced January 10th of this year. Therefore, I have not gotten a lot done in recent weeks -- and some of what I did get done was wrong! But better days are ahead!

While really not street rod related but is pre-48 - since I was 'built' in 1946! So here goes.

After having been advised by 2 different surgeons in two different states that my knee was beyond restoration of any type I agreed to having it replaced. I was advised down here in Florida that an “off the shelf unit” was an acceptable option but a full “custom” knee was better. One built just for my bones and build.

So, I immediately began envisioning my own design! You know as street rodders we don't take anything as produced. We tend to modify everything to suit our custom design. Thus, it was only natural that after seeing several pictures and charts covering 'normal' knee operations my mind went to work on that custom knee unit for MY body!

I mean since it was to be manufactured for my knee only let's make it special!! I was advised that precise measurements of my knee, cap, bones and surrounding items would be used to construct my replacement. I would get 2 'plates' each one designed to fit perfectly over my existing bones. Next a plastic like 'slide' pad fitted between the metal plates so they slide smoothly as I moved. Well in that case let's get to the ' custom 'part of this thing! How about some nice flames etched in to those plates?

Or maybe add some pearl to the coloring of that pad between the plates? Perhaps the whole thing could get chromed? Can we hop up the angles on the pad to speed up the motion as I walk? A thousand 'what ifs' were being reviewed in my head. Boy this will be fun, can't wait until operation day to share my tips with my surgeon!
A few days prior to surgery found me in the doctor's office for last minute blood work and instructions. Then once more the day before surgery that routine was repeated. Now the day has come. All that testing, poking and sticking with needles was over – time to get serious! After entering the hospital came the bombardment of repetitive questions. As if I hadn't told them several times already, EVERY nurse asked me my full name and date of birth. I mean really? 

Wasn't that on that little bracelet they put on when they admitted me? Don't they share information on their laptops? Don't they have Google here? Had they already forgotten the answers I gave them 10 minutes ago? And why was my surgeon drawing a smiley face on my knee? 

Well I never got answers to my questions. As soon as I was given an I.V. to 'begin' the process, I was a goner! Don't remember a darn thing from that point until it was over! No time to explain to my doc my ideas for that 'custom' knee. I mean geez Louise what just happened? I woke up in a different room with even more different nurses and feeling 'no pain'!

And would you believe those nurses asked me the same questions again! I mean really, talk about your bad memory! But all is well that ends well. I finally convinced them that I had my name and birthday correct so they quit asking.

Everything went well until the day after surgery. The nurses would place my walker so far from my bed that I couldn't reach it. I do remember being told that I 'had' to use a walker after the surgery. So why put it so far away?

When I asked the nurse, she said THEY would decide when I could get up. Well I informed them that Mother Nature was calling, and I needed the restroom. That's when a little young nurse came to me with a plastic jug in her hand and said "here let me help" -- OH NO! Was my rather rapid reply! Some things I'll just figure out for myself, I'm funny that way. So just before lunch was served in came two nurses. The young one from before and an older lady carrying towels and wash cloths. I'm thinking great I can finally get into that nice private bathroom and freshen up.

Wrong again. Before I could say or do anything, they had me uncovered and we're explaining that my doc had ordered a full anti-bacterial scrub down. And they were going to do it! So, there I lay in all my radiant beauty for all to see! Cooling in the breeze! Now it's embarrassing enough to have two strangers grabbing, reaching and seeing things I keep out of sight, but they also left the hall door open!!! Good grief Charlie Brown what is going on?

Well after I regained a very small level of dignity back and dressed in street clothes, they placed me in a reclining chair. This was to be my daily routine while in their prison....err hospital. I guess day two from surgery taught those nurses a thing or two because on my next morning I was handed a bowl of water and some towels and they left the room! From that point on my embarrassment ended. 

While everything above is all true, I'm sorry to say, I must be honest in saying that I received excellent care during my stay in the hospital. Doctors and nurses do an outstanding job daily and get very few "Atta boys." So, allow me to send a bunch with extra points to all those involved with my care.

I need to get back up to par as March is approaching quickly. Speaking of March, I remain very upbeat about our event in Ocala. Lots of interest from locals and out-of-state folks as well. We have just been contacted by a magazine representative that wants to come to our show! So maybe there will be some printed coverage! That's great! Let's make this our best-ever!

Big Daddy Don Garlits just had his 87th birthday and is still very active in the daily operations of his museum and the sport of drag racing. He is an extremely talented and intelligent man that truly loves what he does. So please come join us March 29-31 at the 1st Ever Annual “Swamp Rat” Rod Extravaganza hosted by us – Vintage Street Rodders of America.

Things have been difficult for getting the Ohio show under contract. I have been in touch with several representatives in the area to assist us in securing a good location for our show. So, don't give up on me just yet, I will get this done. Our Maggie Valley show is solid and on target. We are working on art work and more details as time allows.

As membership renewals and pre-registrations come in, I am returning a letter of conformation as to your request. While during the holiday's things slowed a bit, we are very blessed by the response and encouragement we get from you via emails and phone calls. Please keep it up.

I don't have much to report concerning street rodding as both health and holidays took priority in recent weeks. So why don't you guys send us a note or two telling us what we are doing, where you've been and/or what happening in your part of the world. After all we love hearing from you and seeing what keeps you busy in the 'off 'season. This is your organization as we are a family of like-minded folks, so feel free to share!

 Jim's Corner

Debbie and I had a great Christmas and hope each and every one of you did also. There is a couple of Pre-49 shows that I wanted to mention in hopes of getting some support from our members. We need to show support for these shows to encourage them to keep them Pre-49.
Unless something happens, Debbie and I will be attending both of these shows. I also wanted to mention that several members have contacted me about doing a caravan to the "Swamp Rat" Rod Extravaganza in Ocala, Fl. We are leaving on Wednesday March 27th and going a little over half way. We will be traveling on I-26 and I-95. 

If you are interested in hooking up with us somewhere along the route, please contact me at 423-571-6430. We have around six cars so far. Let's see if we can get at least ten cars. 

2019 R.O.D.S. Run
Just a reminder that the 41st Annual Ramblin' Oldies of Denham Springs, Louisiana pre-49 R.O.D.S. Run is coming up next month! For more information on this show, contact Bobby Spann at 225-921-7530 or 275-9868. 

Crusin' for Paws
Crusin' for Paws in Vicksburg, Ms. is a Pre-49 show on March 7-8 that supports animal shelters in the area. For more information on this show, contact Al Mashburn at 601-831-2008. 

Deuce's of the Bluegrass
Deuce's of the Bluegrass is a Pre-49 show in Lexington, Ky. on April 28th to support suicide awareness. For more information on this show, contact Mark Cain at 859-552-3359.

2020 Vintage Rod Tour
We hope to have the information for this year's tour ready by the February Newsletter so stay tuned. 


Radius Rods
Radius Rods Car Club held their 41st annual pre-49 car round up at Pocahontas, Illinois on September 16th, 2018. The number of registered cars totaled up to 168 plus 18 members cars. Everyone enjoyed the festivities of games food raffle and fellowship. Free coffee and doughnuts started the day progressing toward games such as "Lift the seat Sweety" a cake walk that lasts until the water balloon toss takes over to provide a shower of talent and wet clothes. 

Everyone gathers together for trophy awards and raffle drawing, closing out the day with three winners sharing the grand prize of money. Among awards were youngest rodder of 17 and the oldest 82. Radius Rods membership has expanded to seventeen since 1977. The families all help to put on this show which is a free event. We are pleased that our car club has been fortunate to present funds of $6,250.00 to cancer programs, camps, parks, and school since 2015.

Many thanks Jim Nance.

Medina Memories
Cleveland, Ohio's own Steve Mather has sent club members a link to his photos spanning three years of the Medina Ohio National Show that can be viewed or downloaded at:

A big thanks to Steve.
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