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Wheelspin Challenges of getting out in public

  • Published Saturday, May 3, 2014, at 7:27 a.m.

I’ve never exactly been comfortable speaking in front of a group of people — I’m more of a written word kind of guy. But I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the crowd and the welcome that members of the Wichita A’s car club gave me last week when I spoke at their gathering.

And I felt pretty much at ease, in part because they switched the schedule around so I could go first and get out of there early if things went badly. So I had no time to work up a good case of nerves.

I’m not sure how long I talked, or now that I think of it, exactly what I said. I had an outline in front of me, but I veered back and forth adroitly as I recall. No hi-tech slideshow, just an annoying microphone that kept over-amplifying my breathing. And a few copies of Wheels pages dating back to the beginning of this page.

I had a good time because I recognized a surprising number of smiling faces in the crowd, faces of people who own cars that I’ve written about over the last dozen years. And the club members lobbed me some pretty soft questions, which was greatly appreciated.

I even picked up a few more story ideas before I made my escape. All-in-all, a good way to spend an evening. Thanks to the Wichita A’s and all that they are doing to keep the classic car hobby going.

The car show season is starting to get really busy, as you can see by our growing calendar of events. I was a little disappointed that last weekend’s scary weather forced the cancellation of the Super Custom Car Show in Emporia, but I admire the fact that Gilbert Rodriguez had the courage to call if off, rather than risk the safety of attendees and participants.

Gilbert had invited me to be a part of the show, which I have never attended before. I am trying to get to more shows I’ve never seen before, to see cars that are new to me. This show raises money for scholarships for Emporia State University students, so I was glad to be invited.

Having to call a show on account of weather is one of the reasons I don’t organize car shows — I’m looking for less stress, not more.

The show will be rescheduled later this year and we’ll post it on our calendar, and my schedule permitting, I’ll be there.

Reach Mike Berry at mberry@wichitaeagle.com.

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