|Posted on September 27, 2010 at 12:44 AM|
We have all had the discussions in which we wonder where the old executive members have gone… better yet why they have gone. I have some thoughts on this in light of recent events. To be into cars is to be passionate, to love the hobby to such an extent that others find it dumbfounding. Events are practiced and planned without thought to the financial or personal expenses involved. Ten years ago, I started a Porsche club. For three years, I ran the club, planned events, created newsletters and advertised for the club. The problem came in the fact that I had become the de-facto executive and when the time came, no one was willing to step up and run the club. The club had its final meeting in May 1998. In the end I made some great life long friends and had met some incredible car types. There was another result though, soon I found that I no longer felt as passionate about Porsches. By late 1999, both cars were sitting in the garage and I did not want to go to any shows or events - my fondness for Porsche had all but been extinguished.
Eight years later I found myself coming full circle and rejoining the ECSCC, a club I had left 13 years before. Within the last two years I have re-met most of the guys from before, but only tonight (as I am writing this) do I realize how unique this club is. It takes a special person to be able to retain and renew their enthusiasm for as long as some of our members have.
Clubs and events often fall victim to backyard politics, they do not simply fall away. More recently, I have run the Euro End of Summer meet (an independent all club/ forum meet run the second Sunday of September). Within 3 years we went from having 12 cars to 62 cars attending. This year 60 cars started the run, more than 40 were able to navigate the back roads and endure the rain to finish the run. The event provided some amazing views (picture a 3-5 kilometre convoy of European cars) and some fun times. The Club made a strong show with 7 cars and 8 people, the largest group to attend from any car club. Sadly, the complaints, concerns and size of the event have all created a situation in which I feel that the event has lost its character. The Euro End of Summer 3 was in fact the End of the Euro End of Summer run. The event has begun to draw too large and diverse a crowd.
Years ago, a friend of mine organized the first national BMW meet in Canada. Within two years he had sold his cars and was driving a Ford truck, wanting nothing to do with the import car scene, he had simply lost his passion. I now understand how this can happen. Your executive and those who choose to coordinate events make an immeasurable difference in this club – in fact it can be said they are the club. All those who have choose to contribute, thank-you for everything you have done this year to provide our members with memorable times. To those who have guided the club since its inception, thanks for not only the events, but being able to remain enthused. I often tell my students, “car types” are the best people out there and one could not want for a better hobby. As for the Euro-end of summer, it will live on in a new and much more low-key guise. As for me, I have learned that trying to please sixty-odd people is exhausting, especially given their different perspectives. Luckily, I have stopped running the event before I sell it all for a ¾ tonne truck.