Monday, December 5, 2011



Let's begin at the beginning when Frank and Nina Delaney (pictured) moved into the neighborhood with their 1941 Ford Woodie . Every time I drove by and saw that Woodie I wanted a ride, but I didn't know them. As time passed a friendship developed and this past Thanksgiving I was invited for a ride, on just a ride, but THE ride of all rides-in the Encinitas Christmas Parade. Their woodie and all the others in the club were to be an integral part of the parade. Needless to say, I was thrilled and distracted all that week just thinking about it. Too good to be true, right?

Having never been inside one before I was so inquisitive that I am sure Frank wondered what he had gotten himself into bombarded with my endless questions. So for those of you who have been in one bear with me as I launch my impressions. First, there is not a regular headliner like cars have of soft fabric, rather it is composed of thin wooden slats spaced evenly apart. The steering wheel of course with gears on the column. There are three seats, the middle being the shortest, which are higher than the driver/passenger seat. I could go on and on but I won't... my head was spinning all the way to the parade assembly area off of B street.

If I thought my ride was superlative, you can imagine how I felt seeing LOTS of other woodies of all vintages already lined up. Quite a production was in the works with tables laden with food set up for munching and that wonderful coffee (inside joke there). Introductions were made and I felt quite welcomed -very nice group of people.

Wanting to capture it all, I took off armed with trusty camera in hand. Some cars arrived already decorated like ours, others were decorated after arrival. Surprisingly, the preparations were way more elaborate than I expected. One car had surfboards stacked up on top, another had packages and a blown up Santa Mickey and Minnie, some even had door ornaments on the door handles. It was so much fun to watch the works of art in progress. Every time I turned around something else was added to the cars.

Reminiscent of small town America everywhere the parade itself was a composition of kids on lit up scooters, dressed up dogs, lit up horses, floats, walkers in costume and of course the ever present marching bands.

About 5:45 p.m. the signal to start your engines was given and off we went two by twos. Nina, Frank and I donned our Santa caps, Nina shook her bells out of the window greeting all with a "Merry Christmas" and we waved endlessly to the crowds 6-10 deep braving the cold . The engines were loud and I didn't want it to be over. But alas, all good things must come to an end. Savoring my experience on the ride home I bid adieu to Frank and Nina... Thanks SOOO much, guys. And to all the rest of you locals reading this... be sure to be in the audience watching next you-you will be in for a treat. It's all about living life in the moment, right?