"What a Weekend"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Monday, August 29, 2011

I found a great escape, a way to avoid talk of politics. Even though there is only 14 months of political rhetoric left, I already needed some rest.

Most people would consider it restful to get out of the crowds and just relax. My choice was very different — and it was great. Not only did I not get out of the crowds, I found the biggest ones going on in the State!

It all started when my daughter Lu’s friends invited Pat and I to a party at the family’s Ferndale Radiator Shop, (no I didn’t misspell that). A radiator shop may seem like a strange, cluttered place for a party but it was great.

As soon as we arrived, we were served fresh, cooked omelets prepared right in the shop next to the leak check tank adjacent to the soldering table. Still not sounding like something relaxing? I said my idea of relation may vary from others. I guess I should tell you this party took place on Saturday, Aug. 20 — which happened to be the day of the 17th annual WOODWARD DREAM CRUISE. And, the Ferndale Auto Radiator Shop provided curbside viewing of some of the greatest cars, of all varieties, you could ever hope to see.

There were classics and muscle cars dating back 50, 60 even 70 or more years, many in like-new condition. Some were customized, others hopped up with big engines: Even fueled with nitro. Estimates of 1 to 1.5 million spectators lined the route or cruised. We were able to do both as we headed for the shop from Pontiac driving south to Ferndale. It was slow going, but both sides of the highway and every parking lot had vehicles on display so the views were fantastic.

Much to my amazement, kids entertainment areas were set up and I saw entire families, including tykes in strollers, enjoying the event. The experience took me back in time to when I cruised Woodward in my 1952 suped-up Ford convertible with 72 inch Jimmy Jones skirts, the works. It was just what everyone did in those days.

It took until 1995 to organize the activity so many enjoyed and go public with it as a joint effort of all the communities along the route. They did a great job. If you are a car fan that appreciates cars of all ages and styles (most made in America), plan to visit the 2012 Dream Cruise, you will not be disappointed.

After many hours of eating, walking and gazing at cars, our grandson Kyle chauffeured us home through the tremendous storm that hit the area with wires down and trees uprooted.

What a ride that was, and when we hit the sack after all our relaxing, we sure were beat. We needed a good “rest” to take on the next days relaxing event: Comerica Park and the Tigers vs. the Indians.

After we made our way through the sellout crowd to our seats, we gazed around the stadium. Where people weren’t sitting, they were standing. I guess you could buy “standing room only” tickets for $ 5 and hope someone didn’t show up so you could later get a seat.

The game got off to a good start with the Tigers taking a commanding lead by the third inning. The Indians came back and kept pecking away until it was a one-run game at the top of the ninth. The tying run was on third, with one out when the batter hit a line drive to the center fielder, Austin Jackson.

He not only caught the ball for the second out, he fired a strike to the plate and Avila blocked the runner and tagged him out.

You had to be there! As I saw it — it was one of the most exciting moments in sports I ever witnessed.

If you thought you heard something around 5 p.m. last Sunday afternoon, it was the Tiger fans saying so long to the Indians after a three-game sweep. I think Cleveland fans at home may have heard the roar as 45,000-plus people jumped to their feet and sounded off.

Yep, it sure was great to get away from it all and just relax!



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