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Your Use of the Term Classic Is Bogus


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To Mr. Chuck Conrad:<P>Your Definition of Full Classic Car ? in my opinion demonstrates extreme arrogance and total lack of tolerance for those who disagree with you. I am part of the car community that considers Pony Cars, Muscle Cars and 1955-1957 Chevys and TBIRDS to be the true Classics. I applaud you for rescuing these World War II Surplus Vehicles (as defined on your list). If the vehicles you are talking about were to go through Smog Checks in California they would be classified as gross polluters.<P>Bay Area Air Quality Management District (San Francisco) sends out the following letter to owners of Pre-1981 Vehicles. It might be a good match for your vehicles.<P>Note the reference in the letter to 1981 and older. That includes all of your 1925-1948 vehicles. Sorry Charlie.<P>Dear Vehicle Owner,<P>Since your car or pickup truck registration is expiring soon, this might be a good time to consider an alternative to driving this vehicle. You can receive $500 for you 1981 or older car or pickup truck from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and help reduce air pollution. The Air District is the regional government agency that regulates air pollution within the nine San Francisco Bay Area Counties.<P>The Air District's Vehicle Buy Back Program buys and then scraps 1981 and older cars and pickup trucks. These older vehicles have less efficient emission control equipment and therefore produce much higher smog-forming emissions than newer vehicles. This program is entirely voluntary. <P>If your car or pickup meets the following requirements, you may be qualified to receive $500:<P>Vehicle must be a 1981 model year or older.<BR>Vehicle must be currently registered as operable.<BR>Vehicle must have no extended lapse in operable registration. <BR>Vehicle must be registered in the Bay Area Air District<BR>Vehicle must be in operating condition.<P>Call 1-888-690-2274 toll-free for the names and phone numbers oif the auto dismantlers who<BR>Will buy and scrap your 1981 and older vehicle and give you a check for $500..<P>Funding for buying these vehicles is limited, so I hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to retire your vehicle and help remove air pollution from the Bay Area's Skies.<P>Sincerely,<BR>Ellen Garvey<BR>Executive Officer<BR>939 Ellis Street<BR>San Francisco, CA 94109<BR>(415)771-6000 <A HREF="http://www.baaqmd.gov" TARGET=_blank>http://www.baaqmd.gov</A> <P><BR>ltrimlet@pacbell.net<BR> confused.gif

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As a new CCCA club member, I am probably not the best representative to respond to your concerns. On the other hand, as a new member an explanation of what I believe this club represents may be appropriate.<P>First, from my understanding of the club bylaws, the CCCA has used the term "classic" for 50 years. It was the first antique automobile club to use this language.<P>Second, within the collective antique automobile language, "classic" has come to have various connotations--from 57 chevys, to corvettes, and even volvos. The point being that the term has been plagiarized and come to have multiple meanings within the automobile culture.<P>Third, what is important seems to be the following:<BR>a) the CCCA was the first club to use the term "classic";<BR>B) the language is taken in context from a manufacturing era of quantitative craftsmanship coupled with qualitative artistry and style, which in the opinion of the club, produced some of the greatest automobiles;<BR>c) the club leadership always understood that the automobiles from this era were very special within the context of history<P>Finally, this club provides a tool for individuals to support each other in educating, restoring, collecting, showing, and driving these wonderful automobiles. I think it is a great club, with wonderful people, and some of the best written materials in the antique automobile hobby. Just ask the man or woman who owns one. <P>Respectfully yours,<P>Robert D. Adams

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Dear 50s, 60s and muscle car enthusiast,<P>I am sorry to hear that you find our defintion of classic as arrogant and feel that our cars should be scraped. I would politely disagree. I have been in the CCCA for over 10 years and have just turned 40. I have found that the members of the CCCA are very accepting of other cars and the people who own them. In fact, most CCCA members also own other collector cars, some of which you would define as classic. The definition that we use is defining for our club purposes only and not meant to belittle anyone. Most of the cars you mention had not yet been built when this definition was set forth. This is a friendly and helpful club with members who seek greater enjoyment and preservation of a particular group of cars, and to make friends with others who own them. It is a great deal harder for us to meet people who own similar cars and to get parts and information than it is for cars mass produced in the 50s or later, so we need this network. Please, take some time to look at our cars and you will find the roots of the cars that you like in the big displacement engines and cutting edge engineering and clean styling. As far as being less than efficient engines, you are right, but I think you will find most muscle cars are just as bad, so give us a break. Your vehicles are eligeble for all the same programs and we need to protect all of them from senseless destruction for the greater good of automotive history.<P>Sincerely, an open minded CCCA member,<P>Dave Mitchell smile.gif" border="0

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Webster's Universal College Dictionary 1997 edition states the following: "clas-sic----10. of or pertaining to automobiles distinguished by excellent styling, engineering and workmanship, esp. those built 1925-1948."<P> Comprende? Tom<p>[ 07-23-2001: Message edited by: Deering ]

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I just checked in 3 online dictionary sources(Websters Online, <BR>Dictionary.Com(Websters and American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).<P>Your definition is nowhere to be found. Comprende--Tom? No Cigar!!<P>What I found is below.<P>Merriam Webster Online ---http://www.m-w.com/dictionary.htm<BR>-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>Classic---Used as an adjective-Collegiate Dictionary<BR>Main Entry: 1clas·sic <BR>Pronunciation: 'kla-sik<BR>Function: adjective<BR>Etymology: French or Latin; French classique, from Latin classicus of<BR>the highest class of Roman citizens, of the first rank, from classis<BR>Date: circa 1604<BR>1 a : serving as a standard of excellence : of recognized value b :<BR>TRADITIONAL, ENDURING c : characterized by simple tailored lines in<BR>fashion year after year <a classic suit><BR>2 : of or relating to the ancient Greeks and Romans or their culture :<BR>CLASSICAL<BR>3 a : historically memorable b : noted because of special literary or<BR>historical associations <Paris is the classic refuge of expatriates><BR>4 a : AUTHENTIC, AUTHORITATIVE b : TYPICAL <a classic example<BR>of chicanery><BR>5 capitalized : of or relating to the period of highest development of<BR>Mesoamerican and especially Mayan culture about A.D. 300-900 <P>Classic Used as a noun--Collegiate Dictionary<BR>Main Entry: 2classic<BR> Function: noun<BR> Date: 1711<BR> 1 : a literary work of ancient Greece or Rome<BR> 2 a : a work of enduring excellence; also : its author b : an<BR> authoritative source<BR> 3 : a typical or perfect example<BR> 4 : a traditional event <a football classic> <P>Classic Used as an adjective -- Thesauras<P>Entry Word: classic<BR>Function: adjective<BR>Text: 1 <BR>Synonyms EXCELLENT, capital, champion, classical, famous, fine,<BR>prime, superior, top, top-notch<BR>2 <BR>Synonyms VINTAGE 1, classical<BR>3 <BR>Synonyms TYPICAL 1, classical, exemplary, ideal, model,<BR>paradigmatic, prototypal, prototypical, quintessential, representative<P>Classic Used as a noun--Thesaurus<BR>Entry Word: classic<BR>Function: noun<BR>Text: Synonyms MASTERPIECE 1, chef d'oeuvre, magnum opus,<BR>masterwork, tour de force<P>DICTIONARY.COM -- <A HREF="http://Dictionary.com" TARGET=_blank>http://Dictionary.com</A> <BR>----------------------<BR>clas·sic (klsk)<BR> adj. <P> 1.<BR> a.Belonging to the highest rank or class. <BR> b.Serving as the established model or standard: a classic example of colonial architecture. <BR> c.Having lasting significance or worth; enduring. <BR> 2.<BR> a.Adhering or conforming to established standards and principles: a classic piece of research. <BR> b.Of a well-known type; typical: a classic mistake. <BR> 3.Of or characteristic of the literature, art, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome; classical. <BR> 4.<BR> a.Formal, refined, and restrained in style. <BR> b.Simple and harmonious; elegant: the classic cut of a suit; the classic lines of a clipper ship. <BR> 5.Having historical or literary associations: classic battlefields of the Civil War. <P><BR> n. <P> 1.An artist, author, or work generally considered to be of the highest rank or excellence, especially one<BR> of enduring significance. <BR> 2.A work recognized as definitive in its field. <BR> 3.<BR> a.A literary work of ancient Greece or Rome. <BR> b.classics The languages and literature of ancient Greece and Rome. Used with the. <BR> c.One that is of the highest rank or class: The car was a classic of automotive design. <BR> 4.A typical or traditional example. <BR> 5.Informal. A superior or unusual example of its kind: The reason he gave for being late was a<BR> classic. <BR> 6.A traditional event, especially a major sporting event that is held annually: a golf classic. <P> Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition<BR> Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.<BR> Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.<P>classic \Clas"sic\, Classical \Clas"sic*al\, a. [L. classicus relating to the classes of the Roman people, and especially to the frist<BR>class; hence, of the first rank, superior, from classis class: cf. F. classique. See Class, n.] 1. Of or relating to the first class or<BR>rank, especially in literature or art.<P>Give, as thy last memorial to the age, One classic drama, and reform the stage. --Byron.<P>Mr. Greaves may justly be reckoned a classical author on this subject [Roman weights and coins]. --Arbuthnot.<P>2. Of or pertaining to the ancient Greeks and Romans, esp. to Greek or Roman authors of the highest rank, or of the period<BR>when their best literature was produced; of or pertaining to places inhabited by the ancient Greeks and Romans, or rendered<BR>famous by their deeds.<P>Though throned midst Latium's classic plains. --Mrs. Hemans.<P>The epithet classical, as applied to ancient authors, is determined less by the purity of their style than by the period at which<BR>they wrote. --Brande & C.<P>He [Atterbury] directed the classical studies of the undergraduates of his college. --Macaulay.<P>3. Conforming to the best authority in literature and art; chaste; pure; refined; as, a classical style.<P>Classical, provincial, and national synods. --Macaulay.<P>Classicals orders. (Arch.) See under Order. <P>Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.<P>classic \Clas"sic\, n. 1. A work of acknowledged excellence and authority, or its author; -- originally used of Greek and Latin<BR>works or authors, but now applied to authors and works of a like character in any language.<P>In is once raised him to the rank of a legitimate English classic. --Macaulay.<P>2. One learned in the literature of Greece and Rome, or a student of classical literature. <P>Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.<P>classic adj 1: characteristic of the classical artistic and literary traditions 2: adhering to established standards and principles; "a<BR>classic proof" n 1: a creation of the highest excellence 2: an artist who has created classic works <P>Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University<P>classic<P><jargon> An adjective used before or after a noun to describe the original version of something. This construction is especially<BR>used of product series in which the newer versions are considered worse than the older ones.<P>Examples include "Star Trek Classic" - the original TV series as opposed to the films, ST The Next Generation or any of the<BR>other spin-offs and follow-ups; or "PC Classic" - IBM's ISA-bus computers as opposed to the PS/2 series.<P>(1996-10-27)<P><BR>60s Classic Car Enthusiast frown.gif" border="0

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Dear Unregistered User,<P>As a person who loves old cars, I would never go out of my way to slam a group who is trying to save old cars. Their likes may not be the same as yours but we are all have the same interest which is <span style="font-weight: bold">old cars</span>. You may like the muscle cars and/or pony cars while I like the older cars but that doesn't mean yours is any better or worse than mine.<P>Why dont you save your fight for the people who are trying to crush and destroy your old cars and mine ? Write to your legislator about idiotic laws, not to this forum because they choose a different definition of classic than you do.<P>BTW, if you do choose to write to you congressman, have the guts to please sign your name. You will get a better response than hiding behind an anonymous (or unregistered) letter. <P>Bill

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Mr. Unregistered User, <BR> The purpose of my post was to illustrate that Mr. Conrad did not arbitrarily define the word "Classic". The CCCA definition is substantiated by an authoritive copyrighted source. FYI: Registered users have a profile on record. If you had looked at mine, you would have quickly determined that we share a common interest in the type of vehicle(s) we play with. And no; I've never considered my "shoebox" Nomad or My "baby" Birds to be classics by ANY definition. That term has become so abused over the last 25 years or so, that it's original meaning was lost long ago.<BR>Bill Stoneberg offered an excellent suggestion. We need more people like yourself to champion our common cause.<BR>Have fun, and enjoy our diverse hobby.<P> Tom

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Dear Unregistered User,<BR>It is both sad and frustrating to encounter inflexibility on the part of a purported old car enthusiast. Dave Mitchell's response was pretty much on the mark. We could get bogged down in semantics and dictionary definitions, but what it really boils down to is an enthusiasm for interesting old cars. The Classic Car Club has been the brunt of many accusations of collector snobbery and the explanation was put very well by a friend and CCCA member in our area. He said, " CCCA members are not snobs, but the cars are!" The cars recognized as Full Classics are those originally purchased by folks with more money than the average worker, so they have become associated with that type of life style. That does not mean that the cars are any better or worse than a stanadard production machine. The Classic Car Club of America does not "own" the term 'classic', but the club does have Trademarked rights to the terms "Full Classic" and "Modified Classic". To try to claim that, for instance, the "classic" Chevrolets of the 50's are any less interesting or desirable because of what another organization recognizes is just not realistic. So, too is the reverse. I hope you take a few minutes to look over the pictures on this website. While they may not be the cars that appeal most to you, they are worthy of preservation and appreciation.

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To Tom:<P>First my name is Len Trimlett from San Francisco. <P>When the arbitrariness that you display in this definition says that your vehicle is a classic but mine is not, THAT MAKES YOU A HYPOCRIT.<P>I agree with you that the term "Classic?" has been abused over the last 25 years to the extent that it means a lot of different things to different things people just as restored has lost its meaning.<P>The place I disagree with you is that I believe a lot of the abuse originated here. In particular with your claims that other peoples' cars are non-classics. WHAT GIVES YOU THAT RIGHT.<P>To Jon Lee:<P>Your friend had it wrong....PEOPLE ARE SNOBS NOT CARS.<P>I believe the accusations of SNOBBERY are with just cause.<P>I agree with you Jon. Your "Classic??" is no better or worse than my production machine. They are both of different era's and both deserve respect.<P>To Bill Stoneburg:<P>No Bill we don't all have the same interests. Your definition threatens the scrappage of my Mustang in the California Smog Check II Scrappage Program. I am writing to the correct place. <P>Would I fight for your 1925-1948 vehicles? No way!!! Based on the arbitrariness of your application of NON-CLASSIC, I would not lift a finger to fight for you.<P>If my Mustang is going to the scrapper against my will, I will fight to see that your 1925-1948 vehicle goes with it.<P>Len Trimlett -- San Francisco<P>Would smile.gif" border="0smile.gif" border="0

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To this point, I have hesitated to get into this conversation. Many others have done an<BR>excellent job of responding and anything I could say seems redundant. <P>Unfortunately, I keep noticing that my name keeps popping up by the misguided poster.<BR>The original post is even addressed to me.<P>He seems to credit me for originating the phrases "Classic Car," "Full Classic" and "Modified Classic." I'm very flattered, and wish I could accept the honor, but alas, the term "Classic Car" was coined by our Club's founders some fifty years ago. I had nothing to do with it. Nor did I have anything to do with the other two phrases which came later.<P>The 50 year history of the term "Classic Car" is significant, because it was used long<BR>before pony cars, T-birds, muscle cars, etc. ever existed. There is nothing "bogus" about<BR>CCCA’s original use of the term. <P>Even so, we recognize that the term "Classic" can be used to describe anything of lasting or enduring value. For that reason, the Club has trademarked the terms "Full Classic" and "Modified Classic" to help better define the cars we recognize. A careful look at our web<BR>site will reveal that we use those terms, not the term "Classic Car." We have no intention telling someone outside the Club what they should call their car. If you are a member of our Club, and have a car that qualifies for our National Judging or Touring Events, it is either a Full Classic or a Modified Classic. It's very simple really. Incidentally, you don't have to own either one to be a member. <P>Like many members of CCCA, I like many of the great American cars built in the latter half of the 20th Century. I even own a couple. I think you'll find that quite a few of our members have a Mustang or Camero siting in their garage. Maybe it’s a Corvette or a T-Bird. I doubt you will get any argument from CCCA members that these are not significant cars. They are. It's just that they are not what CCCA is all about.<P>The old car hobby is about preserving and enjoying collector vehicles. Along the way we<BR>meet some wonderful people, and usually a couple of guys who can't see the forest<BR>because there are too many trees in their way. These folks may not recognize it, but<BR>we're all in the same boat together, even though we have different interests in cars. <P>The original poster may be surprised to find out that someday he might actually appreciate (and even like) some of those pre-war relics that he thinks should be scrapped. <P>I didn’t like Scotch, Caviar, Oysters, Sushi and hundreds of other things in life when I first experienced them. I had to learn to appreciate them. As I’ve grown older, I've found that my tastes have changed. Maybe yours will too, but you have to be willing to expose yourself to new ideas.<P>The fact that somebody in California wants to scrap cars that were made prior to 1981<BR>should concern all of us. It concerns me. Admittedly, there are some that probably shouldn't be on the road, but that is an issue of maintenance and condition, not age. Most collector cars (Full Classic or not) are usually well maintained. Unless my calendar is wrong, most of those pony cars, muscle cars, etc. were made prior to 1981 just like the cars CCCA honors. Like it or not, we share a common problem.<P>We should respect the fact that everyone has different tastes in cars, and leave it at that. There is a club for every taste. I prefer keeping my eyes open and exploring new horizons. <P>I guess the person who started this thread doesn't view life that way.<P>Too bad...<P>Enjoy the hobby.<p>[ 07-26-2001: Message edited by: Chuck Conrad ]

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Len,<BR>If you who you say you are and I quote from your web site <P><I>"I spent 17 years at Lockheed and TRW in an specialty called requirements analysis. The specialty deals with analyzing software contracts for testability of the software (making sure that the software functions correctly). This skill along with training in use of the Internet allows me to find and analyze law code references for a particular subject easily.</I><P>I deal with the QA mentality every day and I dont see why you have problems reading and understanding the requirements, the TRADEMARK and the wording of "Full Classic™ Cars" ? <P>Notice it does not say "Classic Cars" it says "Full Classic™ Cars". <P>You may not agree with the definition of "Full Classic™ Cars" and that is perfectly acceptable. <P>But to start the stuff you are obviously trying to start hurts all of us who are involved with the old car hobby and detracts from YOUR real purpose which is to help avoid scrappage of old cars.<P>I have a couple of questions for you...<P><B> Your 1965 Mustang has as much chance of being scrapped as my older Buick, yet you wont help ?</B> Why not ?<P>You are asking for help on your web site but you start arguments in this space devoted to Old Cars ? What is your motive ?<P>What kind of campaign are you running anyway or dont you really car about Old cars ? Did you buy one just to have a cause so you can be a martyr when the state of California come calling for it ? <P>Bill<p>[ 07-27-2001: Message edited by: Bill Stoneberg ]

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Dear Mr. Trimlett, First of all let my say, Who's acting like a snob? To think that that your car is better then someone else's? To think that all the prewar cars should be crushed, but not the cars of the 60's? That sounds like something a snob would say, don't you think? Weather a car is called a classic, pony, mussel, or a sports car, really has nothing to do with the car it self, but is a way to describe an era and style of car. You would not call a 1967 Mustang with an in line 6, a mussel car, nor would you call a 1910 Apperson Jack Rabbit a sports car, do you get my point? As for CA and their crushing of ''old cars'', we all should try to put an end to this, as of now, it is voluntary, later on they might make it mandatory, think about that. I'm going to try to put a new slant on an old saying, They came for the cars of the 20', Mr. Trimlett did nothing, They came for the cars of the 30', Mr. Trimlett did nothing, They came for the cars of the 40', Mr. Trimlett did nothing, They came for the cars of the 50', Mr. Trimlett did nothing, They came for Mr. Trimlett's car. I, myself, as a person that like all cars, would fight as hard to save anyone else's car as my own, if it's a prewar or post war, it really does not matter to me, because once they are gone, they are not coming back.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Come on Len,<BR>I have axiously awaiting your return from "Hot August Nights" to continue this discussion.<BR>I hope you found support there, I know that the people I talked to didn't care if the car was from 1925 or 1948 or 1965. They dont want the cars scrapped and will fight tooth and nail to prevent ANY cars from being scrapped.<BR>Why cant you ?<BR>Bill

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  • 2 weeks later...

USE...and MIS use of the word "classic". It is refreshing to see the anger and jealousy expressed by this "unregistered" fellow. Brings back the old days ! When we were laughed at for saving the "best of the best". The fact is, the true classic car just REEKS of "elitism" and "snobism". We formed this Club for a very specific purpose; to preserve the "best of the best". A review of the early literature ( I strongly recommend a reading of Bob Gottlieb's 'CLASSIC CARS AND ANTIQUES' (around 1954..it can be found in Library Of Congress cross-refs.) to give those of you who are having trouble with why we do, what we do, in this particular Club !<P>We chose the word "classic" for the very essence of the origins of the word ( Greek, modified by Romans) meaning the "BEST OF THE BEST". Thus a ordinary Cadillac or Packard of the 1930's could be admired as a very good car, but only the BIGGEST AND BEST or "Senior Division" cars had enough "class" to be called "classics". <P>I think we should enjoy our "unregistered user's" comments for what they are...a sign that we have fufilled our mission ! We have saved enough examples of the "best of the best" to show people what can be done if your standards are the highest ! Of COURSE people finally "got our message"...and liked the word "classic" so much...we now have "clasic COKE"..."Classic Nash Ramblers"...heck..even "classic Chevrolets".... This is just fine - the mis-use of the word "classic" rarely tells us anything about the vehicle it is applied to..but it SURE TELLS US A LOT ABOUT THE PERSON MIS USING IT !<P>Pete Hartmann<BR>(early CCCA member)<BR>Big Springs, Arizona

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To Jim-TN ~ Perhaps you and others are not aware of the origin of the little paraphrase about "first they came for".<P>It dates back to WWII and it attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller, an anti Nazi Protestant minister.<P>The original saying was, as best I can remember. " First they came for the Communists and I said nothing because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I said nothing because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics and I said nothing because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me." <P>That can happen to us and our cars no matter to what era or grouping they belong.<P>And a comment to Mr. Doubly Unregistered. <B>GARBAGE!</B> By the way I am NOT a member of the Classic Car Club of America.<P>hvs<P>I have made slight revisions to my quotation of the words of Pastor Niemoller, based on additional research on the subject. It is of interest to note that he was a German WW I U-boat captain. People's attitudes can change, can't they.<p>[ 08-23-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

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Thanks HVS for "crossing over" to CCCA territory. Your comentary is always welcome and as usual, quite interesting. I was not aware of the "real story." Your point is well taken.<P>For better or worse, we are all in this hobby together. It is much more useful to all work toward similar goals than it is to try to divide us into factions. We all have our own particular interests, and that's great, but we should never lose sight of the "bigger picture."<P>Now I think I'll go get a Krispy Kreme!

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