By Bill Gilbert
On April 1st, more than 200 NNJR members, mostly 25+ year members, descended on Paul Miller Porsche for Old Rascals Night III. The event is hard to describe because there were so many people and so many discussions going on at the same time.
The format started with a welcome at the registration desk where everyone got their name tag on a Porsche lanyard before proceeding to the service area for the cocktail hour. The service area was filled with interesting Porsches. Three new 911R’s, a black 959, a 1955 Continental Cab, a Polizia 911 Targa (I’m told it is the one in the James Bond movie), a 930 and several other cars provided eye candy background. In the back were 20 NNJR yearbooks and other memorabilia. Oh yes, there was a spread of hors d’oeuvres and a bar.
But this event illustrates more than most why PCA’s motto is, “It’s not just the cars, it’s the people.” Most of us were busy talking with friends not seen in months and often years. I lost track of how many people I talked to but every time I turned around or even looked to my left or right, there was a face I hadn’t seen in quite some time. The only problem: there wasn’t enough time to really catch up with everyone that I would have liked to.
At around 6:30, the crowd was ushered into the Paul Miller Porsche showroom which had been transformed into a white tablecloth dining room with seating for over 220 people. In addition, the huge video wall was showing photographs, articles and other artifacts from NNJR history. The video looped every 40 minutes throughout the evening with a number of folks waiting for their favorite screen to come back around.
Once folks were seated, Dennis Thovson welcomed everyone to Old Rascals Night III and immediately asked them to stand up again! He then asked those with less than 15 years of membership to sit down, then those with 15 to 20 years of membership and so on. Once he got to the 70’s he went year by year and eventually we had exactly one person standing: Paul Steck who joined NNJR in 1962.
At that point, Tom Iervolino NNJR President added his welcome with a big thank you to Paul Miller Porsche for hosting and sponsoring this great event. Tom then introduced John Vogt as “The voice of NNJR” and the MC for the evening. John explained that the format was going to be stories from those in the audience. Thus began a parade of members with a variety of personal and club stories from the past.
There isn’t space to capture all or even most of the stories but the May issue of Porscheforus will have some of them. You should ask your friends who were in attendance for their favorites.
The “formal” program ended as people helped themselves to dessert and coffee and continued to visit and recollect. Everyone agreed that it had been a great evening and the only wish was for more time to chat with old friends.
NNJR will continue its 60th anniversary celebration at the summer family picnic on August 13th. Watch for the venue announcement shortly. Registration will open June 1. I hope to see many of the friends from Old Rascals Night plus a lot of “new rascals.” This will be the highlight of the year…don’t miss it!