MARIN “A”S” CHAPTER
VOLUME 43 OCTOBER 2008 ISSUE 10
Marin A's Chapter
CELEBRATING 40 YEARS!
Model A Ford Club of America
THIS ABOUT OUR CLUB
• Oct 12th-Jimmy*s Picnic The Chapter Newsletter, "borrowed" from MARIN A's
The RADI-A-TOR, is other clubs sharing OFFICERS
Golden Gate Park
mailed to all members, their newsletter with
the MAFCA Chapter Co- us. We are also happy President:
• Get 16th-Highway
ordinator, and other - to allow them to use Rich Zell
Chapters of MAFCA on a are articles in their
reciprocal basis. publications. Vice Pres.:
• Oct 16th-Marin A's Neil Blank
Meeting Contributed Articles or
inquiries should be sent Secretary:
•October Tour will be held directly to the editor: Ronni Zell
November 2nd! Neilgblank@yahoo.com
ANNUAL DUES Treas.:
HOW TO CONTACT US Acceptable want-ads Are $20.00 (single or
are published free of family). Membership Editors: Neil &
Marin A's charge. Articles in this in the Model A Ford Bonnie Blank
Chapter publication express the Club of America is a
MAFCA opinion of the author, prerequisite. Sunshine:
and do not necessarily Claire Villa
P.O. Box2864 San
reflect the Chapter or
Rafael, CA the MAFCA member- Tour Director:
ship as a whole. Per- MEETINGS Jerry Lakos
mission is granted to
President's Report other publications to Are held at 7:30 P.M. Historian :
copy material from the on the third Thursday Norma
RADI-A-TOR providing of each month at al- Baumsteiger
Announcements/Upcoming Events credit is given. ternate members'
Advertisers Neil Blank
Notice: some material
such as jokes, pictures,
diagrams and other in-
formation is sometimes
MONTHLY MONTHLY MEETING
10/16— TheA's monthly meeting will
10/16— The A's be held at the home of Bonnie & Neil
monthly breakfast will Blank, 146 Yolo St, Corte Madera at
7:30pm. Please RSVP so Neil can
be at Star Restaurant
bake enough pies!
in Novato, after the 924-3550 Bring un-
Highway Cleanup. wrapped toy if you can't
attend Nov. brekakfast
Call the Halseth's at
"Oct." tour is BIRTHDAYS
in November at 1st-Sandy Hanus
the Bocce courts in San 4th-Dart Rinefort
Rafael. See insert for 8th-Tom Solis/Finis Smith
further lOth-Carlo Canziani 13th-
BiIl Cassels 26th-Gwen
information. RSVP to Villa
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
Dec. 12—December Holiday Party with Napa A's at the Culi-
nary School. Meet at the Zells at 10:00 am....drive old car if
at all possible!! Students were disappointed that we
didn't bring them last year. $20 per person. Bring $$
for raffle. Great prizes (we will be contributing a
few) and the proceeds go to the students. Super
*** November 2nd ***
Bocce Tour and Potluck lunch
Meet at the Veterans Memorial Building parking lot (near the statue) at 9:30 Sunday
morning. If you plan on visiting Mar in Farmers' Market, you can come early. We will
leave at 9:45 for a short tour through China Camp and East San Rafael area before
arriving at the bocce courts for a little competition and a lot of fun.
If you are not going to tour with the group but meet at the bocce courts, we plan to
be there by 10:30. The address there is: 550 W B" Street, San Rafael. Parking will
be behind the courts on Albert Park Place (one-way street just past the facility). The
side gate will be open.
Please RSVP to the Vaio's by Friday, October 31 st at 479-7282 or
Bring something to barbecue for lunch (we'll have barbecue and sausages) and a dish to
share; an appetizer, salad, or dessert. Also, bring your own favorite beverage, and
**Don't forget that daylight savings time will change the night before!!
PRESIDENTS REPORT page by page or issue by issue. You
can enlarge any portion of the page or
Our September Breakfast Tour to the increase or decrease the resolution of
Peppermill in Petaluma was well the image. In short, I loved it. Some
attended and we had a good breakfast. people may want to purchase a full
Bob Johnson of Novato attended our collection of back issues when one
breakfast and brought along a copy of becomes available. But even if I had a
the recently released DVD of the first complete collection of Restorer
ten years of the Restorer Magazine, magazines I think I would still want to
1956 -1966. This DVD is available from have this DVD for the ease of locating
MAFCA thanks to Bob1 s generous specific articles or issues. I took the time
donation of his time and expertise in to view the DVD on my home computer,
creating this DVD. which is an IBM type PC and then I took
it over to Denver's house and tried it on
For those of you who have not met Bob, his Macintosh just to see the difference.
he is a long time MAFCA member and It worked well on both machines. I fully
Model A enthusiast. He was gracious intend to order one for myself and will
enough to loan me a copy of the new be asking if others in the club would like
DVD so that I could load it into my me to place an order for them at the
computer dvd drive and peruse his same time so that we can save on
handiwork. I had a great time looking shipping.
through the early issues of The
Restorer. Remember that this was when Bob tells me that he is working on the
the club was first created. I didn't take next ten years of Restorers and
the time to read many of the articles but hopefully we will one day be able to
I intend to once I get my own copy. The purchase the full set of back issues on
photos are great and it's fun to see a!! DVD. Many thanks to Bob Johnson for
the photos of club activities back then. It his work on behalf of MAFCA and the
was also a little amazing to see how Model A hobby. It is people like Bob who
young all of the members looked back are helping to keep MAFCA a modem
then. and progressive organization which aids
the Model A enthusiast and encourages
I have to admit that I was very the growth of the hobby.
impressed with the DVD. I can't imagine
having these early issues recorded in a
more user friendly format. You can use
the index to locate articles on any -Rich
subject. You can skip through the issues
Minutes of the Meeting of September 18,2008
The September meeting was held at the Villa home in Novato. Attending were the R. Baumsteigers, Norma
Baumsteiger, the Blanks, the Canzianis, Pat Donlan, Lester Foote, Bruce Friedberg and Madelyn Baran, the Hal-
seths, Alex Herrera, Jerry Lakos, the Lewetzows, the Seekers, the Vaios, the Villas, the D. Wilsons, Peg Wilson,
the Zells and special guest Bob Johnson. After thanking our hosts Rich congratulated the September birthday
celebrants including Norma (9/16), Rich B (9-18) and Arlene (9-29). Denver then gave the Treasurer's report
which was accepted without discussion. Denver later asked for permission to go through past financial papers and
shred unnecessary paperwork. Permission was granted.
Communications were next. Rich read highlights from the MAFCA Board meeting and the Chapter Coordinator
Newsletter. The Diablo A's sent notice of availability of a series of technical seminar DVDs. There are 10 discs at
$24.95 each or all for $224.95 (free shipping & no tax on set). No one was familiar with the quality of the set but
the order information will be in the Radiator. The Early Ford Club sent notice of a swap meet at All Ford Parts on 9-
28-08. Rich also passed around a letter of introduction from Jim Morris, Candidate for MAFCA Board.
Old business had Rich encouraging members to vote for Board members and reminding them that membership in
MAFCA is a requirement of our bylaws. The September tour is set for Sunday, Sept. 21. We are to meet at the
Villas at 9 AM and then will proceed on a leisurely route to Tony's Restaurant in Marshall. The Blanks will lead the
tour. Marilyn reported on the charity event set for November. Members should bring unwrapped toy(s) for children
aged 1 thru 12 to either the October meeting or the November breakfast. The donations will be delivered to Valley
Toys & Joys after the breakfast at the Two Bird Inn. Marilyn also reported that she has scheduled a highway
cleanup for October 16, with a Star breakfast to follow. This is the same day as the monthly meeting which will be
held at the Blank's home. Because of this breakfast it was decided that there would not be a breakfast on the 2nd
Thursday of the month.The annual MAFCA Meeting in Mesa Arizona will be attended by the Zells, the Canzianis
and the Villas.
Under new business, Rich reported on the DVD that Bob Johnson has produced for MAFCA. The DVD contains
the complete first ten years of the Restorer. Rich reviewed the DVD and reported that is extremely "user-friendly"
and informative . Ronni said that she and Rich would put in an order for the DVDs and bring them to the next
event. After a show of hands, 7 copies will be ordered,
Jerry took the floor and informed us that Sam Leach of the Napa A's has invited our club to join them again this
year for a lunch at the Culinary School on Friday, December 12th. We will again provide gift baskets for the raffle to
benefit the school. Claire and Bonnie volunteered to create the baskets. The price is $20/person and we will leave
Novato at 10 AM. More information will be forthcoming. The Rineforts sent notice of their annual open house
featuring their spectacular garden railroad scheduled for this coming Sunday. Rich also reminded members that
officer nominations will be in November. He also said the current officers (President, Vice President, Secretary and
Treasurer) have been in office for six years and it is time for others to consider serving the club. The editors are
also looking to be relieved of their position.
Next, Bob Johnson headed a discussion concerning our interest in setting up a website. He said we need to pur-
chase a domain name and then locate our website on a server. Rich and Bruce offered to assist Bob with setup.
Bob will set up a temporary site on his server to work with. Linda reported that the October bocce tour will actually
take place on November 2. It will start at the Veteren's Memorial Building and end at the bocce courts with a pot-
luck meal and games. She also mentioned that there will be a charity event at the courts on October 4th and any-
one is welcome to attend.
Anni relayed greetings from Mary Lee Cassells. Mary Lee said that she and Bill look forward to the monthly news-
letter and greatly miss their Marin A friends. She also reports that Bill has "unretired" and is once again working for
NASA as an attorney. Jerry took the floor and suggested that the club consider Jackson and lone as a destination
for a future tour. It was mentioned that we had been to lone on an overnight tour led by Ron Grassi but the con-
sensus was that the spot was defmately worth revisiting. Neil then mentioned the NCRG Round-up in May 2009.
The meet will be hosted by the Sparkin' A's and promises to be a good one. He suggested early registration and
said that the Embassy Suites was quickly filling up for the event. Jerry suggested that members with vacation
homes in the area may be an option.
Norma had the final say of the meeting when she continued the saga of the Diary of Stanley Page. She read the
pages taking us with the 1909 Packard from Zurich to Lanesburg. The trials and tribulations of the three men in-
volved is really very interesting.
The meeting was adjourned. Door prizes were won by Lester, Barbara and Linda. Banana splits & coffee followed.
Respectively submitted, Ronni Zell
MARIN A's TOUR TO TOMALES
Last Sunday morning was a day made for a Model A tour. The sun came up straightaway
in a blaze of glory over the Oakland Hills. No fog to burn off, just a dazzlingly, clear blue sky.
The Marin A tour group was to assemble at 9 AM at the Canzianni's up in Novato so I thought
we should leave early. It took me some time to get to their neighbor's, the Villa's, the previous
week for the Marin A meeting. Even driving to the meeting in the family car, a Prius (also
known as 'the Pius5 to owners who consider themselves 'holier than thou' to less 'green' mere
mortals searching for better gas mileage) it took me close to an hour for the 20 mile drive, albeit,
in rush hour.
With great anticipation, the regular angst one has on beginning a trek in a Model A, my wife,
Deb, and I headed north from San Rafael up Hwy 101 to Novato. Through town and up the ramp
to the highway everything was running well. I had checked the oil and water, transmission fluid,
and made sure my trusty tool box was stashed in the rumble seat and was feeling secure about
our excursion that would take us through north Marin and over to Marshall for a lunch of
All systems were a go until we approached the Hamilton Field exit. A strange smell filled
the cab of the coupe. Then, smoke began to push through the interior. I, immediately, cut the
ignition and coasted to the side of the road. The smoke continued to waft up through the floor
board and out the windows.
I didn't even think to grab the fire extinguisher but directly raised the hood expecting to see
an electrical fire. Much to my relief the cause of the alarm was an oily rag laying on top of the
exhaust manifold. There was no blaze, just the smoldering cloth with a few embers on the edges.
I removed the rag before it got to the flash point and unfolded it in order to quench the onset of
flames. Much to my embarrassment, even in front of Deb, the rag turned out to be an old pair of
underwear, not just any underwear, but a pair of panties—as in female undergarment. I had always
kept a rag stashed under the hood, cramped under the fold-out hood retainer for the purpose of
wiping off the dipstick when I checked the oil level. Don't get me started on the connection of
the terms 'dipstick' and 'panties'.
Deb and I had a good laugh about the burned underwear until she noticed the label. Seems
that she didn't wear that brand or model. And, they were not thongs, more like passion busters.
Senior moment aside, I had flash backs as to the origin of the hot pants. I am a collector and the
first thought was that I might still be in the '28 Roadster I drove in high school. Wishful thinking
from an acne riven, slide rule toting, teenage nerd. Talk about a card carrying, walking dipstick.
Fortunately for me, Deb remembered that she had tried that brand once and didn't like them,
hence their ending up in the rag pile. Burned as they were they would still be useful and,
remembering Marilyn Halseth's highway clean up, I couldn't just discard them on the road side.
Therefore, the almost flaming and very singed panties are back ensconced under the hood of the
coupe ready to clear oil off the old dipstick.
The rest of the tour went off swimmingly, great ride through the north Marin, south Sonoma
County countryside. Over the hills and through the dells. Beautiful scenery, great company,
good conversation. We even had time to participate in a sidewalk sale in Tomales (actually there
are very few sidewalks in Tomales). Annie and Carlo got a whole box of goodies, Deb got some
books, Bonnie got a presidential campaign refrigerator magnet -cool, and I got a wool turtle neck
sweater for $3. Good deals all the way around.
An especial thanks to Neil and Bonnie Blank for a more than successful and very enjoyable
MARCONI CONFERENCE During World War I the U.S.
CENTER Government appropriated control of the
facility but at war's end returned the
station to the Marconi Company and
Following our wonderful lunch at
5 Station KPH. The Radio Corporation of
Tony Oyster Restaurant in Marshall., our
America (RCA) bought the facility in
little band of A's continued down the
1920 and continued with gradually
road to the Marconi Conference Center
decreasing communications until 1947.
and State Historical Park. Tour guide
And then came Synanon,
Neil Blank filled us in on some of the
originally a drug rehab organization,
history of this beautiful property while
which later evolved into an "alternative
Bonnie took photos of the place and the
lifestyle community" (Do we read
hippie?) The tiny Point Reyes Light
Shortly before the turn of the last
newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for
century a young Italian named
exposing the shenanigens that went on
Guglielmo Marconi began
there. During the Synanon period many
experimenting with electromagnetic
other buildings were added to the area.
waves in the attic of his parents home in
In 1980 the property was
Bologna, Italy. He continued his
purchased by the San Francisco
experiments as he progressed from being
Foundation with the use of Buck Funds
able to transmit a radio message across
and was later transferred to the
the room until he could send one across
California State Parks Foundation. It has
an ocean. He was awarded the Nobel
since been turned over to the State of
Prize for Physics as a result of his
California as a conference center.
accomplishments. Radio communication
Aside from the originally
was a competitive field in those days and
building which is off limits there are
after a series of lawsuits Marconi's assets
many other nice buildings available for
included many ship-board installations
overnight guests and for conferences.
and some 70 land stations, one of which
Rates range from $111 to $250 per
was KPH, San Francisco's first radio
person per night including three meals
per day. Conference rooms are an
To achieve a signal powerful
additional expense ranging up to $300
enough to cross the Pacific Ocean he
depending on the size, etc. Information
acquired property on the Marin coast -
can be found on the internet by logging
specifically in Marshall and across the
on to Marconi Conference Center,
street from Tomales Bay. Sending and
receiving stations were built and the two
Neil added his own tales of this
story staff and visitors hotel complete
magnificent property. This is his area to
with thirty- five rooms, a library, game
cover during the annual Marin bird count
room, lounge and dining hall. Other
on the Sunday prior to Christmas. A
buildings needed to run the operation
raven hailed to him as we gathered in the
were built nearby. Sadly the main
parking area. Did he recognize Neil?
building is now closed and in a
deteriorating state of disrepair. Perhaps
if California ever resolves its budget
problems money will be found to restore
this building to its former glory.
SEPTEMBER TOUR TO
Our A’s in front of Tony's
The famous panties rag .....
Lined up and ready to so.... Lunch was great
On the road again .....
At the Marconi Center
Since the October Tour has been moved to the first weekend in November, I thought this would be
something we could participate in either as a club event or as individual entries, I am planning to
enter this event with my A and would encourage anyone else interested to give me a call. We can
leave from our house (very early, starts at SUNRISE!) or meet there. Give us a call (924 3550) and
let's have some fun! Neil Blank
Welcome to Jimmy's Old Car Picnic!
Jimmy's Annual Old Car Picnic started twenty years ago in 1988
when classic car-loving friends got together in Golden Gate Park,
It has since grown into the largest and longest-running show of
its kind in San Francisco and includes cars, trucks, and
motorcycles of all types, as well as a good number of oddballs....
For a $20 donation, which includes admission and other goodies,
participants can park on Speedway Meadow's lawn. The money
we raise benefits the SF Recreation & Park Department's
Adaptive Recreation Programs for the developmental^ disabled.
Bring your family! Bring your camera!
Bring a picnic lunch or BBQ! We
welcome rat rods, lowriders,
perfectly restored cars, historic
vehicles, clunkers and beaters,
motorcycles, race cars, fire trucks,
cars that only go out on Sundays, all
kinds of customs, steamboats....!
Vehicles should be pre-1972. If
you have any questions about this,
Please support our Advertisers.
They Support our Club.
BOX 2864 SAN