Never Forgotten Memorable Events……#231(90’s)


The point of exaltation was Wichita,  Robert and his Dad projecting a designation in the Chevrolet Blazer to The Darryl StarBird Rod and Custom show featured in the exhibition hall of the Wichita Century II Center.   Both looking forward to the exhibition of outstanding products of the marauding outlandish endeavor that was once an American Idol,  the Hot-Rod.   Gary apropos to the Convention Center,  he and Robert entering the circular expansion and for some unknown reason Dad  misjudged the entrance, instead of the Darryl StarBird exposition entrance, they enter a pavilion and behold a Culinary Arts Exposition.   Row after row of tables laden with divergent culinary cuisine,  an extraordinary presentation of delicacies waiting to be sampled.   Gary noting the eleven o’clock hour,  deciding to preclude their later scheduled lunch, instead  the two gathering a paper plate,  proceeding to gaze with an earnest look but in reality ready to indulge in all the comestible diaphaneity.  Gary and Rob, once their appetency fulfilled, exiting the food pavilion,  acquiring the correct entrance to the Rod and Custom Show.

.  In the late Fifties, Darryl Starbird, a Wichita self-taught auto customizer, was given a commission  to build a custom ’57 T Bird for noted road racer,  Bob Turgeon for  the custom car show circuit. After many weeks of hard work, the customized T-Bird made its debut on the custom circuit,  and was  an award winning  entry.  Starbird,  reflecting on what he learned building Turgeon’s Bird,  located a badly-damaged T-Bird in a local Wichita junkyard.  Utilizing segments from other makes, with diligence it became  anointed as one of the most famous and advanced custom show cars of the era, appearing in 1960,  on the cover of Car Craft and Motor Life.  In 1964 Darryl Starbird introduced the first Darryl Starbird Rod and Custom Show in Tulsa Oklahoma,   starting an explosion to acquaint the American Public with its proclamation.

The national touring Rod and Custom Show having been inaugurated in Wichita Kansas,  the Wichita Star Kustom Shop rolling out its first custom car in the late 50’s,  starting an explosion to acquaint the American Public with its proclamation.  Gary as a teenager,  working at the Mountain Blvd Signal Service Station in Oakland California, pumping gas having a close association with those whom drove the infamous “raked 40 ford” and recalling his access to ride in the 57 Chevy purchased by Oakland’s Bruce’s Tire Company that won the Pike’s Peak Race and was more adherent to the display of cars than his son,  but understanding Rob’s coalescence would come with age.

The StarBird presentation wasn’t only automotive,  but included a display of female beauty giving presence and the  vocal entertainment by Peter Noone  noted as Herman from the British Rock Group,  Herman’s Hermits.  The Rock Group having sold over 52 million records,  outselling the Beatles in 1965.  The father, son outings a memorable one, not so much because of Darryl Starbirds Rod and Custom Show or even the miscalculation discovering an outstanding lunch at the Culinary Exposition, but memorable in that father and son shared a time and place together.

.  Labor Day in Kiowa Kansas is always a premiere event,  the population of 1100 in the small rural community adjusting to receiving visiting patronage twice it size.   A ritual of a Free Bean Feed put on by the chamber of commerce, but mainly administered by the members of the volunteer fire department, including Roger Robinson, Keith Rathgeber,  Bill Duvall and the other members of the appreciative firefighters.  This annual meal consisting of beans stewed in 3 ft. high Kettles, the simmering process starting the night before, served with added condiments of coleslaw, luncheon meat sandwiches and a table of enhancing homemade ice cream donated by the community.

.  The event sponsored booths displaying goods and works of art exhibited by mostly local entrepreneurs,  their craft wares being illustrated for barter,  but among the presenters were others traversing from as far away as Wichita to flourish their commodities.  Gary’s wife Jan, in prior years displaying her ceramic intrepidity, her Stateline Crafts endeavor  having participated in the Labor Day event.   The event was not without a traveling carnival,  snow cones,  cotton candy,  a Ferris wheel, Merry-go-round and other rides,  providing the younger set with entertainment.  Gary’s daughter Marlo, husband  Chris, and  Grandson Garrett spending the weekend in Anthony with the elder Willson’s,  enjoying and making their presence known at the Labor Day festivities.

.  Gary and others recognizing the person who shouldered most of the Labor Day Celebration responsibility,  Bob Hayes,  the owner of the local Gambles Hardware Store, providing organizational credence to the event.   Bob’s full-time service person,  Bill Duval assisting in the logistics for numerous requirements and the  public address systems.   Community activities being programmed, included an old fashioned tractor pull  with designated participants along its route,  mounting the sled to give it added weight as was done in a previous era.  An ongoing horseshoe contest,  mud-volleyball presentation,  and the infamous cake-walk,  the cakes being donated by the residence of Kiowa.

.  Gary having been introduced to the Kiowa Labor Day event years earlier, in 1974,  having made the acquaintance of then president of the Kiowa Chamber of Commerce, Judy Stairs, who was frequented Gary’s band, The Persuaders,  playing at Val’s night light Club in Alva Oklahoma.  Judy visiting with Gary about contracting the band  for an upcoming Labor Day Celebration.  The presentation,  an evening dance to be held at the City Community Building.  The family spending the day,  but adjourning the evening presentation,  Chris,  Marlo and Garrett having to return to Oklahoma City,  the Kiowa’s Labor Day activity providing a lasting memorable family event.


One Response to “Never Forgotten Memorable Events……#231(90’s)”

  1. Recommended Web site Says:

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    A Celebrated Assemblage……#231 (the 90’s) | Inquisitive Quest

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