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Power Tour 2007
Sunday, June 1
Memphis, TN to The Mississippi State Fairgrounds, Jackson, MS

“Take the Long Way Home”

What a day, what a day! As you travel through life, you can take a direct route and get where you’re going; or you can meander, taking a circuitous route that allows greater variety in what you see and do.

Today was most definitely a meandering kind of day. We awoke to spectacular weather in the Memphis suburb of Southaven, Mississippi, despite my prediction (as Honorary Amateur Meteorologist) that rain would be falling this evening at 6:17. Lots o’ sun and a (very) few clouds filled the sky.

After a nutritious breakfast, (well, it is the South) we headed out to the cars.

Ken had drawn duty as the driver of SLEPE, our ultra-cool 1963 Nova SS convertible known affectionately as the “Chick Magnet.” Meanwhile, Gary ended-up with his favorite, the 1959 Sedan Delivery. Brad Gerber of Primedia/Hot Rod fame begged a ride with us, to increase his knowledge of things red and cool. His secret dream has always been to be associated with a chick magnet, so he hopped-in SLEPE and I grabbed shotgun in the ’59.

Here are Ken and Brad buckling-up before blasting away.

While Gary was backing-out the ’59, our friends Ed “The Full” Monte and Todd Ryden of MSD Ignition stopped in the lot to wish us luck in our drive through the boonies. They chose their ride with an eye towards survival, a huge black and yellow Suburban with an attitude that screams domination.

You’d be smiling, too, if you were sitting that high up in the air.

We hightailed it over to the driver’s meeting at the local Wal-Mart in plenty of time to see the Tour depart for an off-the-beaten-path route to Jackson.

Here they go,

while here we sit, cleaning the cars yet again.

Have no fear, though, we caught ’em all in traffic, though Ken and Brad used the ’63’s light weight and superior horsepower to snake in front of us. If that wasn’t bad enough, they even let us know that they knew that we knew what they did.

The nerve of rubbing it in.

Taking back road after back road, we rocketed past Tunica, and the casinos where we stopped back during the 2000 Tour, and we soon left civilization for parts unknown. Town after town appeared that weren’t even on our maps, but due to our innate sense of direction (and the fact that we were following 1,400 other cars) we trundled on with high expectations for a problem-free day.

When the ’63 hiccupped once, Ken immediately pulled over and asked Gary to check it out and give it a look-see. Gary kindly offered to road test her, so we continued on our way. Gary’s non-stop diatribe on the sad state of politics today soon had Brad asleep with his mouth wide open and head leaned back.

Brad later claimed he was just “resting his eyes” (by staring directly into the sun). Ken and I both, having used this excuse when falling asleep at our respective family functions, knew better.

Gary’s keen diagnostic abilities soon pinpointed the problem as a loose wire, so we stopped along the roadway to effect repairs. The spot where we stopped had signage indicating it was a plantation that dated to about the end of the Civil War.

That is one advantage to taking the road less travelled — you get to see history possibly not otherwise noted anywhere.

With five minutes worth of crimper tool work,

Gary had the ’63 running like a champ so we could motor on.

Somewhere in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, we stopped at a crossroads by the name of Tutwiler. Small stores dot rural America, and when one stops to shop, others often follow. Five minutes after pulling in, we had our own little Power Tour gas and snack stop.

It’s kinda like seeing big trucks stopped at a roadside restaurant — you know the food must be good if there are others stopped there.

When I walked through the doors, it was (as Yogi Berra said) deja vu all over again. On the shelf was a box of MoonPies, and in the cooler, RC Cola.

When I was but a youngster, this was the ultimate treat. For less than a quarter you could have sugar, marshmallow, chocolate, and graham crackers. Talk about going home again!

It may have been more than a quarter today, but it was priceless in terms of memories. While I have grown physically (but probably not mentally), others have continued to live the life of relaxation and patience. These two gentlemen had their seats for the best show in town, and we were the performers.

After bidding good-bye to the citizens of Tutwiler, we resumed our trek through the rural farmlands of Mississippi, pausing to wonder what existed in the swamps and sloughs of the only state with four of the letter “s” in its name.

Ken, who was now driving the ’59 since he learned the benefits of air conditioning and a roof over his head in the Southern summer day, mentioned he didn’t want to find out about what was hiding out there.

Gary and Brad (now wide awake from the sugar overload, courtesy of his own MoonPie) zipped down the two-lane, arrow straight and running strong.

Finally, civilization reared its head and we arrived in Jackson, capitol of Mississippi, and destination for our day. We arrived at our display which was expertly set up by Jim, thanks to help from fellow Mothers® staffer Cliff and his son, JT, who arrived earlier in the day.

Meandering the rows of cars, both long haulers and recent arrivals, Ken and I discovered gems like this Plum Crazy 1971 ’Cuda,

complete with white vinyl roof. And this unusual T Bucket with an extra rear axle, meaning it was a 6-wheeler before adding-in the two from the trailer.

In keeping with our animal theme, Ken spied this unusual way of carrying one’s canine.

Good thing it’s not a St. Bernard!

At 6:20 p.m., Doc Riley, ernstwhile announcer and all-around nice guy, publicly shamed me by reminding everyone it was past the time I had predicted for precipitation.

Always the optimist, I remained defiant that rain would fall “soon.”

After a quick lesson in humidity for the Long Haulers, we packed-up and headed to the hotel for rest and relaxation. Tomorrow comes early, and the secret word is our friends at Hot Rod have changed the route to give us another chance to view rural life, this time in Louisiana.

Stay tuned — I have a sneaky feeling the Big Easy won’t be so easy when we’re done with her.

Your humble and obedient servant,

Forrest Tosie
Mothers® Polishes•Waxes•Cleaners



2003 Cruise Night Schedule

Friday, May 30
Gaylord Opryland Resort
Nashville, Tennessee

Saturday, May 31
Desoto Civic Center
Memphis, Tennessee

Sunday, June 1
The Fairgrounds and Coliseum
Jackson, Mississippi

Monday, June 2
Fair Grounds Race Course
New Orleans, Louisiana

Tuesday, June 3
Lake Charles Civic Center
Lake Charles, Louisiana

Wednesday, June 4
Red River Raceway
Shreveport, Louisiana

Thursday, June 5
and Friday, June 6

The Ball Park in Arlington
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

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