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MidAmerica 02 Fest # 16, Eureka Springs, AR

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Just got back from this event at noon today. Andrew Wilson and I left my place early on Wednesday morning (April, 26th) to rendezvous with Mike Self and Dave Hoovler at Mike's house in neighboring Beavercreek. I decided to revisit this event after four years away from it. I had arranged to be Andrew's navigator/copilot. We had a moderately paced drive through Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri and into Arkansas. We met up with Larry and Susan Wilson, Kevin Taylor and Peter Schoppelry in Paragould, AR where we stayed overnight. Our caravan arrived in Eureka Springs in the early afternoon of Thursday the 27th. There were quite a few 2002 owners arriving at the host hotel by this time. It looked as I remembered it and in no time I was exchanging greetings with a number of friends that I've not seen lately. After checking out 02's and their owners for a few hours, a group of us walked to Sparky's for dinner. That evening we spent a lot more time visiting on the parking lot of the Best Western Eureka Springs Inn. Friday morning we had a tech session after breakfast - 123 Ignition with Ed Z - since the start of our drive was postponed by rain and gusty winds. A little after 11 AM we began our drive and had lunch in Rogers, AR. Along the way we encountered many armadillos, squirrels, raccoons, opossums and even a snapping turtle in the roadway. The more we drove, the drier the roads became and we were able to go faster than our initial cautious pace. In the evening, there was a tech session run by Mike Pugh on '02 struts and drive line. After that, Chris Leonard gave a talk about running his shop which specializes in 2002's and other classic BMW's. Lastly there was a panel Q & A session that included these '02 experts: Jack Fahuna, Keith Kreeger, Chris Leonard & Ben Thongsai. That evening my table of friends, including Andrew, Mike Self, & Robert and Chase Chandler, were treated to free drinks by the ladies of Tinker AFB who were having a reunion in town and had already hit the bar before us. Very funny stuff. After breakfast on Saturday morning, Jack Fahuna ran a Q&A session using his knowledge from many years of running a 2002-centered shop. Many interesting questions and just as many snappy responses. Next, Ed Z. gave a talk and demonstration on a Weber 32-36 carb rebuild. After lunch, there was time for the car show and photos. Then there was the tech quiz (Ben and Rick Memmel just killed that test!) and time for door prize selection using our red tickets. A wonderful char-grilled dinner was provided by our hosts and their able volunteers. Door Prizes and Awards followed dinner. It's great fun to win, but it's so much fun to watch a friend win something for themselves. (Kudos to the many sponsors who donated such fine prizes. Kudos also to the volunteers who rounded up the sponsors and got them to commit to this event.) The biggest prize involved a special raffle ($25/ticket for a 5-speed Getrag dogleg transmission). More tire-kicking, more stories, more fellowship that evening as things wound down. In the morning, it was time for breakfast, packing up, route-checking, oh, and waking up Mr. Self who had overslept. Finally, we got him to report for duty. Our return caravan included: Andrew and me, Mike, Dave Hoovler and Greg Black (in a beautifully original Tundra roundie, complete with Michelin XAS tires). We dodged the rain pretty well and ended up in Effingham, IL for the night. When I hopped out of the tii in Kettering, it was hard to say goodbye to Andrew and Dave, but I had a doctor's appointment to get to and grass to cut....Plus, I needed to head in for a 12 hour night shift on top of that.


I know that I DON'T EVEN OWN A 2002, but I sorely missed the people and the fun at MidAmerica. It is unclear when/where/how/if I will own another 2002, but I certainly enjoyed being partnered with Andrew, riding with him in Vern (his '73 Verona tii) and seeing so many amazing people and so many interesting 02's. 


Thanks to Bo and Barb Black, Chris Leonard, Keith Kreeger, Mike Pugh and so many others who make this such a great 2002 event! Thanks, Andrew, for being my DRIVER.

Edited by Jim_75Sahara

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