Text by Cindy Schomaker Pictures by Cindy Schomaker and Bob Ewart
The day started out hot and steamy but nine members and three additional cars joined Rich and Cindy Schomaker at their home which is also home to his 1966 Studebaker Commander hot rod and a 1964 Avanti. Two of the members called from I-95 where they were stranded, waiting for a tow truck. Everyone could relate. A short drizzle did not put a “damper” on the gathering.
An eight- foot table was added to the dining room table and everyone stayed cool inside. A few ventured out to the garage visit the Commander and discuss some of its “issues”. Another group gathered outside to discuss some of the “issues” that were vexing some of the Studebaker owners. Rich conducted a tour of his toy truck collection.
After filling plates with hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. everyone settled in for the remainder of the afternoon. Taking a break after led some to sit on the dock by the canal and watch a few boats go by.
Conversations were varied, animated and filled with stories about interesting careers, extensive travel and Studebaker experiences. All listened or spoke with thoughtfulness and consideration and sincere interest in what was being shared. After isolation from covid, it was wonderful to see folks enjoying good food and conversation. The art of dialogue was alive and well, shared by a wide range of ages.
At one point, a discussion among all present was initiated regarding membership and future goals. Suggestions included short road trips and extending gatherings to owners of other vintage cars. A suggestion for game afternoon or evening events led to several “walks down memory lane” regarding Monopoly, Scrabble, Uno and Rumikube to mention a few. It was apparent that most would enjoy a few hours of friendly games and conversation. Ownership of Studebakers or other vintage cars would be the catalyst for gathering. Fun would be the goal for all events and would hopefully encourage others to join in.
Phone numbers were exchanged among a few to continue conversations. The last members left in the early evening.
A breath of fresh air! After months of weathering Covid, members of the club took their cars out of the garage and headed to Boynton Beach on a bright, sunny, warm South Florida day.
We convened at Cocina Moderna on Lyons Road in Boynton Beach for a delightful afternoon lunch on the patio. The following members attended:
Butch & Gina Figurella Norma and Mario Hernandez Sebby Amenta Salvatore and Andrea Amenta Richard and Cindy Schomaker Bob Ewart and sister Adele
Butch announced that Andrea Amenta has agreed to be our new secretary/ Treasurer and we are working on getting our funds transferred from the late John Loerop’s account.
We discussed future plans for the group. Suggestions included road trips for an afternoon and another gathering in the near future. Rich Schomaker offered to host a picnic at his house in Lighthouse Point and it has been scheduled for June 12th. It will be a BYOB, BYOC and BYOF event. When the specifics are sent to the members, the acronyms will be explained (if necessary).
We also discussed ideas of how to increase membership, especially among younger drivers. Club membership applications were distributed to several members to take to local car shows, several of which have nearly one hundred cars on display. It was suggested we get the Studebaker Driver’s Club to donate some magazines to put on display along with the applications. More suggestions are always welcomed.
After lunch, we lined up the four attending Studebakers in front of the restaurant for photos. The cars and owners (left to right) are as follows:
Bob Ewart’s 54 Champion Butch Figurella’s 53 Commander Coupe Sebby Amenta’s 53 Commander hardtop Richard Schomaker’s 66 Commander Hot Rod
We hope good health and meetings continue and look forward to the next gathering.
Because a number of us went to the Studebaker International Meet, we couldn’t participate in the International Drive Your Studebaker Day. So we had a Delayed Drive Your Studebaker Day on October 10th. We met at Smokey Bones on Route 441 west of Boca Raton.
Fifteen people attended with five Studebakers.
The cars from left to right are: Andrew Wiley’s 53 Commander Rich Shomaker’s 66 Commander Hot Rod Tony Robles’s 39 Commander Angelo “Butch” Figurella’s 62 Champ Pickup Ed deSilva’s 90 4-door Avanti
After lunch we had a drawing for a $50 gas card. Only the 5 above were eligible. Ed deSilva won the draw.
One more sign that I spotted in Ellie’s 50’s Diner & Flamingo Ballroom in Delray Beach.
This year the auction was a bit of a disappointment. In years past they contracted with the various driver clubs to get volunteers to move the cars around during the auction. The payments to the driver clubs was a welcome addition to their treasurys.
This year they wanted the social security numbers of all volunteers so that they could issue W-2 forms to us. Eventually they sent a check to the club. It was about a third of what it had been in the past.
They did have a couple of nice Studebakers at the auction.
The Studebaker Drivers’ Club is having a national membership drive. Current members will have their membership extended by one month for every new SDC member they get. The membership drive runs through 12/31/19.
The SDC has always been appreciative of its members who put forth the effort to bring new folks into the national club. Starting right now, SDC wants to reward you for that continuing effort. This membership recruiting promotion is simple. For each new member you get signed up your own SDC membership will be extended one month! As the accompanying ad indicates, when you get a new member (or a former member who has not been in the club for at least 3 years) to join with a full membership (with Turning Wheels) just have them give Cornerstone Registration YOUR NAME AND/OR MEMBERSHIP NUMBER to get another month added to your SDC membership. Thanks in advance. Go get-em!
International Drive Your Studebaker Day falls on the second Saturday of September. Fortunately, Packy’s Sports Grill has a Cruise Night on the second Saturday of every month which was ideal for a Sunshine Chapter outing.
We met in the Lowe’s parking lot on W Palmetto Park Road and State Road 7 (US 441). Then went in caravan to Packy’s west of SR7. The cars in the caravan were:
Butch Figurella’s ’61 Champ
Rich Schomaker’s ’66 Commander
Ed Ellis’s ’53 Commander
Rich Schomaker’s ’64 Avanti
Bob Ewart’s ’50 2R5 pickup
Later we were joined by Sebby Amanta in a ’54 Commander and Jake Kaywell’s ’62 GT Hawk. Butch claimed that we had 8 Studebakers there, but only listed 7.
We had a lot of fun looking at all the other cars/trucks. There were about 20 people from our chapter there. It was a little hard to count since they kept moving around.
On August 4th we met for lunch at the Moonlite Diner in Fort Lauderdale.
Comments from Butch (the Prez):
We had a nice turn out at our last meeting at the Moonlite dinner in Ft Lauderdale and we all got to see Al Polacheck’s beautiful car collection. I think we had 21 people. Thanks again to Al.