Make a Difference Knightstown, Inc.

knightstown banner Saturday afternoon, standing in the middle of U.S. Hwy. 40 during a light rain, provided me with one of the proudest moments of my life. Classic Cars were parked along both sides of the road and completely around the Public Square. Spectators donned their umbrellas and moved deliberately among the cars. The car owners seemed to enjoy the shower while they visited with each other and the visitors who came their way. The volunteers working at the Cars of Summer seemed oblivious to the rain as they completed their assigned task. The “outdoor diner” tent was filled to capacity as the crowd enjoyed the “car show” food. In the past, I have attended shows in other areas where the rains came and the cars and the crowd went home. Finally it dawned on me: This is the Cars of Summer-Knightstown. The car owners are committed to stay; they want to take home a trophy or one of our tool prizes. The spectators know that they won’t have another chance to see the quality of these cars again until our show next year. No way was a light rain going to spoil our parade.

Today I received the preliminary financial information. Although we still have some bills to pay and a few returns to make, it is obvious that the charitable organizations involved in the operation of the show will all make money. That fact makes me happy. Our volunteers work hard and they deserve every dime they get. More than the money; I am proud of the fact that the car show gives the entire community an opportunity to come together and show the world what can happen when teamwork is involved. Several of the car owners asked me, “How do you get so many people involved with your show?” They are used to shows with three to four people involved, no food or drink available and certainly not the hospitality they receive in Knightstown. I tell them we have many citizens who are proud of our small community and are willing to come forward and help. They know that the car show brings lots of business to town and it gives them an opportunity to show off our “Hoosier” hospitality.

I certainly appreciate the way everyone embraced our “Community Day” event. I saw people in town who I haven’t seen in years. The expression heard most often was, “It’s about time somebody did something like this; it is fantastic.” Every comment was positive. The sponsors donated some nice rewards to those who made it a point to come to town and celebrate with us. Members of the community and the volunteers interacted in ways that took me back to the ’50s, a time when friends and neighbors enjoyed one another’s company in simple ways we have now forgotten. These days we are “too busy” to enjoy the little things.

The “Knight-B4” has become my favorite part of the entire “Cars” weekend. The interaction between the car owners, the sponsors, and the people from the area is quite enjoyable. When Darryl Hood cranks up the band in the gazebo, you find yourself dreaming about days gone by. At 10 p.m. there were still people on the street.

My personal thanks to everyone who helped us make this event successful. My sincerest thanks to Vicki Rhodes; she not only took on the task of scheduling the volunteers, but also did a magnificent job of managing the food operation. Her Psi Iota Xi sisters came through in a big way. My buddy “Mac the Cook,” his partner Phil Bradshaw and their pals from the St. Rose Men’s Club did their usual remarkable job of serving up the best car show food in America. Although they had a reunion scheduled Saturday evening, several Kappa Kappa Kappa members found the time to help. The members of the Knightstown Volunteer Fire Department did their usual great job of parking cars and being ambassadors for Knightstown. The Knightstown Cheerleaders delighted the crowd all day Saturday. Their success in selling 50/50 tickets was overshadowed by their impromptu “cheer” maneuvers, which they conducted in the middle of the street. These ladies are a class act.

We had so many volunteers and I truly appreciate each and every one of them. I hate to single any of them out because they all provided a great effort. I find my self forced to mention several for personal reasons. I have been a neighbor to Dave and Deb McCoy for over 25 years. Although we have always had a speaking relationship, it has always been in passing. You guys were awesome. Wes and Ashley Smoot said they wanted to get involved. Involved indeed! They, the McCoys and several other diehards were there to set up and tear down, and many times in between. What a great team we all made.

Thanks to Eric Cox. Eric always opens the door of The Banner for the car show. He realizes probably more than anyone else what this event actually means to the community. Although we have radical differences about many issues, we both know the value of settling our disagreements with some constructive conversation and intelligent action. Eric, your search for the truth is sometimes hard to swallow; keep serving it up in large doses. It’s good for the soul.

David Glenn we appreciated your help when it came time to clean up the square.

Mel and crew … you always come through for us. Thank you.

Tom and Dana, thanks for everything you do.

Dan Titus, Knightstown Locker: your assistance adds greatly to our bottom line.

Dennis Spegal, Marion and Kathy Adkins and Jack Tweedy … thanks for the tents.

Jerry Schaefer … thanks for keeping track of the funds.

To all the sponsors, volunteers and anyone who assisted us in anyway, my heartfelt thanks. I know I have forgotten to mention some of you. Mea Culpa!

Finally, to our little band who make good things happen – John, Diane, Chris, Ivy, Chuck, Mike R. , Danny, Brad, Tim, Esther, Kathy, Glenda, Connie, Mike K., Amanda, Frank, Sarah … and Ruthie; you do MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Knightstown you were the winner!

This Letter to the Editor appeared in the July 4, 2007 issue of The Knightstown Banner