I didn't even bring my camera this year, and I've since stepped into the 80s ala 35mm style, too. (YOU try to find and develop 110 film anymore...all that went to hell when Michael Landon and James Garner died...nobody left to carry the torch!! Ha Ha!) Anyhow, first guy I met up with (after the hand-off in the hallway from DIRTYT) on Thursday was Rudy (Roadstar) as always. I think he clones himself a few dozen times every year because he's like Droopy...everywhere you go at Autorama, he's already there! They were still driving cars around upstairs at this point, but most of the basement was pretty much in order already...and it was obvious that THIS year's show was fixin' to be the best "Extreme" thus far! Cars were parked differently, which I noticed right off the bat. It made seeing stuff easier, and it seemed to "fill the place up" a little better. Kudos to the Parking Officer on that!! Plowboy was there with his groovy ride named after the white trash coupe I'll never build anyway, so that was sweet to see in person (I'll just call mine "Unchained" now, okay?! )...that thing GLOWS under the Cobo lights...incredible! We just have to change his screen-name to Mr Bubble, complete with an avatar showing the little pink cartoon bubble guy from the 70s soap boxes now...he ain't gonna need to work no plow anymore...his fame is universal now!! Then there's That Blue 40 Chevy Guy...he's a local dude who turns up EVERYWHERE! (He's really a happy guy...his CAR is blue...get it?!) He was there with his gang as usual. I'm not sure on this, but his car likely had the most real street miles on it of anything in the basement...he's driven it all over town for YEARS, and regularly drives it out to the Hunnert Car Pile-up every year, as well as Billetproof, etc. He even rolled that 40 down my block one cold day a little while ago while DIRTYT and I were out front playing Queen Latifah with his 63 Chevy! He's as old school as old school gets...probably be there every year for the next forty or so! My favorite brown chopped Chevy was back again (with a new motor I'm SURE?!), and Steve drove in with Plan B from Flint because he's allergic to trailers! Ha Ha...but Joe isn't, so that's cool!! Rudy's ride was looking better, and...once Shaw touched brush to it, it became Immortal! You can NEVER paint it now, dude!!! Ha Ha!! Get the cam to match the paint and you'll be rockin!!! Back again on Friday and Saturday brought more fun and a few brave trips Upstairs! I saw Denise's car parked next to the purple 93.9 FM tent and thought she mighta defected, but she said that wasn't planned...it just LOOKED like the Canadian radio station borrowed her car for the weekend! The new interior rules...but where did the HOT ROD sticker go?! Of course, while Upstairs I also had tomake it a point to eyeball Dick Landy's Dart...the 60s never really got any cooler than THAT!! For all the cars, and the beer (mix PBR with Miller Lite, Old Milwaukee, Coors and a few unknown brands for a few days in a row and see what YOU feel like!) and the buzz of it all, though...it's the PEOPLE that make this my favorite Michigan event! There were HAMBers stationed at strategic points all over the place, so you're always near a friend or three...and the Meet & Greet at the Groovy-Go-Round brought most of 'em together for a few moments! That's the best place to sniff out the lurkers and long distance runners...cuz Blondie gave us all name tags to draw pictures on! Ha Ha...Debb unknowingly held my beer on her head for the group photos (sorry, but I couldn't resist!!)...she's such a good sport...always great to see her at these things! I met a few new Faces and tried to describe Earl Sheib to some other HAMBers who were seeking him out. "Ummm, he's BIG...has a beard, and was wearing a Harley hat I think...THAT outta narrow it down!" They found him anyway, and I assured them that they had the right guy! Peter Pan was there taking pictures of my can, but no Tinkerbell?! Ha Ha...Marcy and Dollar-4-Dollar were on hand selling all the cool stuff again this year...and I think the display grows a bit everytime I see it...takes all weekend just to see THAT, nevermind the car show going on in the background! I traded her money plus full beer cans for some really cool stuff, and got my complimentary "Drunk" patch to boot! Alex will have to sew it to the top of my hat one of these days! Flathead Pete might have actually gained a half a pound this year...but I doubt it. He may have just been bloated from the White Castles that appeared in the Camp!?! Boob Hater was there, too...but he had a cute girl with him, so maybe the Flint Boys have healed that Brother?! It was cool to finally meet Lucky77 and his Gal, too...his car has come a LONG ways from the first posts I saw that feels like only Yesterday! The ummm, Orange Pickup Guy was cool and funny as always...fresh outta Home Economics with kids playing Kick the Can in his bed! You can't make this stuff up, and you can't BUY entertainment this good! NickNoLonger32Vic crept up to me for a minute ONE of the three days, and I don't think he'll EVER age...he's gonna be like perpetually 13 forever!! Ha Ha...good to see you once again, fellow camera-at-school dude! Lotsa people I forgot to mention, Safariknut, Moose, Unkle Ian, Beatnik, BenD, Mrs BenD, oh yeah and CoupeDevil (who's really a Cute Devil...don't let the name scare ya!) She provided red cups all weekend and was there with her crew and a really sweet flaked out orange and white scoot!! Good to see the old friends and meet the new ones, too! Butt Reynolds, you SUCK!! Next year for SURE...I'll hold ya to it, man...even if I have to drive down there and taxi your ass back to Detroit...and you probably don't want THAT because the headlights don't always work, but I'll get you here One Way Or Another (so you can meet the gal who looks like the gal who made that song famous!) because you can't miss this shit AGAIN!! What else? Look at the picture threads and maybe post some forgotten ones here? The show RULES...it's that simple...BIG thanks to Rockin Roadstar for another Home Run this time around...gettin' better every year!! (The stickers are WAY groovy too!! ) Did I mention the Aftermath Party at HRLC Headquarters? Ha Ha...MORE White Castles and some really damned good tortilla chips...where the hell did you find those??? Lotsa people hanging out over there, too on Saturday night. Belinda Carlisle was even there with WhateverHisHAMBnameIsThisWeek! Ha Ha...she LOVES that I call her that! I think it's funnier than "Precious" though!!! One little tip, though...parking IS cheaper at the JLA Garage...but lugging a duffle bag loaded with 36 cans of beer all the way through the garage, across the skyway, down the big Spiral Tower of Doom and along a few blocks of snowy sidewalks isn't really worth the three bucks you'll save...so park your ass closer if you can...but if you DO, don't go running up to jump over any little walls that are only like a foot high, because they AREN'T a foot high on the OTHER side, and it sucks ass to learn that in mid-air...but if you have to pee really bad, you'll still stick the surprise landing and run painfully to the nearest bathroom or dark corner...and your legs, back and balls will heal a few dozen beers later! (Extra points if you take flight wearing circa-1981 moon boots!) See all you freaks there again NEXT year???!!!