Our community enters a new year this week. While we’re not hosting a traditional anniversary as in years past, we have so much to celebrate this - and every – Saturday morning. It’s about our love for automobiles and our friendships – both new and old. It’s about our history as an extended family.
This upcoming Saturday is a profoundly important day. It’s the first Saturday morning gathering of our 5th year. Our community started all the way back on Saturday, March 31, 2012. If you were there, you may recall the 200 automobiles that participated. As a result of a thread created on a regional BMW message board, the BMW community from the DC region arrived with a few dozen cars. With about 20% of the gathering being BMWs, some gained the impression that the focus was more about the German marques. Quickly, it was learned that there may be bursts of activity from particular subsets of our community throughout the year but all marques – and generations for that matter - could and would eventually appear.
On a personal note, this Saturday is also my father’s birthday. Thomas Richard Williams was born on April 2, 1948. Sadly, he passed away back in 1990 – at the age of 42 – from complications from Diabetes Type 1, a disease that he managed from the age of 8. With an initial prognosis of living until the age of 25, developments in medicine provided him progressive lifelines along the way. Before 25, he was married and the family added two boys. After 25, he taught those 2 boys how to be men.
This is the year, I’ll arrive at 4/2 while also being 42 years old. Through the 197 previous newsletters, I have written a bit about my father’s impact on my childhood and his love – through practical means – of the automobile. While he had exciting stories from his youth that related to muscle cars, family life set the automotive tone of Jeep Wrangler, Volkswagen Beetle, Chevy Chevette and AMC Eagle. I was 17 years and nearly 3 months old when he passed away on Christmas Eve of 1990. Thomas Richard Williams was a strong, highly-intelligent, hard-working and well-respected man of the community. Now that I have a beard – much like my father’s - people that knew him say that I look very much like him. Today, I simply aim to be the man that he hoped I would be. Even though I now own my first sports car, it has a good amount of practicality. The all-wheel drive ’09 BMW 335i is paid off, there’s excellent storage capacity and it gets through the winter snow. The current affordability, reliability and utility would please my father the most.
Dad, newsletter #198 is dedicated to you. To the fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers out there, it’s your day to make a positive impact on those that look to you for advice and guidance. To the sons, grandsons and great-grandsons out there, open your minds, your ears and your eyes to your elders. Use the good stuff to provide some good for the world. Pay it forward. When your schedule is free, bring the family to Hunt Valley. Be it your extended car family or the members of your family tree, we’re all about family.