Rocky Hill CT Dry Meet, Saturday March 18th 2006
The Yankee Chapter shut out eBay for sales of old outboards on March 18th 2006. The world’s largest on-line auction service could only show completed sales for 34 old outboards for the entire 24 hour period. But well over 100 old outboards changed hands at the Rocky Hill AOMCI meet on the same day, and in only seven hours. To make matters worse for the on-line giant, many motors at the Rocky Hill meet were sold for less than eBay’s listing fee!
Frank P., virgin outboard meet host, was thrilled and amazed at the turn out and stunned at the number of motors changing hands. Frank said; “The motors were being exchanged so fast it was all a blur to me! I had the best time, I couldn't have hoped for it to be better”
This meet had been hosed by Frank’s aunt and uncle at their home for the previous 15 years and was always the Yankee chapter’s biggest and best swap meet. After so many years, Walt & Maureen decided to retire in 2005. With the AOMCI in his DNA, Frank took over this year and the meet was outstanding. Held at the Rocky Hill VFW, the meet went off with military-like precision.
Ken H. arrived early with his truck packed and trailer overflowing with parts and motors – everything was marked $1.00 each. For a complete 1960’s Scott made Elgin 40hp, Bill F. drew his wallet out so fast he burned his fingers – he refused medical attention. Said Ken: “The $1.00 each deal worked out so well in Framingham, I was psyched to do it again. Everyone had such a great time, I just love coming to the meets. It’s really about the fun, and now I have more room in my shop for new finds!”
Bud B. and Lincoln D. made the trek down from Maine with a packed truck and trailer of truly vintage iron. No riots broke out and the exchange of motors, while brisk, was made in an orderly and lighthearted manner. At the end of the day both truck and trailer were cleaner than the Guinness warehouse one day earlier. Bud was overheard to say: “These southerners are really pretty nice guys – I had a wicked good time! Were the climate not so darn warm down here, I might come to another one of these southern meets.” Temperatures were in the mid 30’s all day with some wind.
At 11:00 a drawing was held for various door prizes donated by members to help support the chapter. The culmination of the raffle was a Mercury Silent 6 donated by host Frank P and Yankee Chapter past President Gary Merz. With the drawing checked and verified by bonded security agent Emil Autouri, tickets were drawn for the fabulous treasures.
Old Fussbudget, the current chapter President, and host Frank P pulled the ticket to win the outboard and handed it to Maureen Leniart to hold securely. Maureen verified it was indeed the winning ticket but withheld announcing the number until the second and third prizes were awarded. A set of two new OMC coils were won, and re-donated, by Mr. Old Merc himself, Bob G from Pottstown PA. Another ticket was pulled and someone got more spark in their life. The third prize of a padded workshop floor put Greg J over the top! “It just made my day” said Greg.
By now the crowd was in a frenzy wanting to know who had won the motor. A reverent silence preceded Maureen’s calling out the winning number. At long last the announcement of the number came; the crowd of over 100 people holding their collective breath.
“And the winner is.......... Joe R. from Lake Hopatcong NJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Thrilled beyond words, Joe later remarked: “I don’t think I have ever won anything in my life, this is really wonderful”
Joe is the hard-hitting editor of the world renowned Knuckle Knews, newsletter of the Yankee and Knucklebuster chapters of the AOMCI. Said well known old outboard enthusiast Dan T, “It couldn't have gone to a better guy, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet”
After the auction an a-la-carte gastronomic feast was made available by the VFW staff along with home-baked treats donated by chapter members.
Putting the meet over the top was live entertainment from Stormin’ Norman D. and his accordion. Hits from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s were played while people ate and caught up with friends. We were stunned to learn that Norm was self-taught; he said: “When I retired, I wanted to be sure I didn’t someday go to my maker with any regrets. I always wanted to learn an instrument so one day I picked up an old accordion at a thrift-shop and learned to play” Said Peter F of Norm; "A heck of a fine mechanic and restorer as well as a musician, Norm really has talent!"
After lunch more motors exchanged hands with a final early 50’s Sea Bee being the last to trade at about 3:00PM. A few hard core cases stood in the cold wind kibitzing with only their own hot air to help fight off the chill. By 3:30 the temperatures falling with the sun, things had returned to normal in Rocky Hill. However, a glow of good times and friendship was spreading across the land as people drove home to places as far off as Waldoboro ME, eastern PA and Rochester NY.
Thanks for Frank P for hosting the meet, Walt & Maureen L. for the coffee and donuts and the VFW for renting us use their facility. We all look forward to doing it again next year!
And thanks to all who contributed the photos below!
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