20th Anniversary Club History, 1993-2013

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A Cruise Down Club Corvette’s Memory Lane

For the seasoned Club members, I hope you enjoy this cruise down memory lane. For you newer members, I hope this document will give you an appreciation for the enthusiastic, well-run organization that has existed for the past 20 years. I particularly want to thank Ron and Anna Marie Goldberg, Jack and Susan Stacey, Peggy Wahlberg, and Les Browne for providing me with 20 years of newsletters to enable me to write this historical document. Also, thank you to Rhonda Forristall and Jay Richardson for their contributions to articles.

This project started when I was asked to document the history of Club Corvette of Connecticut (CCC) from the start of the Club in 1993 through 2013, the 20th anniversary year. It was expected that I would probably need about 20 pages, one for each year of the existence of the Club.

I started a search for the old Vette Gazettes (our Club newsletters)to use as a source for inputs. I only had years 2011, 2012, and 2013 on my computer because I was editor during that time period. Ron and Anna Marie Goldberg gave me all 83 of the newsletters from 1993 through 1999. Jack and Susan Stacey had most of the monthly issues for the years 2000 through 2010. I sent out a Yahoo email asking for those issues that were not in Jack’s file so Les Browne and Peggy Wahlberg came through with electronic copies. Wow, I can’t believe these people saved that much history, but I’m grateful that they helped me with my search.

When I started to read the 20 inch stack of newsletters, I knew that this historical document would have to be more than 20 pages. I realize that I neglected to include many of our favorite events in the write-up but the project had to come to an end. Originally, I wanted to include articles about our fantastic series of annual cruises. As I started writing the articles I decided there would be too many pages for this document. Instead, I included a sampling of photos of only some of the cruises to jog the memories of those members who participated. Most of the photos are from my albums, although Rhonda Forristall kindly sent me some from her collection and I even scanned some from the old newsletters. The 2013 Carlisle picture was taken by Kathy Lupoli.

Our very successful Club is the result of having 20 years of excellent officers and a participating membership. Please support CCC as an active member so we can continue this success. Help to organize cruises, attend our functions, and please consider running for an office to share your skills for the benefit of the Club.

Presidents for the First 20 Years of Club Corvette

Karen LeFevre 1993 – 6 Months
Anna Marie Goldberg* 1993 – 1996
Ron Goldberg* 1997 – 2006
Jack Stacey 2007 – 2009
George Macary 2010 – 2011
Dennis Krajewski 2012 – 2013
*Indicates 20 Year Members of CCC

All of the Presidents are still members of Club Corvette as of 2013 except Karen LeFevre.

FIRST YEAR OF CLUB CORVETTE OF CONNECTICUT

 

THE YEAR 1993 IN REVIEW

 

1993_Founders_Meeting
At the 1992 Eastern Connecticut Corvette Club (ECCC) Christmas party the members were told that the club would be dissolved. This was not an upbeat way to celebrate. Before leaving the party, Ron Goldberg and Brian DeBlasi discussed the idea of forming anew club. Ron and Anna Marie Goldberg invited people to come to their house in January 1993 for further discussion of the idea. Eight people came to the meeting and that was the start of Club Corvette of Connecticut.

They didn’t waste any time getting started. Officers were elected at the January meeting. The officers were Karen LeFevre as President, Anna Marie Goldberg as Vice President, Mike Maciog and Brian DeBlasi as Secretaries and Ron Goldberg as Treasurer. After a few months, Karen LeFevre resigned as President and Anna Marie moved up to replace her. Twenty years later Anna Marie, Ron and Mike are still members of the Club. Other original members who are still with CCC from the beginning year are Dennis and Ann Krajewski, Tony and Donna Piccolo, Ed and Sheila Karides, Joe Santiso, Frank Loda and Jay Richardson. Anna Marie recommended during the first meeting that they make this club a man/woman/couples club rather than a men’s club like ECCC. Based on today’s Club activities, that was definitely a good decision.

A newsletter was published in February. The newsletter summarized the discussions of the January meeting and included the decision of $25.00 annual dues, the search for new members, the need for guidelines (not bylaws), upcoming meeting locations and potential sponsors. It was decided that a tag sale would be held at Ron and Anna Marie’s house to raise funds to start the Club.

By March a full calendar was published with events running throughout the summer and into September. Skip forward to June and the Club had earned $1,005 at the tag sale and had two sponsors – Ron’s Corvettes & Classics, Inc. and Mannix Chevrolet-Pontiac-Geo, Inc. Eastern Connecticut Corvette Club donated the $810 remains of their Club treasury and now Club Corvette had $2,475 in their treasury. This was before the contributions by their sponsors. They were also able to donate food to the Food Bank, a tradition that continues through today. WOW, this was tremendous progress for a club that was only in existence for six months!

A car show date of July 11 was established, with the show to be held at Moroso. Who would believe that we would be back at Moroso in years 2000 through 2013! And the words in the March 1993 newsletter look the same as in 2013 – “As we plan for our car show, we need the help of volunteers to contact the Guilford Police, a miscellaneous supplies coordinator, registration people, tabulators, a raffle chairperson, etc.” Tony Piccolo served as the 1993 car show Chairman and it was a very successful first show. (By the way, Club Corvette of Rhode Island tied with another club for Best Club Participation in our show. CCRI has never let up in their support of CCC shows. They still win the Best Club Participation trophy in our current shows.)

Donations of food for the Food Bank were collected at the first Club Corvette car show – and there was enough food to feed 125 people. Also, new members signed up after the show and the membership was up to 35 families by August.

The August/September 1993 newsletter announced the officer nominees for 1994.
They were:
– President, Anna Marie Goldberg
– Vice President, Joe Santiso
– Treasurer, Ron Goldberg
– Secretary Backup, Mike Maciog
– 1994 Car Show Committee
○ Chairman, Tony Piccolo
○ Ron Goldberg
○ Ed Karides (also elected as Events Chairman)
○ Dennis Krajewski (also the leader for hat and jacket committee)
There were other officers, but those above are still members of CCC after 20 years.

ANNUAL HIGHLIGHTS

EXTRACTS FROM CCC NEWSLETTERS AND RELATED HISTORY

1994

Club progress continued into 1994 with a wide variety of activities. Early in the year the membership was up to 81 members. Mannix stayed on as a sponsor and additional treasury funds were earned by having another tag sale to support the annual Corvette show at Mannix Chevrolet–Pontiac–Geo, Inc. And it was a successful show, with 92 Vettes participating.

The newsletters expanded to include Tech Tips and recipes. How about these for original ideas from the members:
– Black Book Corned Beef Bake (Black Book is a Corvette data book)
– NOS (New Old Stock) Corned Beef Salad (NOS refers to obsolete equipment, or original parts for obsolete equipment, that have not previously been sold at retail) (can also mean Nitrous Oxide System)
– 1963 Split Window Tomato Soupe (not coupe)
– War Bonnet Yellow Potato and Cheddar Soup (a 1971/1972 Corvette color)
– Hot Corvette Crab Dip

Happy memories included the cookie swap at Sheila and Ed Karedes’ house (1993) and the Donna and Tony Piccolo pool party (1994).

Ron and Anna Marie Goldberg’s 1962 Corvette was awarded Top Flight by the National Corvette Restoration Society.

1995

A contest was held to pick a name for the newsletter. The winners were Rose Marie and Tony Guglielmo for suggesting that it be called the Vette Gazette, a name that has lasted for 18 years. Their prize was dinner for two at the New England Food and Beverage Restaurant. Other suggested names were The Fiber Forum, Glass Act, Cross Flag News, etc.

Zora signingThe newsletter expanded to include Corvette buying guides, an NFL quiz, and an order form for buying Club clothing. Previous issues had lists of upcoming events but the August issue was the first to include several flyers for shows and events.

In 1995, a spectacular addition to the Corvettes at Carlisle show was an autograph signing by Zora Arkus Duntov. The lines for this event were huge.

See the 1996 section of this write-up for comments about Zora.

1996

This was a very sad year for the Corvette Community. Zora Arkus-Duntov died of kidney failure in Detroit at the age of 86. The New York Times Obituary section said, “Zora Arkus-Duntov, the Russian engineer and race car driver who turned the Chevrolet Corvette into one of the most popular muscle cars in the United States, died at St. John Hospital.” His ashes were entombed in the National Corvette Museum.

If you want to read an interesting story about his life, get a copy of Zora Arkus-Duntov, The Legend Behind Corvette by Jerry Burton, published by Bently Publishers in 2002 (www.BentlyPublishers.com). This is a 420-page book about his flamboyant life. He was born in Belgium, grew up in St. Petersburg and, at age 16, he smuggled gold for profit from France into Belgium in the hollowed-out frame of a Mercedes. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1941.

This is an unlikely background for a man who engineered a fuel injection system for the 1957 Corvette and who designed the first four-wheel disc brakes to be included on a mass-produced American car. These are just a few of his Corvette accomplishments. Without Zora, the Corvette would probably have died.

Positive highlights of 1995 and 1996 were trips to Cooperstown, N.Y., to the Corvette Hall of Fame. For those CCC members who weren’t into the Corvette world at that time, this was an absolutely fantastic museum. Allen Schery, the owner of the museum, told us he invested $4 million in the museum, half of which was the price of the cars. Most cars were displayed with an Americana mural as a backdrop made from photographs that he took on his tour of the U.S. Unfortunately the museum closed.

After the Carlisle event, the newsletter had a picture of the winner of the Miss Carlisle Corvette contest sitting on John Giorgio’s Vette. The word was that John never washed that part of the car after that.

The Christmas party at The Woodwinds of Branford included a very romantic scene. Jay Richardson and Samar came up to the microphone on the pretense of offering special accolades to Club members. Instead of the accolades, Jay dropped to the traditional bended knee position and opened a velvet box with a glittering diamond for Samar.

1997

The March Vette Gazette had pictures of the new C5 with captions of “The C5 has arrived” and “Five Generations of Greatness.” John Conlon, a General Motors District Sales Representative, attended our March meeting and handed out three-foot wide C5 Corvette posters, Grand Sport pins and Corvette pamphlets to everyone at the meeting.

We ran out of space at the annual Corvette show, held at Echlin’s, where we had 113 judged cars in addition to having a Duntov and Bowtie display, a special classification for other American sports cars, and vendors. As usual, several new members joined the Club after the show, including Pam and Jim Amato, and Carole Young and Mike D’Avino.

It seems that every time we talk about a long trip, such as Carlisle, someone has a John Giorgio story. Jay Richardson relays a story: “John and I flew past all the members going to the big Corvette show in PA one year VERY FAST. When the other members caught up, the police had the lights on behind us and the members thought we got a speeding ticket. I was just putting my top up due to rain and the police stopped to make sure all was well. That was funny!”

Terry Deyo (a professional photographer) joined the Club and agreed to be the Club photographer. He and his brother, Bud, gathered members at East Haven’s Lighthouse Park for a photo shoot. A full page write-up, including the Lighthouse Park photo, was published in Vette Magazine in 1998.

1998

Nineteen members of our Club attended a fantastic “Marble and Glass” Corvette weekend in Newport sponsored by Club Corvette of Rhode Island. This was a Friday through Sunday event which was totally organized for the entire weekend with a full agenda of meals, mansion tours, a sailing trip, a Corvette show, and awards presentations.

A reminder for the Food Bank showed up in the Agenda page of our newsletter. It said, “Remember to bring food to the Club meeting.” We still have that familiar reminder for Food Bank donations in our current newsletter.

Attendance at the meetings was bolstered by having guest speakers. Phil Brown, a representative from Loctite, presented slides and commentary about his company’s products and handed out samples at the February meeting. In March, Ray Zisa, fellow CCC member and owner of Corvette Center, showed slides and talked about cars that he had worked on in his shop.

Amarante’s had the first annual All Corvette Cruise Night.

CCC’s annual show was again held at Echlin’s in the same format as the previous year. There were 119 Corvettes judged and approximately 1100 spectators.

CCC purchased a brick in the Walk of Fame at the front of the National Corvette Museum.

Ron and Evie Drew came home from Carlisle with a red 1987 convertible (Evie’s Vette) to add to their collection. They already had a 1982 coupe (Ron’s Vette). Some of our members were given nicknames during the trip. The origination of some of the names is obvious but you’ll have to ask fellow members about the other names.

Ron (The Gate Keeper) Goldberg
John (Are We There Yet) Giorgio
Joan (You Wish) Spoerndle
Dennis (My Tank Is Empty) Krajewski
Evie (It’s My Car) Drew
Bud (The Destroyer) Deyo
Mike (I Don’t Want To Go Home) D’Avino
Carole (I Want To Go Home) Young
Bobby (If This Room Is Rocking, Don’t Come Knocking) McNeil

Ron Drew was appointed as Website Technician and he set up the Club’s first website.

On December 6, some of our members went to New York for the day. The next newsletter had a great comment by Anna Marie Goldberg. “We then walked to Tiffany’s where none of the Club Corvette men bought their women jewelry. (Oh, if only we were Corvette parts shopping – when money is no object!)”

The Christmas party was held at Amarante’s. CCC had half of the room and NCRS had the other half.

At year-end, CCC membership had two 1956 Vettes and at least one Vette for every year from 1958 to 1999. The highest representation was ten 1998 Vettes.

1999

CCC’s annual show was again held at Echlin’s. This year there were 138 Corvettes judged and approximately 1050 spectators. The show and shine number was growing!

John Giorgio did it again! The newsletter had another picture of Miss Carlisle sitting on the hood of his Vette. Her bathing suit didn’t leave much to the imagination.

Joan Spoerndle wrote a newsletter article about the Club’s trip to Carlisle. There were about 50 members and 21 cars. With that ratio there must have been some non-Corvettes. After the Carlisle show, some of our members joined over 300 Vettes to cruise to Bowling Green, KY, to celebrate the 5thanniversary of the National Corvette Museum. Bonnie Samson even took her dog along (as usual) for a plant tour. Elfie Duntov, Dave McLellan and Jim Perkins were there to sign autographs.

What a great trip we had to the Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville, NY. We had 40 Corvettes on this cruise, which made for a special attraction in the parking lot. We also had enthusiastic participation during the tour, as you can see in the picture at the left where our members are helping to stomp grapes. After leaving the winery, we went to Gully’s Restaurant on the Hudson (a converted barge) for dinner.

The Christmas party was held at Villa Capri in Wallingford. 180 members attended.

This was the first year of the Corvette toy drive in conjunction with the State Police (currently called Korvettes for Kids) as initiated by members Ron and Evie Drew. Thirty-three Corvettes met at the Milford McDonald’s on Rt. 95. Two State Troopers gave us an escort down to the Bridgeport Troop G Headquarters. On the way, we cruised past WICC so we could wave and listen to John LaBarca on the radio talking about how amazed he was to see all of the Corvettes.

2000

We had international themes at the Branford Soup Cellar – Italian in January and Chinese in February. The Chinese food was donated by the Dragon Chinese Restaurant. We donated $400 to the Soup Cellar as one of our charities.

OMG, look at Dennis Krajewski in the picture!
He looks like Elvis!

Ron and Anna Marie Goldberg, Mike D’Avino and Bill Breski attended the 3rd annual New England Council meeting in Dover, NH. The goal of the Council was to avoid conflicts in scheduled car show dates among the New England Corvette Clubs. To quote Ron’s comments in the newsletter, “Everyone at the meeting was in awe of our membership as I proudly announced our numbers. A Massachusetts club, in an attempt to upstage me, claimed to have attained high numbers in the weight category with their members averaging 245 lbs.”

Other annual events:
– 2nd annual Spring Sea Cruise by the Shore arranged by Carole Young and Mike D’Avino
– 3rd annual Gold Coast Cruise, led by Ron and Evie Drew, through Fairfield Beach, Southport Harbor, Greens Farms mansion row, and Compo Beach
– 3rd annual Moonlight Bowling at Hamden Lanes
– The 8th annual CCC Corvette show was held at a new location – Moroso Performance Products. Imagine that! There were 189 show participants.
– Mannix Chevrolet remained as our sponsor for the 8th year.

John Giorgio arranged for a cruise to Manchester Motor Car Company. After the tour, we asked our members to vote for their favorite car in the showroom and the winner was the red 1988 Ferrari (listed at $90,000).

Gary Ramadei contacted parts vendors to get discounts for our Club members. The vendors were listed in the newsletters.

The Memorial Day parades that have become a tradition to us began with parades in East Haven and Fairfield.

Pauline Berardi and Barbara Turcotte set up a Fall Foliage Cruise to Stockbridge, MA.

At Carlisle, Mike D’Avino and Carole Young’s “custom” 1993 and Joan Spoerndle’s Callaway were included in the Celebrity picks. As usual, Miss Carlisle perched on the hood of John Giorgio’s car.

We had a photo shoot and picnic at Harkness State Park, Waterford. A bucket truck was provided by Ed and Joanne Yost’s son, Joe. Terry Deyo, our photographer, took pictures from the bucket.

2001

The All American Corvette Club and the Wheels in Motion Natural Glass Corvette Association of New Jersey invited members of Club Corvette to join them for a day at West Point Academy. Twenty-eight CCC Corvettes took the cruise. At West Point, the attendees started with a two hour champagne brunch at Hotel Thayer. Then they boarded buses and enjoyed a 1½ hour guided tour of West Point’s grounds.

Randy and Judy Flock, aided by the Corvette Club of Rhode Island, coordinated another Corvette weekend in Newport. What a spectacular time! The event started on a Thursday in May and ended on Sunday night. A full schedule was planned in advance.

Friday’s plans included a breakfast buffet in the morning, a cruise to historic Fort Adams, a ride along Ocean Drive, and a tour of Blithewold Mansion and Gardens. After the guided tour there was a picnic lunch. For Friday night’s dinner we cruised to Johnny’s Beach Club to enjoy a fantastic seafood dinner and dancing to a DJ. Keith Murphy’s hula hoop routine was followed by Carole Young and Erika Zisa taking the microphone to sing “I’m So Excited.” Then we all went back to the hotel for games and camaraderie.

Saturday morning started off with a judged car show in the parking lot at the hotel and then we went on to a full day’s schedule of eating and mansion tours. After dinner everyone received a bottle of wine and a plaque commemorative of the event. Show trophies were given to Michael D’Avino and Carole for Best of Show and a special Award of Merit was won by Keith and Jackie Murphy. Special trophies, crafted by Randy Flock, were given to these two couples.

The first annual Show and Shine Clinic was held in 2001 at Ron and Anna Marie Goldberg’s house. The Goldbergs continued this annual clinic to help both new and seasoned members with the techniques of the car show world. In 2009 the site was changed to George Macary’s house.

Barbara Turcotte and Tim Connolly led us on a fun-filled day at the Carousel Museum in Bristol, CT, then to Barbara’s home in Southington to see her car collection, and finally to Vinnie’s Restaurant for pizza.

This year turned out to be a rain-or-shine car show. The weather stations reported that the rain would stop by early morning – yeah, right. We polled the show participants who had arrived early and they voted to go on with the show.

Bob and Susan Wadyka entertained the Club members at their house before they led a cruise to Marcus Dairy in Danbury. This was one of several Marcus Dairy events when Wadykas graciously invited members to their home.

A Poker Run and Pizza Party was organized by Claudio and Pauline Berardi. Dinner at Perugini’s Restaurant in Wolcott followed the cruise.

Dennis and Ann Krajewski’s 3rd annual Corvettes and Kites was held at Hammonasset State Park.

Although it snowed in northern Connecticut the night before, we still had 30 Corvettes and a few non-Corvettes for the annual December Toy Cruise.

2002

At the January meeting, Jack Baker, from NU-Chrome, of Fall River, MA., gave us a tech-talk and then invited us to take a tourof his facility. He said, “Nu-Chrome is the largest company in the Northeast specializing in the restoration and plating of automotive parts.” We followed through on his offer and took the tour in April.

Following the tour we cruised to Christie’s in Newport for lunch.

Susan Wadyka displayed her 1982 coupe among indoor-outdoor grass and artificial plants at the Frank Marotta Production car show at the Hartford Expo and won the Best of the Best trophy.

Here’s a story that follows Ron Goldberg to this day. Twenty members of CCC took their annual bus trip to the Atlantic City Convention Center to see the auction and collector car show. Before they exited the bus in Atlantic City, Ron stressed the importance for everyone to be back on the bus at 6:00 p.m. to return home because the bus would not wait for anyone. Ron obviously wasn’t listening to himself because at 6:00 he was nowhere to be found. Our knowing about Ron’s heart condition caused a bit of a panic, but the bus left without him. He had been at the gambling table and lost track of time. He took a train to New York City and his good buddy, Ed Kaufman, picked him up at the train station. They got home at 4:00 a.m. Ron, how often have you heard this story re-told?

And another story that will never end is about Ed Karedes’ racecar-in-progress. In April 2002, Ed invited the Club members to his house for a tech session. The invitation in the Club newsletter said, “It’s time to roll out the race car! This first session will focus on the chassis and suspension preparation of my 1969 GT-1 Corvette. The car is being prepared to race in the Volvo Historic Vintage Race Series and will run at Lime Rock, Pocono, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio and New Hampshire speedways.” Ed, it’s 2013 and we’re still waiting for the car to be finished.

CCC member Destiny Mosher was installed as Queen of the Daughters of the Nile for Temple #82.

South Shore Corvette Club (SSCC) extended an invitation to CCC and to other New England clubs to take a cruise to Sturbridge,MA. One of the SSCC leaders was our friend, Elaine Kemp. Over 100 Vettes were in the parking lot.

The annual CCC show had 207 cars at Moroso’s competing for trophies, the biggest attendance to date. The Club gave Ron and Anna Marie a dinner certificate in recognition of their hard work running the show. After the show we had a great picnic at Jean and Richard Lombardo’s home.

Michael D’Avino and Carole Young organized a very successful cruise through Chatfield Hollow, Cedar Lake, Chester, Deep River, etc. On the way we stopped at Carole’s hair dressing salon and several men from the club were treated to a grooming.

Some of our members took a weekend cruise to The Gunstock Inn in Gilford, NH. The highlight in the subsequent newsletter was a description of the karaoke entertainment. “Ron and Anna Marie did a great job with Little Red Corvette. Also, Ed Kaufmann, Ray Yonco, Richard Lombardo, and Ron Goldberg performed a rendition of Pretty Woman.” What could be better than that?

2003

A group of members took a train to the Grand Central Station and went to the New York Auto Show. Of course the hit of the show for us was the new Corvette. Rich and Rhonda Forristall sat in the red convertible on display while the rest of us drooled.

The February 2003 Vette Gazette had an interesting speculation on what the C6 would look like. I don’t know the source of this picture, but I guess the timing of the speculation was a bit premature.

We had a series of speakers during the winter 2003 meetings to help ward off the cold weather doldrums:

February – There was a discussion of the upcoming June’s 50th Anniversary National Corvette Caravan to Nashville, TN, and Bowling Green, KY. The discussion was led by Bob Thibodeau, the New England Captain; Paul Harrington, Co-Captain; and Bill Jacob, the Eastern Connecticut Leader.

March – Officer Sam Barnes, a youth officer from Old Saybrook, talked about the D.A.R.E. program.

April – CCC member, Gary Ramadei, demonstrated how to rebuild a C2/C3 steering box.

Due to the rapid growth of our Club, we outgrew the Roadhouse Grille in Guilford so we moved the meetings to Lakeview Tavern & Grille in Branford (currently Allegra’s Cafe).

Ed Karedes made so much progress on his racecar (see the story in 2002 above) that he trailered it to the CCC annual show at Moroso’s for everyone to see.

Michael D’Avino and Carole Young led a scenic cruise (one of their many fantastic cruises) from Branford through Deep River and Essex. Then we went to Saybrook where we stopped at Carole’s shop, Saybrook Hair Company, for snacks and lots of laughs.

Several of our CCC members attended the Candlewood Valley Car Show, and what a memory this show was for our members Peter and Charlotte Parisi! They won the raffle prize, which was a 2003 Anniversary Corvette. That’s a show they can’t forget.

Susan Wadyka gave her expert demonstration at the Corvette Cleaning Clinic in the Carlisle Women’s Oasis.

2004

CCC member, Gary Ramadei, held a tech session for our Club members at Applied Engineering in New Haven. The topic was “The Tear-down, Inspection, and Assembly of 1963–1979 Corvette Differentials and Posi-Traction.” This was one of several tech sessions that he held for the Club.

CCC member Barbara Turcotte arranged for a Club tour of The Golden Age of Trucking Museum.

Can you imagine preparing a truck to “show and shine” condition? The trucks looked like they were ready for a competition show. Unfortunately, this museum is no longer in operation.

A very sad event in 2004 was the passing of Carlisle co-founder, Chip Miller, at the age of 61. Chip had been diagnosed with primary amyloidosis, a rare plasma cell disorder, in 1993.

On a happier note, according to the Vette Gazette, “You couldn’t wipe the smile off the face of Rick Wasserback down in Carlisle!” Rick purchased a 2003 Torch Red Z06.

This was also the year for purchases of Corvettes by Destiny Mosher (a 2004 Dark Red Metallic coupe) and Russ & Claire Grim (a red 1977 coupe).

Rich Forristall informed Club Corvette that Sonny Whelen left the Viper camp and would be racing Corvettes. Good choice Sonny! Sonny and K.C. Whelen became members of CCC in January 2005. They had a red and white Speed World Challenge Coupe.

Dennis Krajewski led a cruise to Marlboro Country Barn Shops where members enjoyed shopping and, of course, a great dinner. For CCC, all roads lead to food.

2005

This was the only year that we had a Club calendar. The cover photos were taken at the weekly cruise night at Amarante’s. With each monthly calendar page there were photos of our Club events, primarily our car show. The calendar sounded like a good idea, but very few people wanted to buy them.

John Giorgio presented Audrey with a diamond ring during the February 10 weekly Club gathering at Lakeview (currently Allegra’s). Champagne flowed at that gathering!

The March Club meeting was cancelled twice because of snow. Just as today, our members were encouraged to sign up for the Yahoo Group to get up-to-date information on events and cancellations. Some things never change.

Jack Stacey was appointed as Grand Marshal of the East Haven Memorial Day parade.

Barrett-Jackson’s record-shattering Scottsdale auction in January had 27 Corvettes in the top 100 sales. The highest price was a one-of-a-kind retractable 1958 hardtop that sold for $340,200. A 1967 427/400 hp convertible sold for $124,200. Twenty-one Vettes were sold between these two prices.

Marsh Racing invited us for a tour. Their Vette had been in an accident at Road Atlanta and a video from the in-car camera was available for members to view.

Ron and Anna Marie Goldberg led a Spring Cruise, with 32 Corvettes, through Bethany, Oxford, Middlebury, Bethlehem, Litchfield, Cornwall and Kent. In Kent, our Club members shopped and, of course, ate. Roy and Jackie Master took their Sheltie along, as they did on most cruises.

Corvette Chief Engineer, Dave Hill, announced his retirement.

The October annual trip to Ocean City started out with 10 of our Corvettes traveling in torrential rain and winds. The Crystal Beach Hotel in Ocean City greeted us with a sign in bright lights, which said “Welcome Club Corvette of CT.”

This was the 13th, and last, year for Mannix Chevrolet-Pontiac, Inc. as our sponsor. Mr. Mannix helped in making our Club successful throughout this time period.

2006

At the January meeting the Fixed Operation Manager of McDermott Auto Group, Joe Cetta, presented our Club with a sponsorship check. Joe and the General Manager, Lou Krasenics, were given CCC black satin jackets as a token of our appreciation. McDermott continues to be a fantastic supporter of our Club in 2013. Their sales and service performance is unbeatable!

There was a 2006 upcoming calendar in the March newsletter. There were already 3 pages of activities in small typed print.

Rhonda Forristall was honored by her peers at Middlesex Memorial Hospital withthe Peer Recognition award. She was also recognized by her manager as a Healthcare Hero at the Connecticut Hospital Association’s Annual Dinner.

Club Corvette of Rhode Island hosted another Newport, RI, four-day weekend of activities. See the 1998 write-up for a similar, and spectacular, cruise. A special treat was waiting for us on Friday night when we arrived at the Atlantic Beach Club for dinner. As each car arrived, a photographer snapped a picture of the car by the waterfront. After dinner on Saturday, each Corvette owner was given a trophy with the picture of his/her car that was taken the previous evening.

Have you ever seen the hex signs on Pennsylvania barns which are meant to bring good luck? Well, we should have put good luck symbols on our Corvettes for this Carlisle trip. First the Goldbergs’ C5 windshield was hit with a flying object. Then Kaufmans’ C4 broke down and had to be repaired en route. Ed was so agitated that he ended up buying a C5 at Carlisle. Then Shovers’ C4 generator died. Oh, and ask Dennis Krajewski to tell you the story about the window on Jack Stacey’s C4. The sad sequence ended when George Macary’s C6 top separated from the frame.

Ron Goldberg stepped down from his officer’s duties after 4 years as Treasurer and 10 years as President. He and Anna Marie started Club Corvette in 1993 with just 9 people. They made this the biggest and best club in the Northeast. The Club was financially sound (that’s an understatement) and Ron was able to leave his position with his head held high!

2007

Jack Stacey was elected as President.

Did you know that Erica and Ray Zisa’s baby was born on Valentine’s Day? If Ray ever forgets Valentine’s Day he’ll be in double trouble.

We released some of our winter stay-at-home frustrations by taking a tour of Total Performance, Inc. in Wallingford, a T-Bucket manufacturer. Thirty-plus members took the tour, which started with the history of hot rodding. We were told that many of the parts manufacturers that we know got their start hot rodding on the streets and at places like the Bonneville Salt Flats. The T-Bucket in the picture was priced at $28,000.

George Sipprell, as a new member of CCC, sent us a letter while on his winter vacation. He included some pictures of his C5 in the snow along the shores of Lake Erie where he was skiing and sledding and in Breckenridge, CO, for more skiing. All of his pictures showed the C5 in snow or ice. From January 20 to March 8 he traveled 4,998 miles. We had our doubts about this new member who drove his Corvette in the snow, but he’s still around and traveling extensively, partially for the National Corvette Museum.

Ernie Macolino organized the spring cruise this year, an event which was historically run by the Goldbergs. About 30 Corvettes participated in the cruise which went as far as Salinger’s Orchards in Brewster, NY, and then back to the Sycamore Drive-in.

A highlight of the year was a trip to the Hole-In-The-Wall-Gang Camp in Ashford, CT. Thirty-one Vettes went to the Camp and formed a circle in the middle of the Camp. (The children had not been told that we were coming.) After we were settled and drinking Paul Newman’s Own Lemonade, the kids came out of their
dining room and saw the Vettes. The comments were priceless. This was probably the first time that CCC members allowed children to get into their cars, blow the horns, turn on the lights, and just do whatever they wanted. The campers were given ballots to vote for their favorite car. The winner was Peter and Heidi Ziehl’s orange Indianapolis Pace Car.

This was the first year we had static-cling windshield logos with the number of years the member belonged to the Club.

2008

One of our winter activities was a February tour of American Dry Stripping. Yes, that’s a Corvette in the picture. The management team at American Dry Stripping had assembled a panel of experts in chroming, powder coating, and painting. Each expert gave a brief description of the process of his job and then answered questions. They also provided a nice lunch for our Club.

A few of our members attended a talk by Dave McLellan, former Chief Engineer of Corvette development from 1975 to 1992, at United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford. Jack Stacey was there and in the Vette Gazette Jack said, “The topic of the conversation was Dave’s trip to the Ferrari factory in Italy and what makes Ferrari so successful. There were some Ferrari owners in attendance but there seemed to be more Corvette enthusiasts and the Q&A that followed the presentation was all about America’s premier sports car, the Corvette. One of the things that I found interesting was Dave’s statement that in the history of the automobile there have only been three truly outstanding marques in the sports car field that have met the test of time, Ferrari, Porsche, and Corvette. Dave went on to say that while Corvette may not have as long a history as the other two, it has in recent years greatly closed the gap as far as being a world-class automobile.”

Probably the biggest highlight of 2008 was an April trip to see Lance Miller’s Corvette collection in Carlisle. There is a separate page in this booklet about that spectacular event.

A Fall Poker Run was held in September, starting from Ray’s Seafood Restaurant in Westbrook. The course took each car down Route #1 to a view of Long Island Sound and on to Saybrook Point. From Saybrook Point we went up along the Connecticut River to Devil’s Hopyard State Park, to Gillette’s Castle, to The Goodspeed Opera House, through Chester and then back down to Ray’s.

Don Byrne, along with Heidi and Peter Ziehl, left Connecticut for Indianapolis, IN, for the Corvette Pace Car Registry reunion in September. The highlight of the trip was the opportunity to take their Indianapolis Pace Corvettes on one lap of the track.

During the October Club meeting Reeves Callaway stopped by and invited the entire Club to attend the first Annual Callaway Cars open house at their Old Lyme facility. We took him up on his invitation. The day began at Les and Carol Browne’s home for “coffee and.” Then we went on to the open house. On hand was the C12 that belonged to Mariah Carey and the only 6 speed Tahoe built by Callaway known to exist.

2009

2nd Generation, a restoration facility in Walpole, MA, gave Club members a tour. A late 50’s Vette and several sharks were in the process of body-off restoration.

Russ Grim became the third presenter at the annual Cleaning Clinic. Sue Wadyka and Steve Ludwig had been doing a fantastic job of training us since the start of the Clinic. Now Russ showed us his skills with a buffer. The site for the Clinic was moved to George Macary’s house after many years of hosting by the Goldbergs and a few years at other locations.

There was a change in our participation in the East Haven Memorial Day celebration. Rather than having our Vettes in a parade, we were asked to drive veterans to the town green. The event was now called Vets to Vettes.

We added the Madison parade to our 4th of July activities.

New cruise destinations included Aero Diner in North Windham, CT., Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA, a wine cruise to Heritage Trail Vineyard, J&M Motorsports in Mansfield, and Orange County Choppers and V-Force in Orange County, NY.

How many of you members still have your customized Club Corvette throw blanket?

This year was the 15th anniversary of the National Corvette Museum, which was enriched by a Caravan to Bowling Green, KY, from all parts of the U.S. On August 30, our Club started off with breakfast at McDermott Chevrolet. Our host, Joe Cetta, provided more than enough food to get the group on the road. From there, our CCC group headed to the Danbury Fair Mall to meet up with the New England group. George Sipprell, our CCC member and NCM Ambassador, did a fantastic job organizing the cruise. There were even Corvettes from Australia that joined up in Danbury.

Jack Stacey stepped down as President and was succeeded by George Macary.

2010

A cruise to the Springfield, MA, museums helped cure the winter doldrums. On the way to the museums we stopped at the Student Prince, a German pub, for lunch. We started off at the Museum of Springfield History (there are 5 museums) to see examples of products manufactured in the Springfield area in the early 1900’s, including Indian Motorcycles.

Ron Goldberg organized a CCC “Founders’ Night” at the March meeting to honor the “Class of 93.” The evening’s events included the introduction of each of the members and a description of the role he/she played in the original founding of the Club.

Ron Salamon led a Hudson River cruise (including a ride down a one-way street, the wrong way) to a Cuban restaurant, a cigar store, and the Cloisters.

Peter Ziehl took 40 people on a cruise to the Escoffier Restaurant at the Culinary Institute where they enjoyed fine food. Then the group went to the Millbrook Winery where they sampled 8 wines. This was one of several CIA trips led by Peter.

Les Browne organized a cruise to Buttonwood Farms in Griswold for ice cream.

Kurt and Chris Ryder took us to the Steaming Tender Restaurant in Palmer, MA, and, later in the year, on a Fall Foliage Train Ride Cruise in Thomaston, CT. Of course, the train ride was followed by dinner and ice cream.

And yet another cruise to the Blue Oar Restaurant along the Connecticut River.

To the left is a photo from a tour of a private car collection in East Haven. After the tour, we went to Eli’s for lunch.

Notice the trend in the above cruises?
Food, food, and food.

CCC purchased a 30″ X 60″ banner to be flown at the National Corvette Museum for a year. McDermott Auto Group and Richard and Claudia Stewart’s Dunkin’ Donuts shared the cost of the banner.

Don Byrne qualified for the NCRS Top Flight Award with his 1995 Pace Car!

The Club outgrew Allegra’s Restaurant for our monthly meetings. We moved the meetings to SBC in Branford starting with December 2010.

The Club Veterans’ Roster was started and we had 14 members listed at the end of the year. This has grown to 52 members in August 2013. Check out the roster on our web site.

2011

The David McDermott Auto Group continued their support as a sponsor of CCC for the sixth year. In addition, Moroso Performance Products and Whelen Engineering also joined as sponsors for us. President George Macary said in the newsletter, “How fortunate we are to have, not one, but three prestigious sponsors, each of whom are associated with the automotive world and each are leaders in their respective business operations.”

Joe Cetta invited us to two pool parties at TCB, where he provided our group with lots of food and free pool for the entire evening. Most of us weren’t very good at playing pool but we sure knew how to eat! That’s our number one Club activity.

Eleven members of Club Corvette went to Carlisle to attend a movie premiere titled The Quest. The theme of this documentary was Chip Miller’s passion to find the #3 Corvette that was winner of its class (Grand Touring 4000-5000 cc) and 8th place overall in the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. That had been the first time that Corvettes raced at Le Mans. Chip’s ultimate dream was to return to Le Mans 50 years later, in 2010, with this same Corvette and with John Fitch as its driver. (John Fitch and Bob Grossman were the drivers who accomplished the wins in 1960.)

Finding the #3 Corvette was not an easy chore. After the 1960 race it had been returned to the U.S., converted back to a street version (sans racing equipment) and went through seven owners prior to being purchased by Chip Miller in the year 2000. Even after finding it there was a great deal of research done to verify that it was definitely the #3. Then $300,000 was spent to convert the car back to its racing condition and appearance.

Unfortunately, Chip Miller passed away in March 2004 before he was able to carry out his dream. Chip’s son, Lance Miller, followed through with the dream on his father’s behalf and took the Vette to Le Mans in 2010, along with John Fitch. As Chip would say, “Life is good.”

Members of Club Corvette were invited by our sponsor, Sonny Whelen, to take a tour of Whelen Engineering and Marsh Racing. Sonny Whelen, and his son, George, along with Rich Forristall, gave us an introduction to the history of the organization, their products and the current status of the business.

After the Whelen plant tour we returned to our cars to go to Old Lyme for a tour of the Marsh Racing facility in Old Lyme. Sonny Whelen split us into small groups and took us inside this massive trailer to show us the graphics that the team analyzes to monitor the performance of the race cars. When a Vette comes into the pits, electronic data is downloaded from the car and input to the computer, resulting in a mind-boggling amount of information to be digested.

Following is Les Browne’s brief conversation with John Fitch at the CCC Car Show:
While standing under the tent while Mr. Fitch autographed the #3 Corvette picture for me, I casually asked him, “What makes a car fast?” Without hesitation he answered, “Horsepower & weight.” He looked up at me and continued, “Horsepower is everything in a race car, without it a driver will never win a race.” I’m thinking that’s a pretty good answer. So I asked, “Do you still drive?” Again he did not look up from his autographing and he said, “Yes.” He continued with, “I am waiting for them to finish building our new engine which should produce about 500 hp and then we leave for the salt flats.” I asked, “Bonneville?” He responded with, “Yes, we need to run some time trials to check the performance of the new engine.” Now I’m confused – this man is 94 years old and he is going to the Bonneville Salt Flats to run time trials! Then I spotted a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face and I realized that he is having some fun with me.

Other 2011 Events
– Third trip to the Culinary Institute
– Fantastic trip to the Saratoga races, with side tours, arranged by Peggy Wahlberg – See 2012 for more details of a return trip.
– Spring Kick Off Picnic at Hammonasset State Park
– Walks Against Hunger
– Welcome Home Vietnam Vets event
– Cruise to the United States Military Academy at West Point
– Wounded Warrior Escort (Vettes for Vets)
– 33rd Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival – Universityof Rhode Island
– Club Corvette of Rhode Island’s 41st Show – Marina Park
– Lake George 23rd Annual Adirondack Hot Rod Nationals and 20th Annual Adirondack Corvette Show
– 25th Annual Ocean City Weekend

George Macary stepped down from the Presidency, providing his successor with a very successful Club.

2012

Dennis Krajewski was elected as President, after serving as Vice President for 15 years. Dennis was one of the Club’s founding members.

As of January, CCC membership had 10 C1’s, 20 C2’s, 37 C3’s, 44 C4’s, 69 C5’s, and 47 C6’s. There were no 1950’s Vettes in the Club. It’s hard to beat those newer versions for cruising comfort but the old models sure attract more attention.

One of our winter gatherings was at Mohegan Sun Casino where 22 members had some fun, lost money (except for Don Byrne), and then re-grouped to go to the dinner buffet.

Another winter activity was monthly duck pin bowling at Johnson Lanes in Hamden. After sweeping all of those pins from the lanes, it was always time for pizza.

(Below) is a photo of some of the 31 members who went for a ride on the Essex Steam Train Eagle Watch. Each railroad car had a naturalist to answer questions and explain anything seen along the way. At the same time, over the PA system, each highlight or wildlife scene along the trip was pointed out to us. No, this group did not break the CCC pattern. They finished the cruise at Oliver’s Tavern for dinner.

And yet another winter excursion was a trip to the New England Air Museum in Hartford. The museum was of special interest to those in our group who are history buffs, veterans, pilots (Gary Bertman and Paul Mlinar) and ex-Sikorsky employees (George Macary and Bob Wadyka).

Ron Goldberg got a new Grand Sport for his 80th birthday. He really didn’t want it, but Anna Marie twisted his arm.

George Macary organized a Club Corvette gathering in support of the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans event in Shelton. 23 Vettes, with 32 members, made quite a sight when they entered Veterans’ Park. A highlight was hearing an event committee planner from the Vietnam Veterans’ tent saying to another man, “When you want participation, don’t bother calling other car clubs. You call the Corvette Club and you know you will have a good show.”

Luisa Canestri is our Club Coordinator for Veterans’ Interests and her Specialty Clinic staff at the West Haven Veterans’ Hospital was recognized on a government web site. The text of the article said, “VA Connecticut’s two Specialty Clinics provide 200 veterans a day with a full array of outpatient medical and surgical specialty services.”

Nick Kupec announced at the monthly meeting that we had 131 people on the Club Yahoo group. The Board recommended that we create a second Yahoo group to allow members to have more conversations, exchange ideas, etc. The first group would be reserved for Club business only. We might be an aging Corvette Club, but we obviously aren’t behind the times in tech skills.

Steve Ludwig took his annual trip to Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ, where he competes in the show and then puts on his racing tires to participate in the drag races. He won first place for the show and also the Best in Show Drag Car trophy. He added this trophy to his collection from prior Raceway Park events.

Les Browne led a group to Buttonwood Farm in Griswold for lunch and then to a local ice cream stand.

Peggy Wahlberg, with assistance from George Supprell, coordinated a wonderful Saratoga/Lake George weekend. When our members arrived at the race track there was a special roped-off parking section for their Corvettes. Peggy had arranged for grandstand seats, which were very comfortable and under cover from the hot August sun. On Sunday morning, the group headed to Lake George for shopping and hanging out together before they boarded a ship for a fabulous Champagne Brunch Cruise.

New Haven Register published an article about Jeff Trombetta’s (Chef Jeff’s) achievements. Jeff attended Syracuse University, majoring in finance and investment, but decided that he was not interested in corporate life. He then pursued his cooking skills at the Culinary Institute of America. After graduation, he worked in many restaurants throughout the United States. He settled down in New Haven and was the executive chef at Yale University for 11 years. Jeff is now an adjunct professor at the University of New Haven and performs eHow cooking classes which are filmed in his home kitchen.

44 CCC members and friends went to the New York San Gennaro Festival on a trip organized by Peter and Charlotte Parisi. They reported, “The food was indescribable, covering the gamut of Italian food, pastries, and drink. No one went home hungry and almost all boarded the bus with a snack for the ride home.”

An interview with George Macary was published in the East Haven Courier. In the article, George told about the Club’s support of charities, support of Veterans’ organizations and fund drives, support of local community events, and the general enthusiasm of Corvette owners for their hobby.

2013

At the January meeting Club member Reni Butler announced that she and Jeff Trombetta had a great holiday season because they became engaged. They make a wonderful couple.

Kevin Syombathy was promoted to the position of General Manager at McDermott Chevrolet. He has been a member of the McDermott Group for 15 years.

Our speakers at the February Club meeting were Ian Prout, President of the Sports Car Driving Association (SCDA) which he founded in 1995, and Michael Zoner, who offers competition driving instruction and high performance education with the SCDA.

Gary Bertman went through a 3-day classat the Spring Mountain Race Course Experience doing skid-pads, figure eights, heel-toe, etc.

During the winter, we took a tour of Automotive Restorations, Inc. in Stratford, CT. This is a class A shop that restores anything from upholstery to bodies to engines. There were two flawless Corvettes in the shop; a 1967 Goodwood Green and the 1957 Arctic Blue in the foreground of this picture.

On February 28, the final C6 came off the production line at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant. The celebration was short-lived, as less than 30 minutes after the last car was built, workers began remodeling the plant to prepare for the launch of the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray.

Eric Curran, a driver of Whelen Motorsports’ #31 Corvette race car, was our speaker at the March meeting. He told the group about his introduction to cars and racing – 2003 with Nissan, then Acura. In 2007, he joined Sonny and Whelen Motorsports. Eric also updated the group on the changes in racing coming over the next two years. He was excited that Whelen will be stepping up to the prototype class.

Eight CCC members challenged the exciting world of go-kart racing at On Track Karting in Wallingford. Mike Hildreth turned in the fastest time.

Twenty-one of our Club Corvettes assembled at Moroso on Sunday, April 21, in preparation for attendance at the 3rd annual Welcome Home Veterans celebration at the Guilford Fairgrounds. We cruised to the Fairgrounds and made a grand appearance as we entered the park as a single-line parade. A few more Club members arrived later in the morning. There were even flyovers by a Blackhawk helicopter and three fixed wing planes. The first plane to fly over was piloted by our fellow Club member Dr. Gary Bertman.

CCC joined the North East Chapter of N.C.R.S. and their guests for a cruise to Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA. We arrived at Sturbridge Village and were greeted by a Sturbridge truck and escorted to a parking lot section that had been roped off for our Vettes. After two and a half hours in the Village we all met back at the parking lot and cruised to the Publick House Restaurant for dinner.

Les Browne led a cruise to Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich, MA, where our members toured the trails among 100 acres of gardens. The hostas, daylilies, hydrangeas and rhododendrons were magnificent! Then we went to their museum where they had a collection of concept cars, primarily on loan from the GM Heritage Center, but there were also a few cars from the Lilly family, Dana Mecum, and the Henry Ford Museum.

 

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