Stovebolt Feature ~ Events
  'The first GABFest of the Southern Stovebolters
June 14, 2008 - Boiling Springs, South Carolina

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        Well, was this ever a nice grass-roots GABFest. Nervous Nelly (a/k/a Alvin "AChipmunk" Parris) did a great job in getting this started and running. The best thing about these Stovebolt meet n' greats is that everyone just gets a big kick out of finally meeting one another. AND we get the big treat of seeing the faces that go with the names, too.

        Congratulations on a sucessful firsty. Sounds like you all have a great group, with good helpers! The Stovebolt HQ staff will have to try to "drop by" even if it's for one of the less formal ones. (Let us know if there's a Gator in the deal, Alvin! )

Southern Stovebolters gather for their first GABFest

By Alvin "Achipmunk" Parris
Bolter #1783
1937 Chevy Pickup
1952 Chevy Panel
Boiling Springs, South Carolina

        It all started when a fellow Bolter, David "Lucille" Wolfe and I met for lunch one day. He saw me on Stovebolt and sent me a message. Turns out he lives close to me. I know several Bolters in our area and I had been thinking about a get together (not sure if it was GABFest size ... yet!).

        So, David and I agreed that the next move was to find an event to "piggyback" on, as that's how the GABFests work.

        The car club I belong to puts on a show each year and the more cars and especially TRUCKS the better. I asked the organizers of the show if I could rope off or save some spaces for the Bolters, and they readily agreed.

        The next move was to locate all the Bolters that I could within my area or neighboring states. So, like a hawk, I started watching the posts on the Bolt and collected email addresses as I could. I also contacted some folks from the forum pages with private messages. I made up a neat Stovebolt mailing list and added names as I found more "qualified" Southern Stovebolters. Some found ME after I had posted the "developing plan" in the EVENTS forum. They sent me and email, and I added them to the list!

        I had about 26 names on my list but I was sure there were more out there. As time got close, some of them committed; some didn't know; some said next year.  I emphasized to everyone that a vehicle was NOT required to come and that they did NOT have to register their vehicle unless they wanted to in order to help the clubs fundraiser for a young girl. I think it helped in knowing nothing was expected but their presence.

        I have to admit I was a little nervous and wondered if I could pull this thing off and have any sanity left. Thanks to Stovebolt Headquarters, a "gift box" arrived (the goodie prizes and Stovebolt Octane Booster). I got the local Advance Auto store to donate some BIG Crypton flashlights. Later, I got the other manager to donate some SMALL led flashlights! (If they only knew ... hehehe) He gave us big ones for the guys and small ones for the ladies -- over a dozen of each size! I also held onto some issues of my Old Cars Weekly newspapers to pass out.

        So, with the Stovebolt Octane Booster and some nifty prizes to hand out, we were all set with "surprises."

        One Stovebolter, Les "Roadmarks" Parker, came in from Raleigh, North Carolina on Friday. We had some mighty fine BBQ at Ron's Hog Pen that night with Les and his wife, Sarah. He wanted to help. So the next day, he and Sarah helped a lot!

The Big Day

        Saturday morning got off to an early roaring start. My son Brian and I tried to set up the tent. The small breeze was giving us a hard time. Les and Sarah pulled up about then and with the help of our Club's Vice President letting me have a tent that he wasn't using, we put the two together and wrapped them together with a bungee cord. Les and Sarah roped off some spaces for the Stovebolters while Brian and I came back home to get my '37 and load the other truck with the "gifts" for Victoria to bring. Well, while we were gone, Les had to literally NAIL down the tent legs! Thanks to Sarah, she had a great idea to get the Stovebolt flag flying.

        Well, I started getting worried about who might show up after all. But sure enough, they started coming in! It was a laugh for the ladies at the registration booth when they were asked "Where is Alvin Parris and Stovebolters?" The common answer was "That's him up there!" I did notice we had several ladies named Pam and several guys named David but we were able to keep them all straightened out.

        I was truly surprised and humbled by a lot of the folks. Some came from North Carolina and Georgia as well as South Carolina.  Bolters ranged from Wades little two year old boy Zeb, and recent high school graduate Zach Morris, to old guys like me! We ended up with 18 Bolters. << click here for a larger image, with "face overs" for the names >>

(Shown left-to-right in the picture): Doug "Doug57" Ducor and his girlfriend Cyndi (Clayton, GA); Dwayne Wright and his wife Pam (Lyman, SC); David "Lucille" Wolf (Taylors, SC) -- his wife, Pam, was taking pictures; Pam McKinney and her husband Bill "Bolterbill" (Piedmont, SC); Les "Roadmarks" Parker -- his wife Sarah was taking pictures, too (Raleigh, NC); Zach "SCboy55" Morris (Greenville, SC); Debra "wasat again" Carr and her husband Mark (Manning, SC); Alvin "Achipmunk: Parris and wife Victoria (Boiling Springs, SC); Wade Whelchel and the YOUNGEST Stovebolter his son Zeb (Spartanburg, SC)

Joe "dad6timz" Croft who had just moved here from New York, my son Brian who was off shopping, and David "truckwhisperer" (Oconee County) had to leave and are not in the picture.

Parade of Bolts: Doug Ducor's '66 | Dwayne Wright's '69 | Red/Blk '46 is David Wolffe's '46 | Alvin Parris' '37

        Some of the trucks that came were "works in progress" and not show winners. But they are fun to see what and how folks are doing stuff! Some had trucks or panels at home that are not quite ready but they vowed they would be here next year. Everyone came to have a good time and meet fellow Bolters.   

        When everyone arrived, I told them to look at the all vehicles, do what they wanted but to be back at a certain time for fellowship, prizes and picture taking.

        As we got to know each other, we relaxed and had a great time. Lot of pictures were taken (the one that stole the show was Wade's little boy, Zeb with his Beach Bob Oldies hat on!). Lot of information exchanged and ideas swapped. With the free hot dogs / drinks, a live band, and good fellowship, it was a good day.

        We talked about getting some trucks / panels ready for the next gathering! Maybe a Stovebolt picnic somewhere else. You know, just Stovebolters meeting somewhere -- maybe this fall -- at a place convenient to all. Maybe move it around so that the same people don't have to drive so far all the time. A tailgate picnic!

        I might add that, right at the end, the girls' rendition of the "woo woo girls" was hilarious as Pam McKinney stopped her truck and jumped out and they sang the "woo woo" thing together along with the band. A Kodak moment for sure.

        And we came up with our name: Southern Stovebolters!


        The show's award time came and David "Lucille" won a nice acrylic trophy for BEST OF SHOW-TRUCK that he can sit on his mantel right next to the picture of his "other woman" Les "Roadmark" picked up a nice trophy for the longest distance traveled.

        Alvin passed out our "surprises" [ pix ] -- BIG flashlights for guys looking up and under Stovebolts and the ladies LITTLE "led" lights so they could find their hubbys under the Stovebolts! Other things included tape, oil, hones, wipes, bleeders, and a SPECIAL treat was the Octane Booster. It's good but it definitely will BOOST your octane level.

        A big thanks to Stovebolt HQ the Stovebolt flag and other prizes. Thanks to another Bolter, who will remain "unknown" for his contributions of some prizes.

        And we have a plaque already, thanks to the handiwork of David "Lucille." We even wondered about making it into a topper!

        We had a swell time for the very first gathering. Be sure to see the pictures on the Stovebolt Photobucket.

        And for those that didn't come "Ya'll" missed out on a nice time. But plan to come for our SECOND Annual Southern Stovebolter GABFest!

        Well, Alvin did a great job with his first GABFest ... and provided some excellent guidance for others who may want to give it a try themselves. Thanks for taking the time to make this a great Stovebolt Happening Alvin. And YES ... you may keep the flag! Now ... does this look like a happy man?





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