Wednesday, November 30, 2022
HomeCLUB NEWSFUN, FUN, FUN! (‘TIL HER DADDY TAKES THE T-BIRD AWAY)

FUN, FUN, FUN! (‘TIL HER DADDY TAKES THE T-BIRD AWAY)

The best way to work together is to have fun together. Lakewood Rotary lives and breathes this idea. Here’s something we’ve been doing for a long time, and it keeps getting more popular.

The Reeder Roadster Romp originated in 1996 when Lakewood Rotarian Paul Reeder took delivery on a shiny new red ‘96 BMW Z-3 roadster. He wanted to enjoy driving it along with his Rotarian friends, so he got together with Sam Hunter (already the proud owner of a 1993 Alfa Romeo Spider), and the “roadster romp” was born. Roadster Romp was the public name. In the secret halls of Rotary, the name for the event was “Topless in Tacoma”! The early days were half-day road trips around western Washington. Destinations included Bainbridge Island and the Bloedel Reserve, Mary McCrank’s Restaurant south of Chehalis, Mount Rainier, and Packwood. The joy of driving in the sun and great fellowship led to longer and longer drives. A couple of drives around Mount Rainier necessitated dinner on the road. After a few years, the Roadster Romp evolved into an overnight trip. And later, two nights. The range was expanded, and a trip around the Olympic Peninsula was booked. Leavenworth and Winthrop were favorite destinations.

One of Paul’s ultimate destinations was Cannon Beach, OR. He enlisted Phil Eng to help arrange accommodations and meals and map out the trip. With Paul’s passing in 2006, Phil took over planning the romp and renamed it the “Reeder Roadster Romp” in Paul’s honor. Today it’s no longer a strict roadsters event. Rumor has it that Ole Magnuson broke the mold by joining in and riding his Harley. After that, “anything goes,” and all club members are invited to participate in the spirit of good fellowship. Recent trips have averaged around 40 participants to places like Hood River, Winthrop, and Whidbey Island/Chuckanut Drive in Bellingham. The John Lowney poker run is always a highlight.

One year, the “roadsters” included three Honda Odyssey vans. The 2022 trip to revisit Winthrop included only one certified roadster, John Lowney’s classic 1956 T-Bird. A total of five “drop-tops” made the journey out of 17 cars and 35 people.

Think you might like to try it with your club? Contact Phil Eng for some of his extensive experience and ideas on making this a great fellowship event. phileng@live.com

“Get your motor runnin’/Head out on the highway/Looking for adventure/In whatever comes our way Born to be wild!!” 
(Steppenwolf)

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