80TH Anniversary of D-Day Commemoration Event

Greetings Cruisers!

   This post has nothing to do with car shows, but we wanted to let you know about this because we know that many of you are Veterans and we are all patriots.

This Thursday, June 6, 2024, at 2 PM, American Legion Post 25 will be hosting a special D-Day 80th Anniversary Commemoration Event. Our very special guest of honor will be 101-year-old Tomoka Heights resident, Chester Barber.

In 2023 Chester and Lake Country Cruisers co-founder, Ross Longo participated in the rededication of the Flag Pole at Hendrick’s Field at Sebring International Raceway a few days before the big 12 Hours of Sebring event.

On D-Day, Chester flew a DC3 at night over France with a plane full of American paratroopers.

We invite all of our members, as well as the general public, to this special event.

The Legion Kitchen will be open for Daily Kitchen Items, so food will be available.

On Wednesday we will publish more of Chester Barber’s amazing life and times.

See you all at Post 25!

PS – Here’s Chester, back in the day!

What’a Week at Sebring Raceway! SLIDE SHOW

Sometimes in Life, “Providence moves to…”

Hey Cruisers! Yesterday we shared with you the beautiful coverage by The Highlands News-Sun from the front page of the Friday edition. In addition to the re-dedication ceremony of Hendricks Field last Wednesday, on Friday morning there was a Corvette Racing Seminar hosted by Corvette engineer Bill Tower and Stingray Chevrolet owner, Steve Hurley. Then yesterday there was the 71st running of The 12 Hours of Sebring race. A big week, indeed.

A few thoughts about how the Hendricks Field re-dedication event came together and Lake Country Cruisers involvement.

Occasionally, things seem to fall into place as if there was Divine Intervention. It certainly seemed that way to me and more than a few others. The entire event was organized and staged by Sebring International Raceway President and General Manager, Wayne Estes, and John Story, senior director of Marketing and Business Development & Communications at SIR. And no doubt, many others.

Planning, construction, and refurbishment of the Hendricks Air Field circle and flag pole, located at the north end of the track, started a year or so ago. In mid-February, we received an inquiry from Wayne Estes requesting vintage cars from the 1930s and early 1940s. The first cars we thought of were Dick and Marilyn Roddie’s two 1931 V-12 Cadillacs. We also identified Tom Baldwin’s 1939 Ford Pickup truck.

Then we connected with James “Pappy” Wright. James is currently in the process of moving his residence and collection of classic antique cars (and one C7 Corvette Grand Sport!) to Highlands County. James came on board with his 1932 Chevy, as well as retired Navy Commander Frank Jones with his early ’30s Chevy. There were three other beautiful classic cars that, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to connect with the owners.

So, we were able to pull together a sweet collection of classic cars to set the atmosphere to go with the Sebring High School Band that was playing classic 1940s WW-II era music. The VFW Post was also on hand to present the colors. The Sea Services displayed their replicas of the USS Enterprise CV-6 and the USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413 along the roundabout circle.

And to top it all off, Lake Country Cruisers co-founder, Ross Longo and 100-year-old Lake Placid resident and WW-II D-Day paratrooper pilot, Chester Barber were two of the event’s special guests.

Meet Mr. Chester Barber!
Continue reading “What’a Week at Sebring Raceway! SLIDE SHOW”

Veterans Honored At Hendricks Field Memorial Park

Greeting Cruisers! It was an honor for Lake Country Cruisers to be part of this very special event. At 6 pm on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, the flag pole in the circle in what was Hendricks Field during WWII was re-dedicated in a ceremony that could not have been more touching.

The VFW Honor Guard was on hand.

The event had two WW-II Vets in attendance. Lake Country Cruisers co-founder, Ross Longo, and Lake Placid resident, 100-year-old Chester Barber were front and center! Dick and Marilyn Roddie were there with their 1931 V-12 Cadillac Phaeton. Military Preservation Society member Bob Neeley was there with his 1942 Ford-built Willys combat jeep was there. Retired Navy Commander Frank Jones was there with his 1930s vintage survivor Chevy. And special thanks to James “Pappy” Wright for connecting with Lake Country Cruisers to be part of the event.

Highlands News-Sum staff writer, Kim Moody, her assistant, and staff photographer John Lawson were on hand to cover the event. Then yesterday, Friday, March 17, 2023, the re-dedication event was on the front cover of the Highlands News-Sun newspaper.

The story was on pages 1A and 10A. I scanned both pages and put them together as one image. To see and read a much larger version, CLICK HERE.

After you click the link, the images will come up on a separate page and your cursor will change to a magnifying glass. Click the image and it will expand to full size.

It was a beautiful Florida spring evening and a beautiful event. I took a lot of photos and will be making another post on Sunday. More to come! Scott