Report by Ken Everett
The 25th Anniversary of Mahogany & Chrome Classic Boat Show
The ACBS Heartland Classics Chapter 25th Anniversary of the Mahogany & Chrome Classic boat show at Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees was held September 6th thru 9th, 2018 at the home port of Arrowhead Yacht Club and Marina, Grand Lake Oklahoma.
With the threat of tropical storm Gordon in the forecast to potentially release large volumes of rain in the Grand Lake area including most of the surrounding states, forty-four boats from Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas (representing the ACBS Southwest Chapter), and Minnesota began arriving as early as Thursday morning. To kick-off the four-day event a cruise to Heartland Classics members Chick and Karon Wheat for a casual lunch was on the schedule. Fortunately, Thursday’s weather was partly to mostly cloudy and warm…perfect weather for a cruise.
As the day turned to evening Early Bird participants gathered at VIP Pizza and Sharkey’s Bar & Grill, located at Hammerhead Marina, and dined on gourmet pizza. It was a superb time to share a meal and visit with new and old friends. Registration packets containing snacks, trinkets, and the all-important event itinerary and maps were distributed along with an umbrella that had the Heartland Classics logo. Hmmmm, makes you wonder if event Chairpersons Chuck Gibbs and Kathleen Barrett had a premonition regarding the weekends potential weather threat when the umbrellas were ordered.
Friday morning the clouds were dark grey and seemed to hover just a few hundred yards above the trees. With no rain in sight by 10am (Captains were checking their phones for weather updates) it was decided to shove off on our cruise to lunch at Doc’s Bar & Grill in the Shangri-La Resort. As always it is a beautiful site seeing and hearing the classic boats underway. About two thirds of the way to our destination rain showers became visible in the distance. Captains and crew donned rain gear with hopes that we would make it to Doc’s docks before entering the rain zone. No such luck.
As we neared the bend heading to the Shangri-La marina the rain came down on us. Entering the marina umbrellas with the Heartland Classics logo popped up as if rehearsed before the cruise. Regardless of the downpour assistance in mooring boats was provided by both long standing and new members assuring safety of all.
Smiles were seen on everyone’s face as we entered the resort shaking off the remaining raindrops. To our amazement on permanent display in the Shangri-La Resort lobby was a 17’ 1961 Century Resorter previously owned by John F. Kennedy. The speedboat is named “Restofus” and as you might expect it is in concourse condition.
Even though most of Club’s members and guests were still damp the lunch conversation and food at Doc’s were superb. Fortunately, the rain gave the cruisers a temporary reprieve during the return to home port.
Speaking of the home port, Arrowhead Yacht Club and Marina looks stunning from both water and land. New landscaping, docks and newly added RV parking complete with electricity hook-ups, crystal clean bathrooms and showers and a separate laundry facility adjacent to the RV pads were available. Special thanks to Joe Harwood for his vision of Arrowhead Yacht Club and Marina and friendship with the Heartland Classics boat club.
Friday evening weather issues were still looming overhead so everyone decided to drive to dinner for a shrimp and crawfish boil at Harbors View Marina in Duck Creek. The food, drink, and company were excellent…and no rain fell.
Saturday brought the main event “the public boat show.” Temperatures were rather cool with intermittent misting rain showers. The weather didn’t deter people from showing up to see the classic boats. Cameras were snapping pictures while boat owners shared stories and historical information about their vessels. Every now and then a Captain would start the engine(s) of their boat gaining the attention of everyone on the docks.
The Ships Store was open for business and along with the Heartland Classics hats, koozie’s, flags, etc., was a special edition T Shirt designed by Forrest Bryant that embraced the 25th Annual Mahogany & Chrome Boat Show…a design that you just had to see to fully appreciate the detail of the logo.
A special area was available for kids (possibly future classic boat owners) to paint their own wooden boat. One young girl was seen pretending to back her boat down the ramp to the water so she could launch her vessel. Yes, her parents were with her and yes she had on a life vest.
The 25th Annual Awards Banquet was held Saturday evening at the Cherokee Yacht Club where event participants had time to celebrate the boat show success and select recipients received awards for their boat achieving recognition for meeting or exceeding judged requirements. Special guests Larry and Jan Hinton, the original organizers of the Heartland Classics Chapter, were in attendance throughout the weekend. Larry spoke about the early days when ten members came together with a dream of growing the group into a small chapter, and future goals of sponsoring younger generations into the club to help sustain club growth and diversity. Well, the group’s hard work has definitely surpassed a small chapter. The Heartland Classics Chapter of ACBS presently has member representation in five states… and gained four new members who signed up during the event.
Sunday morning a Mahogany & Chrome event tradition is to meet at Brent Howard’s boat restoration facility “Howard Classic Boats” for breakfast. Chef Chuck Gibbs served up bacon, eggs, country-style potatoes, sausage, waffles, and a variety of donuts. Between the food, conversations with friends, and boats in various stage of restoration one couldn’t ask for a better location to say good-bye… and look forward to seeing you next year.
All of these boats made it quite a show: