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Steve Moskowitz

Your favorite "Hershey" story! (Stolen from another site)

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Here is your chance, this <span style="font-weight: bold">should</span> be a huge thread! Another website has started this idea and I think it fits our site perfectly. Thanks for the referral nearchoclatetown! Come on guys (and girls) this should be the longest thread we have ever had and it should be fun and interesting. Waiting.

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A few years back, while walking around with a friend, I found myself at a booth standing next to a gentleman. We started talking, and I happened to ask him what kind of car he was working on at the time. He stated a "1906 Autocar" that was a total restoration, it had been in a fire and some crazy guy in Louisiana had pulled the rusty mess out of a field years after the fire, so little was left. I smiled and asked him if he would like to meet the crazy guy; of course, it was and is me; what are the chances? Another time I mentioned to a stranger that I was working on a 1910 Hupmobile, and for some reason I elaborated, stating the Hupp "was a heck of a lot better car than that [censored]-fart Maxwell a few rows over"; yes, it was his Maxwell. Careful how you talk to strangers, the world becomes smaller at Hershey!!

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Guest my3buicks

The first year I went to Hershey (and every year since) was 1977(I was 17)- I worked until 7PM Friday eve and then drove straight out from work in Indiana, PA - when I got there I parked on a large knoll in a parking area that was rather empty. I put the rear seat down and slept overnight in my 77 Chevy Chevette - I was beat and slept like a log - I woke up and was surrounded by a sea of cars, trucks and a motor home that was parked almost on top of me - I never heard a thing - I had no idea of who, what, or where, but I found my way around, ran everywhere so I didn't miss a thing -but regardless of how many times I have been to Hershey, how many awards I have won since, the first year will always be the best. It was like Christmas.

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Keith, your story was like my first adventure in '73. A friend and I drove from Chicago and slept in our car for 3 days! We pulled in and parked on the hill by the school and as I got out of the car the first person I saw was a neighbor from my hometown in Massachusetts! Yes, really a small world. Bud and I had no place to shower, clean up, etc. and on the way home we needed to roll down the windows as we were both a bit ripe. However, our meager salaries at the time still allowed us to bring home a few parts...all was good!

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My Son's birth was planned around Hershey. He was to be born the week after but arrived 7 weeks premature. Not a problem, in 1983 he was the youngest vendor in the flea market. He is now 22 and has attended 23 Hersheys. He does not remember a time when he didn't work on antique cars. "Helping" Dad the first few years, now shop foreman restoring fulltime. We have many friends whom we only see at Hershey. Tried to talk my second wife into getting married on the showfield but she got cold feet. Too many favorite stories to pick just one.

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A few years ago I bought a Lincoln K rear brake drum at the end of the White Field for $10. The only problem was that my spece is in the middle of the Chocolate Field. Well, I started to carry it back, and by the time I was at where the Red Field is now, my arms felt they were going to fall off (this is a HUGE, HEAVY brake drum folks, nothing like on a car from the 40's or 50's.) Well, just then a 10 year old kid walked by with a wagon for hire. Boy was I thankful. He towed the brake drum back to my space. I asked him how much I owed him. He told me $2. I gave him $10.

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Several years ago Bill bought a tire for the 1939 Dodge. He got the tire for just a dollar. As the day wore on that tire got heavier and heavier. It began to cut into his hand. I went to a trash can and got him a styrofoam cup and fixed it so at least he had some padding between his hand and the tire. He wore out several cups. crazy.gif

Finally I spotted a refurbished Radio Flyer wagon. The guy sold it to me for $30. Bill started laughing about how I had taken a one dollar tire and now it was $31.

By the end of the day that wagon was loaded with HIS auto treasures. Our friend Rodger Woodrum, who stays with us in the RV, bought me a set of cargo nets for it. It has carried stuff he bought also. laugh.gif

This year will be about the sixth or seventh year that wagon has gone to Hershey. I would say it has more than paid for itself. Hmm....wonder if Bill would spring for a new set of tires for it?!?!? smirk.gif

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This is rather long, but Terry Bond allowed me to use it in our Region's newsletter, and it's somewhere else in the depths of this web site. All you new guys, read a "Masters Story"!

[color:"brown"] <span style="font-weight: bold">A Hershey Story, By Terry Bond</span>

Ok, pour a wee dram, sit back and hold on-this is real history. Somehow, I don't think it belongs in this section, but it?s here. We can always move it later, or publish it, or something. (Ed. Note Terry was referring to the AACA Web Site!) Everything is true-I swear on the latest issue of Hemmings-and I tell this at risk of seeing the market (even Ebay) flooded with phony jars of mud. Gads-if a cheese sandwich can make $28K, I'd better copyright all

this stuff-yes, consider it done!

Ah-it was a dark stormy night - well, actually it was dark and stormy that entire week! It was back in '76, the year of "The Big One" at Hershey. Rain all week; blue field flooded (remember that one, over by where the roller coaster is now?); and on show-day there were tornado warnings in the area. The Highmeadow Campground was almost flooded. It was so bad that most vendors couldn't even get into their proper spaces and got stuck in the aisles trying. It was hopeless, never been that bad before and probably wouldn't again. I had driven up from Baltimore in an antique car and the night before the show, decided to send the family home in the modern iron so they could dry out. I slept all night in the antique and put it on the showfield as soon as they let me. It was raining so hard I never even saw the judges-just sat there, windows steamed up, leaking where I didn?t think it would, and then a hand reached out through the darkness and pasted a "judged" sticker on my windshield. Those were some brave judges! By about noonish, things began to break away and clear off. I ventured off into the flea market just for one last look at the madness. I made one last purchase from someone who was packing it in-a baby-food jar full of spark plug tops. I dumped the plug tops into my bag and scooped up a jar of that famous Hershey Mud. It was famous you know. We used to do a dance called "The Hershey Shuffle" to move around in the fields. If you took normal steps, you'd walk right out of your boots! Took that jar of mud home, made a fancy label for it and for a few years it sat on a shelf in my motoring den. "Genuine Hershey Mud - vintage 1976, gathered from the Blue field at the

Hershey Pa. AACA FALL MEET October 1976-year of the ?big one!?

Eventually, as a novelty, I began taking that jar along with me to Hershey and putting it on display on top of my showcase. It always drew attention-and memories of '76. It was quite a conversation piece, and as 76 became ancient history, that jar of mud became more popular every

year, until?.Someone (probably about ten years later) asked "how much is that jar of mud?" I

explained it wasn?t for sale and the man walked on.

The following year, someone else asked about it, and there seemed something familiar about him. Yes! It was the same person - and this time, he made an offer on it that was quite serious. I was amazed that someone wanted to pay for a jar of mud! I said again, "not for sale." Amazingly, the offer went up! I had to ask - "how do you know its not fake?" The reply made sense "Mister, if it was fake you would have sold it to me last year!" At that point, money changed hands, and my jar of '76 Hershey Mud

walked away into history.

I don't know who bought it or where it ended up, but I'll tell you this-and listen! cause there is an

important lesson here?I don't have any idea where

the money is, but I know that I miss that jar of mud and wish I had it back!

Thus my claim to have sold mud at Hershey. This could only ever happen once. The lesson has become one of my "Rules of Collecting" Anyone can have

money ,but you have to be lucky to have stuff.

So-there you have it. And there are many more great stories so we'll see you around the campfire at Philly. Hey-don't even think about what you are thinking about - I've already got a baby-food jar on my shelf at home labeled "HERSHEY SUNSHINE - Vintage 2004."

Editor?s Note; Thanks Terry, I stole this from you off of the AACA web site..good stuff! While on the Sentimental Tour 2004, Terry and others related similar stories that make life worth living. Cars and stuff are good Terry, but people are EVERYTHING!

Wayne Burgess

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The year was in the early 1970's; Hershey was blessed with heavy rains Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Saturday dawned bright and sunny. We were set up in the flat close to the east gate of the Blue field, and the grounds were somewhat wink.gif muddy.

A young couple came through the east gate: he was dressed in a three-piece suit, she was dressed in something defying description by a male writer. Both had their lower legs covered with the infamous yellow Hershey trash bags.

They were pushing a baby carriage with a youngster of maybe 8 months. The baby carriage made about 20 feet before the wheels were completely clogged with mud.

The young gentleman was undeterred by this issue. He gazed about, and located a vender with literally tons of old used parts. He found, negotiated for, and purchased a pair of leaf springs, and some wire. He proceded to wire the leaf springs to the wheels and axles of the baby carriage, turned the carriage around, and pulled it like a sled.

Absolutely true story. Wish I had a camcorder for documentation!

Jon.

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When I was younger 40-45, I sleep in the car/van what ever I could rent for the first few years. My friend Virgil that I share my spaces with would bring me hot water in the morning to wash up. before that it was kids wet-wipes. Then someone told be about the shower under the track. that was hevan. Now in motel this be first trip back since 1996 i been working overseas and it a difficult trip. But it going to be great to see old friends.

I still prefer sleeping on the field, but I getting a little lod for that now. or is lazy.

Joe

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Not really a story but a funny sign I saw once at Hershey after several days of rain.

There used to be a large swale in part of the chocolate field. Some smartie put a sign in the middle of a particularly large, deep puddle.

NO WAKE ZONE!!!

2 MPH

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Hey Wayne, thanks for bringing the mud story back to the surface (no pun intended). I was away at my Son's wedding in NJ this weekend so missed grand opening for this thread. I do have a couple more good ones that need to be here but gotta catch up on some email and get a good nights sleep. The wedding was fabulous and there are even old car nuts in our new extended family!

More later

Terry

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There are millions Hershey stories but one of the more notable ones was the infamous Yellow Field the year that it flooded. This was the year that the Green field vendors got moved for the construction of Giant Stadium.

We arrived on Tuesday and barely got our rental motorhome into our space just a short distance from the creek. By that time it had already been raining and the ground was muddy. Two more days of rain and vehicles traveling across the field turned it into a quagmire. It was nearly impossible to walk around and by Thursday vendors were leaving in a steady stream and there was a traffic jam on the main avenue caused by vehicles getting stuck and tractors being used to pull them out. On Friday the weather finally broke but it did nothing to improve the muddy conditions. On the main aisle a bad hump with a nice wet spot immediately in front of it developed from all the vehicles traveling down the aisle. On my return from the paved field on Friday afternoon a crowd had gathered by this hump in the road and was cheering on the trucks and motorhomes as they attemped to gain enough traction to keep moving and not get stuck. It was fun to watch some very creative mudbogging. Someone got out some cardboard and an impromptu group of "judges" was grading the quality and style of transit across this obstacle. A very surreal experience that just proves even the mud can't dampen spirts in Hershey grin.gif

Alan

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This story reminds me of another great sign. But it was done out of frustration with the very conditions you talk about.

Someone took a marker and changed the sign from "Yellow Field" to "Lemon Field". shocked.gifgrin.gif

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Two years stand out. In the mid 1980's we arrived on Saturday after heavy rains had soaked the place wednesday-thursday-friday. Late in the afternoon we see a farm tractor towing a Duesenberg across the White Field in mud nearly axle-deep. The look on the car owner's face was priceless. At home, he wouldn't take the car out on a cloudy day. The other year was 1992. My oldest child was born September 14. I talked his mother into spending the day with me at Hershey while her mom watched the baby. It was the first time mother had been apart from child since birth. We pulled into the (muddy) parking lot and I put our SUV into 4wd so I could park away from the crowd. Mother needed to address a "baby-feeding" issue before we could walk the flea market. We had a great day together; and at about 4pm we left for home. That child just turned 13.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">As the day wore on, that tire got heavier and heavier. It began to cut into his hand. </div></div>

SUSAN!!! Them there tires are round for a reason!!! grin.gif

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We did roll it for awhile. smile.gif Then his back began to hurt from bending over to keep it rolling. tongue.gif That's when he resorted to trying to carry it. And finally me taking pity on him and buying that wagon. Oh, it now has blue dot reflector taillights, Dodge Ram emblems, side marker reflectors, white head light reflectors, a blue "Yankee running light" and a bike flag with a cartoon Dalmatian in a fire hat on the back to keep people from turning around and tripping over it. There are some really cute wagons/carts out in the flea market area. One I see every year is a homemade aluminum wagon built like a dragster with big slick tires in the back and smaller tires in the front. It would be neat to do a photo page in the magazine some year with all the wagons/carts that people have put together.

The moral of the story is, if you are going to buy a big, heavy tire at the beginning of the day at Hershey you better have a wagon, a small burro or be close enough to the car to take it back and leave it. grin.gif

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This thread is a great idea. There just have to be loads of great Hershey stories out there. Here is one of mine. In our younger days when we were brave we sometimes took two show cars to Hershey. Somewhere around 20 years ago one of the vehicles we took was a little 1916 Smith Flyer. Thats the gasoline version of the Auto Red Bug. One cylinder, light and very quick for what it was. We also had an Electric Car with us that year. This is when trailer parking was behind the stadium on the asphalt parking lot which is now part of the red field. After dark on Friday night we used to like to take the electric out and cruise around the car corral or the grounds. The people always enjoyed seeing an electric go by, especially with its lights on. This particular evening we did that. In order to get the electric out of the trailer we had to first take out the little Smith Flyer. While it was out we thought we should check it and make sure it was running well so my son could drive it onto the field the next morning (These vehicles dont come in my size). Much to our dismay it would not start. We cranked and cranked and the little car sputtered and spit but would not run. The plug was good, the gas was fresh and Karen will not let me even near the tools for fear of what I might make worse. As fate would have it we were parked next to a fellow from our region. We didnt know him real well but he seemed like a nice guy. His name was Frank Magyar. Frank had a small motorhome and his showcar, a gorgeous 57 Ford Ranchero on his trailer behind it. He heard all the racket and came out of his motor home. He asked what was going on and we explained that it wouldnt run and we didnt know how we would get it to run before the show. (AACA National Meets as most of you know do require that the vehicle enter the field under it's own power or in some unusual cases have performed operability to the Chief Judge of the meet the day before). At any rate we were concerned that we had hauled the little car to Hershey and were not going to be able to show it. In the meantime others started to gather around. Frank called me aside. He said just leave it out tonight and in the morning when you get here it will be running. I looked at him puzzled. He simply said "Dont worry about it." Well a man thats six foot five and weighs near 400 pounds tells you not to worry I guess you need to listen. Our little Smith Flyer was the last complete restoration of a Smith that Jim Altman had done. Jimmy Altman probably restored more of these little buckboard vehicles than everyone else combined. Jim was into his 90's at this time and while still fairly active in his region did not usually make the trek to Hershey anymore. Our Smith had a little extra item on it. Altman was famous for extras. As Jimmy would say "So it costs you a couple of points, it looks really nice!" In this case it was a tiny fan attached to the side of the motorwheel that drove the car. The next morning, assuming the worst, we arrived at our trailer. Frank, was already up unloading his car from his trailer. He looked nervous. I asked "Did you do any good?" Frank responded, "Well, yes and no!" A phrase he would utter on may occasions through the upcoming years as we became great friends. "Carify", I asked. Well he said the car is running fine. I said "And?" Frank said "How important was that little fan that was on the motor?" Frank had never fooled with one of these cars before and truly had no idea. I said "Not important at all, why?" The story went on, "Well you see when I finally got it running the fan just shot off the motorwheel, up in the air, and gone forever" Frank when on apologetically, "I looked everywhere for it and couldnt find it" "I lokked for hours he went on" I said "Frank, dont worry about it, it didnt even belong on that car. I had intended to take it off for judging anyway. So that was the end of that. The little car drove into the show just fine. The next year while walking the flea markets, the ultimate fun of Hershey. We spotted a similar but slightly larger little red fan blade. I ralized that other than being an inch or so too big it did look very similar to the one that had been on the Smith. We bought it for a few dollars and stashed it in the bushes by the old arena. On Saturday morning as Karen, Frank and myself walked to the judges breakfast. I looked shocked and said, "Frank, whats that?" he looked at me puzzled, "what?" I replied that thing in the bush. Frank walked over, picked it up, looked at it. looked it me and said "No it cant be!! I said "Frank, I thought you said you looked for it?" We truly had Frank convinced that this was the little fan that had flown off the Smith the year before. We couldnt stand it though and after a few hours we had to tell him the truth. It was a fun story, better obviously in person than in print but it sure opened the door for us to get to know a very nice person that would become a great friend. Hershey has a way of doing that. smirk.gif

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Dave, this is the type of story I had hopes would run into the 100's! I can not imagine everyone not having a great story. I will take the liberty of adding another one. Several years ago I made the trek to Hershey with a great group of friends. We stayed at one of the "finer" motels that the group had been staying at for years. Each morning, starting with Wednesday we would get up before sun-up, get breakfast (swap lies) and head to the flea market. We were mostly brass car guys and spread out to find needed parts. I had advertised in every major magazine for a particular Gray & Davis set of headlights. I needed the exact ones for my 1908 Oldsmobile. I never got a single bite on any of my ads nor could I find a person who could give be a good lead. Hershey was my last chance as I had hopes of showing my car within the year. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and finally Saturday rolled around and not a hint of the parts I needed and my friends were striking out as well. After walking the car show we took one more stab in the flea market. We were at the very last row of the White Field and had enough. Time to head back to the Midwest. Before we left I needed to visit a Port-A-Potty that was located right on the corner. As I emerged, I saw a vendor who had some brass parts under his table which were partially covered by a cloth. We debated about looking to see what he had and finally said what the heck and went over to see the man. Turns out he was well known to the group and said yes, he had some lights under the table but they seemed to be rare since no one had made an offer on them for years. You guess it, he pulled out two lights in wonderful condition that were the exact model I wanted but a bit pricey. However, one of our gang offered to purchase the lamps in exchange for some parts I had that I really had no interest in keeping! Done...walked over to the Chocolate Field and handed the lamps over to Rick Britten to be restored and made our way to the airport. The flight attendant thought something was wrong with me since I could not stop grinning. My story probably has been repeated a million times, friends getting together in Hershey, looking for the elusive part and finding it!

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Similar thing happened to us. Same field. We had been looking for running boards for our 1939 Dodge Deluxe. We could never find them. We looked from Key West, Fla. into Canada. It was one of the many years it had rained for days so this guy did not put out any of the items he had that where in boxes/cardboard wrapped, until Saturday when it quit raining and dried up just enough.

After the judges breakfast we walked back through the White Field get rid of our jackets. Low and behold, there near the exit from the field were the NOS running boards we had searched for years for. I stood guard over them while Bill went to the car for the parts books to verify they were correct and the right pattern in the rubber coating. Bingo, we had found them. They cost us $680, but now they are in the garage waiting for their debut on the car.

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Last year, near the CCCA tent, a vendor had some pieces on his table that looked like a perfect set of plastic pieces that would fit on the dashboard of my 1940 Packard. Well, they weren't plastic, they were aluminum that had been woodgrained to look exactly right. I asked him about them, and he said they came out of a Darrin, and the owner wanted the correct-type plastic instead. He was asking, if I remember correctly, $300. Cheap, considering that the reproduction plastic runs more than $2,000. I thought to myself that this set would be better than plastic, because it wouldn't crack, and once on the car, no one would be able to know the difference. I didn't care if they did, as they were just going on my "driver." They sat on his table for about a day and a half, and I got cold feet because I figured if the Classic Car Club people didn't think they were worth $300, then he was surely asking way too much. When I finally went back to bite the bullet, they were gone.

I learned this past weekend that the set was made by a Darrin, himself, and that it was spotted this summer on a swap meet table in California for $3,000!!!

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In 1982 while walking through the far end of the blue field, I spotted a sign which stated, 'If you can guess what it is, it's free'. It looked alot like my father-in-law's 1915 Dodge Brothers transmission and clutch. I told him so and was right, so I got my prize. Unfortunatly, I had to carry it to the far end of the green field in the pouring rain. I found a hand truck for luggage and wheeled it right down the highway and into the green field. The distance was over a mile and my father-in-law still has that spare tranny.

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One more.

A couple of years ago I found a Jeager 8-day wind-up clock that fits in the back compartment of Classic limousines: Packard Cadillac and probably more. It was in a tent full of other clocks, so I was extremely surprised that the price tag said just $20. That seemed odd, since I know that if these clocks are working properly, they bring more than $500. Again, since it was a vendor that specialized in clocks, I walked away thinking he knew more than I did and that it probably was caroded beyond repair on the inside. This time, I returned thinking it was worth $20 just in parts. It was still there. Wound it up that evening and it kept perfect time. Sold it for $500. You win some, you lose some.

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That was a good find, I treat a fleetwod with out the swing mount for restored K wheel. i not sure who go the better, but the K wheel was cholate which match my interior.

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