Graham restoration


2013 Graham Owners Club International Meet

Puyallup, Washington


With 18 cars/trucks and one tiller and around 160 people attending this year’s meet, hosted by Jim and Roberta Heath, was fantastic. Early registration was held on Monday and continued Tuesday morning.


Tuesday afternoon, after a drivers’ meeting, we traveled to the Museum of Glass and the Chihuly Glass Bridge.  Travel was a little slow due to rain, vacuum wipers and traffic.  Also caravanning to keep everybody together is always a job.  Arriving close to 2:00 pm we had a chance to look around and then took an hour tour of the museum.  We then went into the “Hot Shop” to watch them make glass objects and in this case a snail shell.  The stroll across the glass bridge was great with all the different glass works on display. The floor of the bridge was concrete actually but the walls and ceiling were glass   cases containing works of art.  We also visited the US Court Building that had glass art on display.    After finishing up the afternoon tour it was time to go back to the motel and a welcoming ice cream   social.


Wednesday morning we departed the motel after a short drivers’ meeting and headed to Point Defiance Park and Owens Beach.  Beautiful scenery on the drive there and out of the park.  Leaving there around 10:30 am we headed to what we really like to do, eat!  There was a large room reserved for us at        Shenanigans with what turned out to be more of a dinner than a lunch.  We started with a salad, followed by a main course of meat, potatoes, and another vegetable, and then dessert.  Turned out we needed that large meal to build up strength for the afternoon tour at “Lemays America’s Car Museum”.  We spent around three hours looking at a wide assortment of 500 beautifully restored automobiles.  Most of which are low production rare cars.  Back to the motel, dinner on our own (as if we needed it) and then the hospitality room.


Thursday, “The Great Northwest Trek Wildlife Park” and tram ride. There were some walking trails for observing some animals in a more secluded area such as bears and mountain lions, but the biggest part was a free roaming area for a wide variety of animals.  The tram took us all through the park with a guide explaining the different types of animals as we passed by.  After finishing the tour it was time for our favorite activity, lunch!  We were told it would be just a sandwich, yeah, right! It was a very big  delicious sandwich along with chips and a rather large cookie.  Oh well, so much for a diet. On the way back to the motel we stopped at a park in Graham, WA for a dessert social by the local club.  Delicious cake and soft drinks and/or water to drink.  I really enjoyed it as my sugar levels were rising fast and my waste was expanding. Spending time talking with the local members and looking at their cars was great. It was then time to head back since for some to attend the board meeting.  I figured out that none of the desserts count when you are on vacation so later a group of us went to Dairy Queen.  As we were finishing at DQ I got a phone call from a very happy sounding couple that drove their Graham to a pizza place and had a drink, a very strong drink, and needed someone to drive them and their car back to the motel.  I am glad it wasn’t far but at night, through road construction and not to mention the fact that I wasn’t used to how their car drove and besides I can’t see anything after dark (just kidding).  We did make it there ok.


Friday, no rain a beautiful day.  After our usual briefing we toured the Ezra Meeker Mansion.  Mr. Meeker settled in the Oregon area.    He was the first Mayor of Puyallup, author and self-appointed champion of the Oregon Trail.  At the age of 75, accompanied by two oxen, a wagon, a driver, and a dog he made his way to Washington, DC by way of New York.  His purpose was to preserve the Oregon Trail.  He thought he would do this only once before he died but actually made this journey several more times by ox team, automobile and airplane (he lived till he was 98).    Traces of the Oregon Trail  can still be seen thanks to Ezra Meeker.

So, now when you are flying from Washington State to New York sitting in a small seat for five hours and you want to complain, don’t, just think about having to walk it.


After leaving the Mansion it was lunch on our own.  We stopped at a diner and had a small what was supposed to be a sandwich. But remember, it doesn’t count on vacation. Finished eating and waddled back to the car and made our way to the Lemay Family Collection at Marymount.  Only three buildings filled with cars to look at and this was just a small part of the over 2000 car collection they have.  I found the 1938 Graham Sharknose that Dave Stouffer had in Port Angeles that I got to drive.  A beautiful car as well as most of the automobiles that are there. One building abut 300 feet long had racks built down one wall and had cars stacked three high side by side in the racks. Back at the motel “Dinner, who needs dinner” just a sandwich from the bar and a liquid refreshment.  Friday evening was ‘Texas Night’ and the Southwest Region gave a performance with information about the Texas Meet in 2014.  I don’t think they will be on Broadway anytime soon. 


Saturday, car show time but first the “trunk swap meet” was going on in the parking lot with lots of Graham parts up for sale.  Two hubcaps, now to get them into the suitcase for carry on luggage.  It was fun visiting members, watching the car owners detailing their cars getting ready for judging. Well, so much for visiting, I was selected to be a judge. In the afternoon there were seminars to attend and then time for the happy hour before the banquet. The banquet included a delicious meal followed by a business meeting and then the awards were given out.


Sunday, normally the day everyone goes home, but NO, another tour.  Some members had to depart and after we said our goodbyes there was a drivers meeting for our tour up Mt. Rainier.  Beautiful sunny day, beautiful scenery, just a wonderful trip. Sadly the meet was ending and Monday was departure time for home.


Just remember the Australian Regional Meet in March/April 2014, be there!

September, 2014 is the GOCI meet in Texas, be there also!