Last Friday night all of the old cars were in Mendenhall for Mendenhall’s First Friday Cruise-in. This tradition started there about three years ago, but winter weather and other towns wanting to do the same thing sort of diluted the effort. Then it all sort of just quit everywhere.
But Mendenhall is back and they are not alone. Several communities mid-state are joining in; not all on the same night anymore, but rotating. So somewhere every Friday night the old cars will be in a downtown; no charge to come park them and put them on display, no charge to come see them.
Tim Gray is one of the organizers of the Mendenhall rally and coordinator with the other communities and says there is something about an automobile that is a common denominator among all people.
“Automobiles seems to be the one thing that brings all the different age levels together," said Gray. "The young kids see the ones that they want to have. The older people see the ones they used to have or either they see something that reminds them of something their dad or their grandfather had.”
“I like the way they’re styled and they’re made,” said one youngster.
So we brought Big River Classics. We’ve got a ’55 Nomad. That’s a rare car,” said a car club member.
“Seventy-three actual thousand miles on it," said a proud owner. "And everything about this car is original.”
“It’s a 1966 Chevelle with a 468 big block,” another collector told us.
The motorcycles are here, too. Lots of people have lots of reasons to like riding them.
Philosophically, “I love the freedom. I love the sights, the smells, the temperature changing.”
Practically, “They’re fast!”
Culturally, automobiles are why you can live where you live and not have to live within horse and buggy distance of where you work. Or where you were born.
Aesthetically, it’s the old cars that are instantly recognizable, maker and year model.
Practically, it’s something to do on a Friday night in Mis’sippi. Somewhere EVERY next Friday and back to Mendenhall the 1st Friday next month.
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