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NWC History

26TH ANNUAL WOODIES ON THE WHARF

in conjunction with

5TH ANNUAL NATIONAL WOODIE CLUB MEET

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THE COMPLETE AND UNABRIDGED HISTORY OF EVERYTHING . . . . . . . . . .  ABOUT THE NATIONAL WOODIE CLUB ANNUAL SHOW

Pre-Historic Times ….

According to legend and to the author’s vague and potentially inaccurate recollection of conversations with treasurer, Will O’Neil award winner and certified fossil, Bob Stevens, many of the eastern members of the National Woodie Club, sometimes accompanied by founder Will O’Neil gathered for a cruise and good times in Stowe, Vermont. For many years an unofficial gathering has also taken place at the annual Macungie show. For decades many chapters, especially those in California, have held their own annual shows, sometimes attracting up to three hundred woodies and their stewards.

First stirrings …2017….

The inaugural National Woodie Club Meet was held in Dearborn, Michigan on September 30, 2017, after a number of fits and starts expected with any first effort. At your scribe’s first board meeting as national president the meet was not discussed although it was agreed that the next board meeting would be in Dearborn. The board “met” by email and telephone (remember those days before Zoom?) and by unanimous vote decided to put on a national meet the same weekend as the board meeting. Due to a variety of difficulties the president (yes, it’s my fault) announced to the club that the meet would not go forward. Then, thanks to Dearborn local Cheryl Bassett, who with her husband owns the 1949 Ford Woodie formerly owned by United Auto Workers chief Walter Reuther, we announced the meet would proceed. We then leaned on local Michigan members Vince Muniga and Ralph Hancox as well as many others for additional boots on the ground.

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Central Directors Jeff Krickhahn, Jack Boyle and Jeff Hobgood worked tirelessly to make the first meet a success. and it was with about fifty woodies attending. Better yet the club lost no money on this project making it a successful maiden voyage.

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Sophomore Jinx Struggles…..2018

For 2018 your president and your board put on a joint meet with the granddaddy of all Woodie shows, San Diego Woodies’ Wavecrest in Encinitas. Again, the meet was held the same weekend as the board meeting, September 22, 2018. It was difficult, at best, to put on a combined meet, but, with special thanks to SDW members Jim Esposito and Rocky Brown as well as the Western Directors, Wayne Yada, Dan Close and Ron Dugger, your club succeeded. The most important thing with woodies is to have fun. We did and even made just little bit of money from sales at the event.

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Third time is the charm…..2019

On August 10, 2019, your club, thanks to the Herculean efforts of Eastern Director Sonny Perkins ably assisted in particular by his fellow Eastern Directors Bill Quick and Bob Stevens held “The Maine Event” in Ogunquit, Maine. This time we truly got it right with a full weekend of events in spectacular weather on the beautiful Maine coast. There were even four California woodies present as well as a very full showground. It was your scribe’s last day as president of this great club, and I have seldom been prouder of the NWC than with the very successful third show.

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What pandemic????? 2020

Under the direction of the board and President Wayne Yada your club held its very successful fourth annual meet in 2020 at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, in conjunction with the wooden boat show at that lake - NOT. Due to the cancellation of the joint boat show and our host site arrangements, we bailed out with the boats. 

Do-over 2021

Literally everything had to be re-booted so that the fourth annual meet could take place in year five, that being 2021. Despite the misadventures of the entire planet, your club, and in particular Central Director Jeff Krickhahn at the helm and first mates Scott Gilday and Jeff Hobgood, held the fourth annual meet on September 24-26, 2021, at Lake Delavan, near Lake Geneva. A full weekend of activities worthy of another successful annual 3-day meet was enjoyed by all in attendance.

 

At the evening banquet, we toasted and roasted our long time out-going editor John Lee. Unfortunately our new editor, Roddy Sergiades could not attend from Canada due to Covid restrictions.

 

As a club we think we are getting pretty good at this.

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What’s next??????

Camaraderie and good times will exist unbounded in Santa Cruz Woodies. For the uninitiated that chapter’s annual show, Woodies on the Wharf, now cancelled two years in a row, is as good as any car show in existence. Fun is ever-present. Our Santa Cruz Ohana are welcoming us to join them for a spectacularly good time June 23-26, 2022. No shoes, no shirt, no problem. Yes, it really is a party that lasts four days - don’t miss it nor the good tidings.

FIRST THERE WAS SANTA CRUZ WOODIES … AND THEN THERE WAS WOODIES ON THE WHARF

The idea for a Woodie club, rooted in the surfing culture of Santa Cruz, was the brainchild of our Big Kahuna, Don Iglesias. The first meeting of the newly formed “Woodie Club” was held on August 14, 1993, with 13 original members in attendance.  It was determined that the Club would be based in Santa Cruz, but it would welcome Members from far and wide.  The Club became a supporting chapter of the National Woodie Club in October 1993.  The purpose of the Club is basically to promote and share the love and enthusiasm for the wooden car.  There would be cruising, surfing, and many events held to share our passion and have fun.  Special friendships were born, and the Santa Cruz Woodie Family grew and thrived.

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And then we thought…what about holding our own show right here in Santa Cruz! But where could we have it?  We have waves, but Woodies don’t like to get wet. We have beaches but not many Woodies have 4-wheel drive. Wait a minute, we have a Wharf, maybe the City of Santa Cruz would let us park some Woodies on it?  And thus, the partnership between Santa Cruz Woodies and the City of Santa Cruz, Parks & Recreation Department began.  In June 1995 we hosted the first Woodies On the Wharf with a little over 50 Woodies in attendance. In the intervening years Woodies On the Wharf has grown to be the second largest Woodie show in the Nation and the largest event held annually on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. 

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In 2019 we celebrated the 25th Annual Woodies on the Wharf with special events and an exhibit of Woodies On the Wharf history at the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz. Lots of Santa Cruz residents and even more of our Woodie Ohana attended and the celebration was epic!!  

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Little did we know then that it would be two years, one year of “Woodie Wipeout” and a second of “Knot A WOW” before we could again gather in full force with our Woodie Ohana to hold the 26th Annual Woodies On the Wharf.

 

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Please join us for all the welcome events, June 23 – 26, 2022 when, in a very special year, Woodies On the Wharf hosts the 5th Annual National Woodie Club Meet.  On the big day, Saturday, June 25, 2022, Woodies On the Wharf kicks off on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. Come, with or without your Woodie, and wander amongst 200+ Woodies, visit with their owners (many will be old friends) and learn of the Woodies place in surfing history. Also participate in raffles for surfboards and beach bikes, the proceeds of which go to local charities; event merchandise is offered for sale; browse the many Wharf shops and enjoy Wharf restaurants. Stay until the end of the show and watch, or be one of, the Woodies as they parade off the Wharf. No pre-registration of Woodies is required. Admission is Free.

Thank You from Santa Cruz Woodies:

 Santa Cruz Woodies thanks you for your support over the past years.  Little did we know that when the club began, in 1993, that we would be here celebrating the 26th Anniversary of Woodies on the Wharf.  Since the beginning, the club has focused on the historical significance of woodies in the sport of surfing. We have grown from a small core group of Santa Cruz surfers into a statewide and beyond group of wooden car enthusiasts with well over two hundred members. For all of us in Santa Cruz Woodies, from the beginning until now and into the future, we hope that the soul of Santa Cruz Woodies reflects our community and stays focused on the parts of life that really matter, families, friends, and funky old wooden cars!

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