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Anyone miss the mud?


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Is it just me? I honestly miss the mud at Hershey. Could we get AACA to haul some nice goooooie, sticky, Pennsylvania mud in and spread it on the aisles?

When was the last time you had Hershey mud suck your boot off? or saw a giant John Deere pulling a motor home up a slick hill sideways? or saw parts floating in a mud puddle? How about the year it snowed back when the swap meet was over where the roller coasters are today. Or ankle deep water on the show car lawn beside the stadium.

Ahhh, those were the days. Now all we get is dry tired feet from miles of pavement. Well, at least the fire police directing traffic are still mean spirted, thank goodness for small concessions. Hershey's comin' I can't wait.

My first Hershey was 1967 and I have missed a total of three in 32 years. If I am not at Hershey check the morgue.

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I agree with you Bob. They leveled out the fields, paved them and put in flush toilets. They took the challenge out of it. They almost feminized the place, no wonder the hot rodders want in now. I suggest this year you go as a spectator so you can park in the muddy fields across the street, down the road almost in Harrisburg. I think my first year was 72 and I remember when that low corner of blue field where the coasters are was hip deep in water one year.

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Hi Bob,

Some great memories, to be sure -- like the "EIGHT-WHEEL-DRIFT' maneuver I had to plan for to get my Suburban and the trailer from our spot to the exit of the Chocolate Field in its early days in the mid-1980s.

Anyone who really likes mud, volunteer to help hurricane and flood victims shovel it out of their homes, like we had to do after Hurricane Katrina.

No, memories are just that, and I am delighted not to have to endure the MUD !

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NO!!! and hopefully there will not be any in the trailer parking or show field areas this year. We have new AACA rain gear and fixed the water leak in our big trailer. This should ensure no rain.

(I guess the farm tractors miss pulling everyone out and whoever sold the hay-bales!!)

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Steve, not even a little mud hauled in to celebrate the AACA 75th anniversary? Seems only far. Just because you work your hind end off all week doesn't mean we should get to have a little fun.

Does anyone remember the guy who used to stroll through the swap meet with a Model A headlamp on his head as a hat, playing polka music on his boom box, as though it was his accordian? Fun days for sure. There are so many great stories of Hershey past, I bet West could do a great article about them. Not to mention the urban ledgions that may or may not have happened also. Did a member who passed away, really have his ashes spread in one of the aisles back in the mud days?

Ok, you win, no mud, but can we get Herco to tear down the roller coasters so we can have the blue field back next year? They won't mind.

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I am with Steve and Marty, I like the memories but I am happy to be on pavement. I wish the car show was back on pavement too.

I did experience the mud too though. I recall parts floating in the water, also walking through the Chocolate field on a Saturday and seeing twisted tent poles piled near the trash bins in disgust. I recall a dark afternoon storm and seeking shelter under a big tent as everyone there lined up around it's perimeter to hold it from flying away. But they remained open for business! Good times! See you in 2 weeks! Todd

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Bob,

Yes, his ashes were scattered in the green field and I know his son who did it. Problem was and not thinking, a short time later they started digging things up for the new Giant Center. Now if that wasn't bad enough, what made things worst was that the Giant Center, being home for the Hershey Bears hockey team, was that his dad HATED hockey! So now there he is, on center ice. :)

True story.

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Dang, the ashes story is true. Good for him, I'd like to have able to be put there as well when my time comes, I always say if I am not a Hershey, check the morgue. Well at least if he is under Giant Center than they've rolled a few great cars over him during the annual auction.

I guess I will have to settle for my second favorite car place on earth when I go. I'll have my family throw my ashes over the edge of the "Rainbow bridge" at the top of Donner Pass on old route of the Lincoln Highway near Truckee, California. A place all old car guys should get to visit at some time in your car touring life.

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I sometimes miss the mud too! I remember one year in the old blue field when there was 6 inches of mud all over, a fine young lady all dressed in white pants and white shoes tip-toeing through the mud and tying to keep clean. She wasn't doing too bad at keeping clean, either. The guy in front of her was slogging along, kicking up mud all over, including on her. Ah, those were the days....

Frank

Have not missed a Hershey since I first went in 1974!!

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I for one don't miss the mud. I do think it a bit strange that when the vendors were in the mud they stayed open. :D Along comes the pavement and they close. :mad: Go figure. :P

I was there the year it snowed, in eight layers of clothes and I was STILL cold. Now that I am "going through the change of life" :rolleyes: it has been in the eighties and humid. :eek: Where is that fair???? :confused:

I do remember the guy with the headlight bucket hat. And one vendor that was in the White Field back by the hillside that had a cute little buzzard stuffed toy that was there every year. :) I haven't see it since the White Field closed. :(

The funniest sign I ever saw was I think in the Chocolate Field, and it was postioned in the middle of a BIG puddle.

5 m.p.h.

No Wake Zone!

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Everytime I think back to those days, an image forms in my mind that seems surreal, almost "Twilight Zone" like. Hopefully someone here can back it up with a photo so I'll know I'm not loosing it in my old age. It involves an absolutely pristine freshly restored White halftrack looking for all the world like it just came out of a South Pacific jungle dripping mud and water from every orifice and the only part that spoiled the time warp was the Winnebago it was hauling up the hill!

If anyone has a picture from this time, please post it.

Howard Dennis

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One year in the late 80's, I had swap meet spaces on the crest of a hill. The aisle slopped downward across the aisle and down in either direction of the aisle as well. It was not a steep incline but enough that it was with great effort I finally roared up to my spots and got my ramp back truck into place across the front of the spaces. I figured I move it into place after unloading it. Of course we are talking all mud (even on top of a hill). I shut off the truck, shut the door, stepped way only to watch my truck slide ever so slowly, in gear, brake on, across the aisle and gently come to rest against a motorhome across the way. It did very little damage, but to took at least 10-15 good AACA'ers, to push my truck off the motorhome and out into the aisle without doing any more damage. But that is the sprit of the club and the team work that comes from all being in the same soup together each year.

I agee we are all a lot softer, or at least a lot older. Vendors closing down early or even going home early makes me wonder why they come at all if their hearts are not into it to stay open for the folks who travel hundreds of miles and arrive late.

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One of my favorite memories is crank starting a freshly restored 1908 Pullman at 5 a.m. with the temperature at 27 degrees. It took 3 of us almost 45 minutes of cranking before the oil warmed up enough for us to actually spin the thing over fast enough to get it started. Actually had to scrape "ice" from the windshield before we could drive it onto the show field. Anyone else remember Bill Harrah touring the fields in whatever his find of the year was, or Henry Clark holding court in the flea market? Remember Ray Dietrich selling his original drawings near the entrance to the old, old Red Field?

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Ahhh-the mud! It gave us so many memories and great stories. You may recall that I'm the guy who sold a jar of mud there a few years ago. Been enduring hot, cold, rain, snow, and of course mud since 1970 at least. Only missed a few when I was still active duty USN and was overseas. Been in all the fields - started in Blue right near where the roller coaster is now. Moved to Red, then White, then...

finally ended up across from the crab cake vendor in front of Giant Center. Come on over, bring old spark plugs and we'll talk about the good old days! See you there!

Terry

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In 1973 I went to Hershey to look for parts for a 1916 Briscoe. I had both kids with me, aged 9 and 7. It rained ink, and the three of us were clad in black garbage bags with holes for our heads. The fields were a sea of mud. After a few hours of fruitless searching for parts, I suggested we quit and go home. The kids wanted to stay! I asked why, and they said: "Mommy NEVER lets us play in the mud!" The 9-year-old now has teenagers, co-chairs the annual HCCA Brass in Bucks County tour, and drives a 1909 E-M-F. I guess he enjoyed the mud.

Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ

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Thanks for bring back all the memories, I to have been going a long time, yearly starting in 1971 with a couple of times in the early to mid 60s with my parents as a wide eyed kid.

I do some times miss the mud but I really miss the grass. If you had a canopy of some kind to vend under you could stay dry including your feet. Now we have to have everything up off the ground and you get your feet wet because in a heavy rain the water runs close to an inch deep going for the big drain across the aisle. The grass was easier to walk on all day too.

One of the things I miss with the mass exodus on Friday afternoon and Saturday is our potluck suppers on Saturday night. Most of our neighbors stayed till Sunday morning so we would put some flea market tables together and everyone would pitch whatever food they had left in to share. We would sit around after we finished the food and tell stories of the past week and past years. Some of the neighbors don't come anymore others have died but the rest just pull out early now. Last time we stayed till Sunday we had a fellow pull in beside us around 9PM and ask if he could camp with us because there were so few vendors still on the field he didn't feel safe where he had been parked.

When rain threatened to cancel one of our potlucks we moved in to a large rented and vacant vendors tent down the row on the corner, they had pulled out early because of rain and mud. The corner was a low spot with a small hill to climb. We were enjoying our after meal story telling when we heard a roaring engine and lights sweeping across the tent canvas and we all scrambled for the rear exit. A suburban pulling a trailer was trying to get up speed for the hill and lost it in the mud and came close to jack knifing into the tent we had just exited.

Ah good times.

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I remember the first year we went to Hershey, and every year since, hearing the voice making the announcements that sounds just like Ben Stein. Ben did the voice of one of Cory's teachers on the show The Wonder Years. The guy that makes the announcements at Hershey sounds just like him.

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I miss the trash can scavengers!

I've gotten several good parts out of the trash on Friday night & Saturday morning at Hershey. I still have a 1940 Cadillac bumper that's straight but needs to be rechromed and I got a couple of early 1970's VW rear fenders and gave them to a friend of mine who deals in VW parts. I guess some folks just get tired of hauling it back & forth every year so they ditch the stuff.

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Of the Hershey and Carlisle trash can pickers, the world champion has to be Ken Buttolph, the former editor of Old Cars Price Guide. Key would hit the swap meet early Sunday AM before the trash was collected and with a fine eye for knowing what each part was, could come out if each barrel dive with some prize that I could never believe was thrown away. Ken had (has) such a eye for being able to identify every part for just about every car ever built it is amazing. And if you have ever been to his house and barn in Wisconsin you will realize he still has all this stuff.

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One more quick Hershey mud memory. Sometime in the late 1970's we had vendor spaces not to far from Harrah's. Of course we all worshiped Bill Harrah. He was the Jay Leno of that era. On one especially muddy day, right after a rain storm, I saw Harrah walking the swap meet early in the day in a white shirt, pale yellow pants with a white belt and white shoes. Hours later I saw him return to his space, absolutely spotless. I am convinced to this day the man walked "above" the mud. An impossible feat.

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I am puzzled that it seems no-one ever considered using basics of soil science/soil chemistry to amend that situation. It is likely that the ion exchange sites of the clay component of the soil is pretty much saturated with Sodium (Na + ions). Such soils become sticky and slippery when wet, and do not drain well. When dry, in extreme cases, they are hard and with a pattern of surface cracks.

If treated adequately with a source of Calcium ions (Ca++), in practice either gypsum or ground calcium carbonate you displace a lot of the sodium with calcium, and the behaviour of the soil is changed to free-draining, friable, and trafficable. Yesterday the Australian Rules football grand final was played in appallingly wet weather, and noone got dirty. When I was at school , at the same stadium in the same weather you would hardly recognise one team from the other or one face from another. The science teacher then was an agricultural scientist who was in the position to give advice to the authorities of that stadium which was the main venue for the 1956 Olympics. John Landy held the world land speed record for the mile on foot; and he was offered the teaching position there from late 1954 through 1956 so he could work at live where he could train, leading up to the Olympics.

He is a wonderful bloke; and he recently served as Victorian State Governor.

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I remember the headlight-hatted man. His name was Frank Koch I belive, and he was a Model A man, cabriolet I think. He sold stainless steel hood rods for Model A's, and round sheets of 800 sandpaper, both of which I purchased. from him. He also participated in the evening talent show. His antics were somewhat reminiscent of Groucho Marx. A great subtle sense of humor. I also miss Jim Well's huge band organ stationed near the stadium, belting out merry-go-round music, and the airstrip with those great biplanes flying about overhead. Those inexpensive hot breakfasts served off front porches along Parkside Dr. are missed too.

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We had the headlight guy across from us one year, that was entertaining.

Was just think of all the strange head gear. Some will remember the guy that had a cold weather hat that I think was a coyote head and part of the pelt, the eyes were up high and the nose came down into the center of his forehead. My then young son really wanted one.

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Jeff, I want to apologize for posting this within your post. I've been a little under the weather! :(

Jeff, I'll admit, I don't talk about the few bad years I have experienced. The good years are hard enough on my bad feet, but I do try to add as much color to the fun that I do have. The RM Auction last year was one of those deals. Getting wore slap out pushing old cars with AACA friends was certainly fun for me.

Wayne

Edited by R W Burgess
misspelled word! (see edit history)
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Hershey Mud...Let's think about that from a marketing strategy.

I do miss it in a way from a nostalgic view. Aisles were soft (spongy) on the feet. A lot of laughs as you trudged by various people and chatted.

Now, Mr. Terry Bond some years ago posted on our Forum about "Hershey Mud in a Bottle". There has to be a buck in this for the AACA if we really think about it.

How about a pit full of mud?? We could charge for boot rental, charge for the nostalgic customer to walk through the mud pit, then, charge to hose the mud off at the end. If it pans out we could build a pit for cars to drive through for the die-hards. (Snow making equipment, spray guns for rain, and, heat lamps for blazing sun are possiblities, too.)

Peter J...

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Just remembered, I still have a chunk of real Hershey mud that I pried from the underside of my blue '64 Comet Caliente one muddy year after I returned home. Knew in my heart it had to be kept! It'll be at my space, CE76, in honor of the good old days.

There you go, David!! Great!! I'll get you a stack of AACA Membership Forms as a prerequisite for visitors stopping by to see your "Genuine Hershey Mud".

Peter.

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Just remembered, I still have a chunk of real Hershey mud that I pried from the underside of my blue '64 Comet Caliente one muddy year after I returned home. Knew in my heart it had to be kept! It'll be at my space, CE76, in honor of the good old days.

Dave, I added this to the 2009 printable list of who will be at Hershey. :)

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