Car enthusiasts roll in for local benefit show
By BECKY MALEWITZ
Sporting a tan hat with cars pictured on the front and the words "my toys," written above, Lawrence Miller and his son, Tom, sat next to Lawrence's 1941 Studebaker Champion Saturday afternoon at the Emmaus House Car Show.
This isn't the first time the Holcomb resident has shown cars at the annual show, but it marked the first time he brought out the '41 Champion.
"I got like 30 Studebakers, and I try to show one every year. This one's never been here before, but it's been to a lot of other car shows," Miller said. "I got a lot of trophies on it. I got more trophies than I got brains. I don't know what to do with all the trophies."
Despite the array of Studebakers Miller owns, the car he brought to Saturday's show holds special meaning to him.
"That one there is identical to my first car when I was 15. I didn't have it two weeks, and I rolled it and wrecked it," he said. "I had to get another one when I got older, so this is identical to that."
Miller's Studebaker was among 51 vehicles shown at the car show at the Finney County Exhibition Building.
"Everybody's welcome. We don't care if you got a GMC, a Ford, a Chevy or a Harley Davidson. We don't care if you come in on a bicycle. Everyone's welcome. I think that is one thing we are proud of; we welcome everybody to come to the show," said Laurie Gerber, Emmaus House Car Show board member. "Thanks to the snow Friday, which we aren't supposed to get this time of year, we are probably 30 cars shorter than usual."
Despite a smaller turnout, the show went on as planned with trick or treating for the kids, live and silent auctions, a brisket dinner, Sunday morning church and awards for the vehicles.
"We do have a good following. It's really a nice family affair. We really do try to make it family friendly, so that is why we don't charge for admission. But we do ask for donations," Gerber said. "It's a really nice, relaxed atmosphere, and there is a little bit of competition, but it's all in fun. It's not the cut-throat type of thing you see some other places, and the car people know this is going for a good cause, and they are really generous with the house."
Alan Scott has been bringing his '72 Malibu down from Dighton for the past six or seven years. Over the weekend, he spent time with his son-in-law talking about his car.
"It was my wife's folks, and we got it from them when they both passed away, and we had it refinished," Scott said. "I like to brag on it."
Ryan Suderman, 19, was at Saturday's show with his '63 Chevy pickup while his grandfather had his '59 Corvette on display.
"My dad and my grandpa, they always liked them. I always liked them," Suderman said as he walked around the show with his father.
The family atmosphere is something that Gerber and the Emmaus House Car Show board has tried to cultivate since beginning the car show 11 years ago.
"It's really neat to see the kids and the grandkids, and it's always neat to see the works in progress from year to year until it's done. There is a lot of history in a lot of these cars. It's nice to talk to people to get their stories. Even if you don't know anything about cars, the history about the vehicle is really cool," she said.
So for Lawrence Miller, who has shown his Studebakers at car shows all over the U.S., what keeps him coming back to the Emmaus House Car show?
"Sitting around shooting the breeze with all my friends. See who can tell the biggest lie," he said jokingly.