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Report on the December 9, 2017 Lone Star Packards Christmas Party / Meeting- from Tommy Baccaro, Region Acting Director   

On Saturday, December 9,  the Lone Star Packards Region held their annual Christmas luncheon and party. We had a great turn out with 40 members participating. We began with lunch at Gina's Italian Restaurant in Friendswood. Gina's is one of our favorites and Anthony, Carol, and I had selected four of our favorites from the menu to be on the special menu for our luncheon. The abbreviated menu allowed the kitchen to concentrate on those items and the service was fairly quick considering there were 40 of us!

We greeted new member Robert Quinn who lives near us in Seabrook. Robert has a '40 Packard and a '53 Packard as well as a '56 Oldsmobile and a Corvette. In the small world department it was discovered that Robert and J.C. Hairrell used to work together at Ellington. Though he has been a member for a while, it was the first time Bob Ess was able to attend one of our meetings though his wife Kim and their son have attended. We were happy to see Janice Musgrove in attendance and hope she will make many more in the future. The Calistrats also joined us which was good, as both of them have dealt with recent health issues.

Following lunch, we caravaned the short distance to Evelyn Timmins' home. We had our meeting, desserts, and entertainment in the car barn among the many cars Evelyn and Tom acquired and restored. It was a perfect setting and several of the ladies brought goodies to share. As usual Evelyn was a wonderful and gracious hostess. Thank you, Evelyn, for all your hard work in preparation and to the Carters for lending a hand. Jan had us all bring a tree ornament and by utilizing the words left and right mixed into a Christmas story, we all got to bring a new Christmas ornament home. (except yours truly as I forgot mine on a table while I picked up chairs).

During the meeting various committees reported. Rich said we are in good shape money wise, Ben said we have almost 50 members, Jan and Ben did not have much to add as editors but I made a plea to furnish them with pictures and stories about our cars and our activities so they do not have to search for "fillers" in the up-coming Owner's Manual.

Chris announced we would be meeting on January 20th in Tomball for a joint meeting with the Kaiser Club. We will meet at Hal Naumann's shop where he keeps his collection, and like the time we met there before, his daughter will cook chili for everyone. There will be a pot there for us to all chip in to defray the cost. On February 17th we will meet at the Spring Creek BBQ on 45 South in League City. Following lunch we will caravan the short distance to Chris and Jamie's new home in the Sedona subdivision. More information on these two monthly activities will be forthcoming but please mark the dates.

A sheet was passed around for members to sign up to organize a month's activity. I suggested someone consider organizing a trip to the George Ranch as it has been about ten years or more since we visited there. If you did not sign up for a month because you wanted to discuss it or think about it some more, please feel free to call Chris or myself and we will happily fix you up!

It was a treat to see the younger Baccaros driving the Scottish heather and Dover white '56 Patrician to its first LSP meeting since Walter and Pat Trimmier brought it to one in Richmond in the early 90's. It would not even go into reverse when John Lortz and I picked it up several months ago. Chris got the push buttons to work, the brakes to stop, and all the lights to work but still has quite a bit more to do including re-installing the factory air.

On behalf of the officers we wish you a safe Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday season and a Happy New Year.

Report on the November 11, 2017 Lone Star Packards Fall Tour- from Tommy Baccaro, Region Acting Director    

For I don't know how many years, Lone Star Packard Club has had a fall tour. On weekend tours we have gone to places like Nacogdoches and Henderson, Galveston, the Golden Triangle area, Brenham, and the Painted Churches tour. On single day tours we have been to see Richard and Irena's collection in Montgomery, spent several hours at the Gullo Museum, and visited some private collections. This year the group decided on a one day tour. November 11, was chosen as the date and Rena and Jack suggested they duplicate and lead us on a Model "A" tour, which they had taken to the Round Top/ Warrenton area. The Trokeys and Sartins tried it out one day. Then on Saturday with the Sartins in the lead, 19 LSP members and about 7 cars following, we left the Trokey's home in Katy at 9:05 headed through the back roads to the first stop at Neumann’s Bakery in Bellville. The club has stopped at the bakery several times in the past. We enjoyed about 30 minutes of coffee and kolaches and other goodies and then headed out towards Industry. Throughout the trip we were on the scenic back roads of rural Texas (some of the most beautiful rolling hills and farms in Texas). 

We arrived in Round Top a little after 11 AM. Most of you are familiar with the Round Top/Warrenton area as the site of the huge antique fair held there each year. We have made several LSP trips there in the past. This year, the main purpose of our visit was to see and tour the site of the Round Top Music Festival just outside of town. The focal point of the site is the magnificent performance hall but the chapel and homes, and gardens are spectacular as well! The whole thing began in the 70's as a dream come true for famous concert pianist, James Dick. He envisioned a place for students of the arts to gather, study, and perform in a rural setting far from the distractions of a big city. He fell in love with Round Top and moved there in the early 70's. He bought six acres and moved a beautiful old home which was about to be torn down in nearby LaGrange to the acreage, thus saving it. Once moved, a second story was tastefully added to make six extra rooms for guest performers and/or students visiting during the summer. Those six acres has now grown to approximately 200 acres! Some of the original construction was aided by a grant from Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg who owned a home nearby. Miss Hogg was the daughter of the late Texas Governor James Hogg and Houstonians know her mostly for her home in the Memorial Park area known as "Bayou Bend". It is now open to the public and the home, beautiful furnishings, and the surrounding gardens or a must for any tour of Houston. LSP has visited the site twice over the years. Early on Mr. Dick decided his dream would not involve a heavy debt. Nothing has been built until the money was in place so development has been slow. Currently their fund raising efforts are a year or so from completion of an addition to the back of the stage area of the magnificent performance hall. The complex now includes his home and one other, a dorm complex for students, the performance hall which also contains several museum rooms, the gardens, and the all wood and marble performance hall. The performance hall and other structures were all built primarily by skilled craftsmen and artisans from the local area. That was and continues to be Mr. Dick’s intention and it is mind blowing that there were so many people locally that could accomplish such beauty! I am not sure when the buildings and grounds are open for touring, but I expect in the summer when the students are there studying and performing the touring is limited. We paid for a docent to take us on a tour and it was well worth the $8 group fee. There are so many little things and related stories you would miss without the docent.

Following the tour, we traveled back into downtown Round Top to visit the shops and then meet for lunch at a Mexican restaurant on the square. After an hour or so we loaded up and headed to Fayetteville. The Baccaros have been to this little village before not only on AACA tours but we also used our '55 Clipper at the restored Gulf Station to film a commercial for "old time service" for one of our son's former employers. Among other things a visit to Orsak's cafe for pie or cobbler is a must! Just by chance, a group of pickers and fiddlers had gathered around the square and in the gazebo so some of our members enjoyed visiting and the free pickin'. After leaving this little town we headed back towards Katy.

LSP is not just for Packard owners as we have several members looking for Packards and some that just appreciate them. One of our non-Packard classics did suffer a fuel problem. We thought it was out of gas because of an unreliable gauge; therefore, we went into New Ulm and found a beer joint/ice house that happened to have two gas pumps outside to get 5 gallons to bring back. It was a rundown looking place with locals sitting at wooden tables drinking long necks and heavy with smoke. They were friendly folks and the lady in charge said she did not have a gas can to sell but she would get hers out of her pick up if I would promise to bring it back. I will stop and have a beer with them the next time we pass through New Ulm. (However, I won’t stay long because I can't stand the smoke. Former smokers are the most intolerant of the smoke fragrance) unfortunately, the gas did not help so after a long wait they had to be towed home. The car started right up on Sunday morning in the driveway! We think the angle it was sitting on the side of the road had much to do with it not starting.

This was a neat outing because we had three Clippers in sequence parked together several times. These were our '55, then the Carlson's '56, and finally the Darrow's '57. We need to add a '54 and '58 to the mix. Our '55 Clipper performed flawlessly, except with the windows down road noise is really loud! If we ever get A/C added it will help the noise problem but the weather was perfect for cruising even if we did not have A/C. We came from League City to the meeting point in Katy and the round trip back to the coast was 278 miles. We made it into our driveway a little after 7pm. While we consider ourselves fortunate to own some older Packards and we love them, there is nothing like cruising at highway speeds in a Packard V8! Most of the others should have made it home earlier with the exception of the one that had trouble. I hope we can have a weekend tour next year as this old guy did get tired on the way home.

Report on the October 28, 2017 Meeting of Lone Star Packards - from Tommy Baccaro, Region Acting Director    

This was a great weekend for the Lone Star Region of P.A.C. Saturday thirty members of LSP met at the Savannah Bakery and Cafe on Old Galveston Rd. Everyone enjoyed the great sandwiches, soups, salads and many also tried out the desserts. John Eanes surprised us all by driving his recently acquired 1941 120 Deluxe 2 door Sedan. I really liked it as it was the same two-tone green that adorned my grandfather's four door '41. That particular '41 was the first car in which I ever rode! (Of course it was home from the hospital as an infant). In addition to John Eanes' '41, Mike Rigsby brought his '39 Coupe, John Lortz and grandson, Tommy, brought the '53 convertible, Carol brought the '55 Clipper while Anthony and I drove the '40 Club Sedan, Tony and Shirley Darrow brought their recently restored Avanti. I had not seen the Avanti since I saw the body suspended from their garage ceiling a couple of years ago when they hosted an LSP meeting.

The weather was clear and sunny with breezy cold wind; therefore I was pleased with the turnout of 30 people and 6 cars! During the business meeting, several items of interest were discussed:

*Rich gave a report on the treasury (we are sound) and then shared that the $1,000 donation to the Packard Foundation for the restoration of the PACKARD PROVING GROUNDS has been made in the name of the late Dale Musgrove.

* The Sartins and the rest of the "Katy Bunch" have been working on a one day fall tour. Per the vote of the membership to have an abbreviated tour this year instead of a weekend trip. Rena said they have picked Saturday, November 11 as the date for the tour leaving that morning from the Katy area and going through the back roads to places like Warrenton, Burton, and Round Top and maybe other interesting spots. We will eat somewhere, do some antiquing, and check out any places of interest. The date was picked because it was the first date where a significant number of us could make it and any later date was thought to be too close to Thanksgiving. We will post more details as we get closer but please try to make our fall tour. Obviously we would like for you bring a Packard, but you are welcome to bring something else including other collector cars or even your daily driver if you need to do so. The tour will be our November meeting.

* The Christmas party will be on Saturday, December 9 beginning at Gina's Restaurant in Friendswood. Following the meal we will caravan to Evelyn's home for refreshments and a visit to the famous Timmins' car barn! You are encouraged to bring something to share. More details to follow.

* I mentioned that our two year term for officers is coming to a close. We will ask for nominations at the December meeting. I believe most of the officers are willing to "re-up" so a simple motion in that regard would be acceptable. I stated that I would be fine with stepping down but I would like to remain involved in the negotiations to move the Texas Packard Meet back to Salado in 2019 so that it will be more centrally located for the four participating regions. We have a second meeting scheduled in January with the Salado Chamber and the new management of the Stagecoach Inn. Representatives of the four regions will be in attendance.

* I also mentioned that we will pass the calendar around at the Christmas party for members to sign up for hosting or planning a meeting during 2018.

Following the lunch Saturday, we drove about a mile down Old Galveston Rd. to historic Ellington Field which is celebrating its 100th birthday! Being a native Houstonian, I still say Ellington Air Force Base half of the time. It was established in WWI to train pilots for the war and continued in that endeavor through the second WW as well as Korea and Vietnam. It was decommissioned by the Carter administration and is now operated as a general aviation facility by the city of Houston.

Ellington Field is the new home of the Lone Star Flight Museum which we have visited several times before when it was located on Galveston Island. Due to severe damage to the facility as well as many of the artifacts and some of the planes during Hurricane Ike, the decision was made to move inland to Ellington Field. It is a beautiful facility and we were given a 2 hour tour by a most informed docent. The planes are beautifully restored and all of them fly! We also saw an example of the Rolls Royce Merlin Engine similar to the ones Rolls Royce asked Packard to build during WWII. This meeting was originally scheduled for September but Hurricane Harvey and the resulting hardships caused us to change it to October. If you did not make it to this meeting, you need to go see the museum. It is worth your time!

On Sunday, the Darrows, Holzbands, and the Baccaros all displayed at the 5th Annual Congregation Emanu El Show and Shine benefiting the Houston Food Bank. This is really a fun affair located behind Rice University on Sunset Blvd. with no pressure for judging and a wide array of classic cars on display. In addition to those of us who displayed products of our favorite car company, Nancy and John Eudy and Dick Bautch came by to visit. I also got to visit with several friends from the AACA. A big thank you goes out to Paula and Lenny Holzband for organizing this fun event each year as this counts as one of our public service events we do each year.

Stay tuned for more details involving the November tour as well as the Christmas Holiday Party.

Report on the September 17, 2017 Meeting of Lone Star Packards - from Tommy Baccaro, Region Acting Director   

The after-effects of Hurricane Harvey left us unsure as to whether we should or should not have a meeting in September. Finally, we decided to find a central location where we could enjoy each others company and discuss our common interest which is primarily Packards. We chose the Spaghetti Western Italian Restaurant on South Shepherd as probably the most central location since we are spread out over such a large geographic area. We have been there at least twice before and the food was as good as usual and the service was good. The a/c was a little under performing but it was about 92 or more outside. We did have 26 members plus Andy Calistrat and John Lortz Jr. who accompanied their parents. We would love to see them as regulars.

This time we also had a lot of experiences to share regarding hurricane Harvey. Unfortunately, we did have several that were too busy with flood recovery to make it and our prayers and thoughts are with them. The heat was responsible for keeping us from having a good turnout of Packards. This morning I heard the forecast say that we can expect our first real cool front in about two weeks. Hopefully we can have a big turnout of Packards in October for our meeting at the newly relocated Lone Star Flight Museum as well as Lenny's Shine and Show benefiting the Houston food bank the week before. More details to follow.

Rich reported we continue to be in good shape financially. He shared that he and Mike Grimes have been working with the Packard Proving Grounds to find a suitable item for our $1,000 donation in the name of our late friend Dale Musgrove. They are considering a plaque be attached to a restored cabinet at the top of the stairs where the quarters for the test drivers was located. At this location it will be seen by everyone who tours the facility. Thanks to Mike and Rich for working on this project.

Ben and Janice passed around a hard copy of the Owner's Manual. He explained that we are only making a few hard copies for distribution to national officers and the membership is encouraged to print the soft copies or just read it on your computer. The cost of printing a hard copy for all of our members would be in the $700 range each quarter if we stuck to black and white. It would be a lot cheaper, but we all enjoy the colored pictures. Ben reported he would contact Lenny on the status of our new club shirts.

Report on the August 20, 2017 Meeting of Lone Star Packards - from Tommy Baccaro, Region Acting Director  

Our thanks to Lenny and Paula for arranging a great eatery for our monthly get together as well as a really nice up-scale setting for our meeting and desserts following lunch. We met at 1 PM at the Jay's Cafe in Needville, a Rosenberg suburb, where we had a private room and all of us ordered from the menu. The food was great! We were told the desserts were to die for but since Lenny and Paula had arranged for desserts back at the Lake House of their Del Webb community, we passed. The waiter encouraged us to come back sometime just to have dessert and coffee. My sweet tooth tells me that would be a great Sunday afternoon adventure.

Despite the extreme heat, we had 30 people at lunch. It was good to see so many of you. The long distance award went to JC and Sherry who drove more than 80 miles from their home in the Magnolia area. I would guess that we were in second place as we drove 128 miles round trip from League City to Needville. Due to the extreme heat, only two Packards made the trip. Lenny and Paula brought their beautiful 1941 120 and we brought our 1955 Clipper Custom. Our Clipper performed flawlessly even though we were told the temperature reading reached 101 degrees on one of the air conditioned cars! The occupants in our '55 were sweltering on the way home! Jamie, our daughter-in-law, asked Chris if it was safe to drive these old cars in such heat. He responded he was more worried about mom and dad than he was the Packard. Probably we will not do that again until we get our '55 air conditioned. I'm pretty sure Carol agrees with me. Looking forward to cold weather!

During the meeting we discussed a wide range of topics. We have had a number of members under the weather lately and we gave a report on all we knew of. Ben reported we had approximately 45 families in our club and we are still following up on prospects. Rich reported we continue to be solvent and have money in the bank. He also reported that we have had over $800 donated to the club in remembrance of former director and life member Dale Musgrove. The family had requested donations be made to the club rather than sending flowers etc. A motion was made, seconded and approved that we add enough to the donations to equal $1000 and donate it to the restoration of the Packard Proving Grounds in Dale's name.

We had planned to meet at the Lone Star Flight Museum's new location at Ellington Field for our September meeting. However, after some discussion we decided to wait until October as there is likely going to be a crush of visitors after the grand opening on labor day weekend. That means, we will probably have two activities in October as we will again participate in the car show Lenny organizes on the 22nd at his Temple which benefits the Houston Food Bank. This is one of our two public service activities with the other being our participation in May with the Boys and Girls Harbor Show at Lakewood Yacht Club. We will be working on a September activity to replace the Museum tour so if you have an idea please call me or send an email.

We took orders for new club shirts. Lenny will order them and you can pay upon delivery. If you were not in attendance, and would like to order one, they are blue with silver Packard logo for $25 and $5 more for your name. (first name or nickname only) You might email Lenny if you would like one and have not ordered.

I also reminded members that the current two year term for our officers will expire in December. Please consider serving your club in some capacity. Thank you to those already serving. Each of you contributes in a way that helps this club continue to serve our members by providing a community of Packard lovers dedicated to not only having fun with each other but also preserving the Packard name. LSP is about to complete its 53rd year! We are the third oldest region in the Packard Club!

Report on the 2017 National Packard Meet - from Tommy Baccaro, Region Acting Director  Three of the Baccaro family just returned from The Packard National Meet in South Bend, Indiana. I thought giving some highlights would be appropriate, but it was such a fun time that I really don't know what all to cover. By the way, Jerry Ehrman and I were elected as National Trustees so we and our families were invited to the president's reception for trustees which was held on the campus of Notre Dame University. That is probably one of the most beautiful campuses in the country with a lot of gorgeous buildings including the gold dome. There was also an early bird reception and dinner held at the mansion that was once the home of one of the Studebaker brothers. It is now called the Tippecanoe Place Restaurant and it is a magnificent structure!
The meet featured bus trips to the ACD Museum in Auburn as well as the Gilmore Museum in Hickory Corners Michigan. We did not make the trip to Auburn because we had seen it before but chose to do our own tour and go to the Gilmore Museum that day. It is hard to say enough about the Gilmore, a 90 acre campus composed of 7 different museums. It has an authentic 1950's diner, a 1920 Shell station, several barns filled with numerous beautiful cars, a gift shop etc,etc! I If it is not on your "bucket" list to see Gilmore, you need to add it right now! There were a lot of gorgeous Packards in the museum spread throughout the collections. Our national membership meeting was held in the Studebaker National Museum followed by a buffet and a tour of the museum. We had visited the museum approximately 20 years ago when it was housed in what was once the factory dealership next to the old Studebaker Factory. Sometime since then, they acquired land adjacent to the Studebaker mansion and built a much larger and more modern facility housing a many more cars. There are probably half a dozen Packards on display including the famous Packard Predictor. The Predictor show car was the hit of all the 1956 auto shows and was the predictor of the styling for the never built 1957 Detroit Packard. Some of its features were found in later models of Cadillac, Lincoln/Mercury, Edsel and Pontiac.
The swap meet in the air conditioned ball room of the hotel was one of the best ever for me. I was like a kid in a candy store! With a list of 6 items needed for our cars, we found five plus one I did not plan on but decided we needed. (Carol so understands!) I am not sure, but I think the indoor air conditioned swap meet we had at the South Shore Resort at The National in 1998 was either the first or one of the first indoor swap meets. In 1984 when we hosted The National at the old Shamrock Hilton, the swap meet was on the parking lot!
We did not stay for judging day since we did not bring a Packard and I know more cars showed up that we missed. However, we enjoyed seeing approximately 50 of Packard's finest in the hotel parking lot ranging from the 20's to 1957. The Baccaros were particularly interested in a green '52 200 Deluxe that was a dead ringer for the first one Carol and I had back in the 70's. In fact, there is a possibility that it is the very one we owned. We traded it for a '46 in 1974 at the Houston Classic Car dealership. The owner said he bought the car in Corpus Christi a year or so later when he lived in the San Antonio area. I wished I had saved the motor number or something but I did not.
At the trustees meeting as well as the regional director's meeting a lot of business was discussed. The National Club is financially sound but membership has dropped below 4,000. Of course those are family memberships so there are actually a lot more participating than that number indicates. We were asked to stress to our members that membership in The National is required for membership in the various regions. The benefits alone are reason to join. Some of those include 16 publications per year which is more than any other national car club, insurance coverage under the PAC umbrella while you are participating in a regional event, access to all aspects of The National website, club projects, and communications with people in possession of a body of knowledge to help you keep your Packard running.
As we know, none of us are getting younger and this is a problem of all car clubs catering to the classics. We were encouraged to do our best to recruit people to replace us and the first place to start is with our own grown children. After all, in many cases they will inherit our cars. I think we are probably doing better than some of the regions in involving younger folks but we need to keep it up. At the directors meeting, President Craig Handley asked each director to stand and talk about their region. We are certainly not among the biggest regions but I think our numbers pretty well reflect the size of most of the regions. There is no doubt that we are among the most active!
Speaking of Craig, he and former president Steve Christy and others worked very hard to make this
meeting a success. They accomplished their goal and we had a blast.
Report on the May 20, 2017 Meeting of Lone Star Packards - from Tommy Baccaro, Region Acting Director 

Many thanks to Dave and Sandra Lucas for hosting a wonderful meeting today! I regret not taking a head count but I think that we had about 37 members present. In addition to the two Packards belonging to Dave and Sandra, the following people brought a Packard: Chris Baccaro, Mike Rigsby, Doug Carlson, The Eanes and the senior Baccaros.
We had some great desserts provided by Sandra, Carol, Shirley and probably some others I am missing. Prior to going to the Lucas home, we met at Joe's BBQ in Alvin and enjoyed some great food. Following desserts, many of us made way to the car barn which housed a Packard 12, and a bunch of Model Ts as well as Model As.
At the business meeting we discussed several important issues:
Texas Packard Meet: We decided to ask if we could be in charge of the hospitality room as well as publicity for the 2018 Texas Packard meet which is scheduled for Kerrville April 5-8, 2018. Everyone wants me to inquire as to the penalty if we do not return to Kerrville for the next meet. As I mentioned, regardless of the situation for next year, the 4 directors voted via conference call a couple of weeks ago to return to Salado in 2019 whether we stay at the Stagecoach or not. I anticipate that the next conference call will be soon.
Fall Tour: Regarding a fall tour, the month is still not settled but the majority voted for a one day tour. We will have more discussions on the fall tour at the next meeting.
Shirts: Ben and Lenny brought samples of the men's Lone Star Packards logo shirts we want to order and pictures of the ladies' choice for shirts.
Thank you to Karen Trokey and Janice Carter for getting the 50/50 tickets sold and to Janice for distributing the name tags for us. Congratulations to Ron Jordon the winner of the 50/50 who took home $38! Rich Trokey gave the treasurer’s report and we have a solid bank account. Due to the annual PAC National Meet there will be no meeting in June. We are working on activities for July and August
It was a great day, but summer is obviously upon us - it was hot driving with no air-conditioning!

Report on the March 31 - April 2, 2017 Texas Packard Meet, contributed by Mike Grimes, Lone Star Packards Member 

As the Texas Packard Meet concluded Sunday, the morning started with a bang. Tornado warnings, hail, thunder and heavy rain. By noon the clouds had parted and a beautiful day like we enjoyed Thursday, Friday (day of tour) and largely Saturday appeared. Lone Star Packards members attending the Texas Packard event included Carters, Carlsons, Matthews, Ehrman, Myers, Hairrels, and Grimes. There may have been others from LSP so apologies if I missed them. Carter, Carlson and Matthews displayed Packards, all receiving awards.

There were 30 Packards displayed at this year's event and about 100 attending. The peak year at Salado included about 65 Packards and 225 (+/-) attending.
Factors viewed as contributors to the reduction in participation:
A very negative weather forecast likely cause concern.
The number of Packard owners has declined.
The venue location has proved to be a challenge for LSP members and possibly for Packard owners in Louisiana and other locations east of Texas.

The team of Packard club members in San Antonio is looking for another Region to assume some or all of the tasks they have historically managed for 2019 and beyond. They are suggesting that the Region who will assume those responsibilities in 2019 work with the San Antonio team in 2018 to make the hand-off occur smoothly.

At the Sunday morning business meeting and after considerable conversation, the group passed a resolution that called for the Texas Packard Region Directors hold a series of conference calls to address the following four major decisions:
Allocation of Responsibilities noted above for 2018
Ideas to Increase 2018 Participation
Venue for 2019 and beyond
Allocation of Responsibilities for 2019 and beyond

Report on the March 19, 2017 Meeting of Lone Star Packards - from Tommy Baccaro, Region Acting Director

Thanks to Ron and Juanita and John and Vivian we had a great meeting this afternoon in Kingwood. Thirty five members met for a buffet at the Los Cucos Mexican Restaurant on Hy 59. It was a little warm but still a beautiful day to drive a Packard. Adorning the parking lot were Packards belonging to the Lortzs, Jordans (2), Darrows, and Carlsons. Thanks to all who were able to bring a Packard.
We were happy to welcome JC and Sherry back into the club. JC is working hard bringing their 1940 back to life after a slumber of several years.
Ben gave an up-date on the shirts. We will be ready to take orders at the next meeting. Speaking of the next meeting, the club voted to not have an April meeting due to the Texas Packard Meet that month in Kerrville.
About 6 of our families indicated they would be going to the Texas Packard Meet. Our next meeting will be in May in the Alvin area hosted by Dave and Sandra Lucas. We will probably meet for lunch at Joe's BBQ restaurant and then caravan the short distance to their home. We will have more information on the May meeting later next month.
We announced the birthdays for the month. Happy birthday to James Hinds, Rena Sartin, John Eudy, and Jeff Pate. The Calistrat’s provided a cake and we sang happy birthday to Mike Calistrat who will be 90 in April. We were happy to celebrate his birthday today as there will be no meeting next month.
We have at least 6 families that will be participating in Keels and Wheels the first weekend in May. (You will have to come out to see which member will be driving a Chrysler Imperial Convertible.)

Report on the Febuary 18, 2017 Meeting of Lone Star Packards - from Tommy Baccaro, Region Acting Director   

Thanks again to the Darrows for arranging a great lunch and very interesting meeting site. More than 30 club members met at Fuddruckers this morning at 11:30 on Greens Road. Following lunch we traveled the short distance to Gateway Classic Cars. Gateway has several dealerships around the country and I did not even know about the Houston location until the Darrows discovered it. There were over 100 classic cars (unfortunately no Packards at this time) at the Houston location. Most are fully restored and ready to go home with someone. I love early Ford V8's and there was a really nice '47 the same color as our '40 Packard and a really sharp '51 pale yellow hard top. Both had the original flat head V8s under the hood. There were a lot of muscle cars, about a dozen or so Mustangs, including a 2009 Shelby, a Chrysler Imperial convertible and a sixties Cadillac convertible. Carol spotted a '70 Malibu the same color as the one she had when we got married. One of the reps of the company, Aaron, talked to us about how to buy a car through them and how to sell through them. They were most gracious and thanked us for coming and said we were always welcome to come as a group or just stop in to browse individually.

Prior to the business meeting, Shirley cut cake they had brought to celebrate the February birthdays. We were fortunate enough to have two February birthday members in attendance. We wished Ron and Jay a very happy birthday.

Lenny and Paula were out of town but they sent some potential club shirts for us to see in two different shades of blue and two types of materials. Members should make Ben aware of the one desired and he and Lenny will work on a design so we can begin taking orders. The men's shirts had pockets and the ladies did not. Prices are $25 for sizes small through extra-large and an extra $3 for sizes xx and xxx. If you want your name on the shirt, it is an extra $5. Ben has the shirts and he and Lenny will get together to come up with which club logo we will use. The prices include the logo but do not include your name. The Jordans had a few of the last shirts on hand and they gave them away but asked that the recipients make a donation to the treasury. Thanks to you, Ron and Juanita, for ordering and holding onto those shirts.

Our treasurer, Rich, reported that we are running behind on members' dues. Only 27 families have paid and we'd like to get the 2017 roster up to date. Please send a check made out to LSP if you haven't as of yet. It is only $20 for a year filled with fun.

I also announced an about face by me regarding attendance at this year's Texas Packard Meet in Kerrville. I have been asked to be a candidate for the National Board and after several days of thinking I agreed. (Jerry Ehrman was also asked and agreed to be on the ballot as well.) There should be a ballot in Page 2 of the next Cormorant News Bulletin. If elected our family will participate, as there will be a National Board meeting in Kerrville and I will need to be there. Not sure what we will bring but we will look into getting a trailer.

There was discussion about whether to continue having our own dinner on Saturday night or going to the official banquet. it was my understanding from the business meeting that they were going to try to get a better price for the banquet but it is still over $32. Several said they would like to attend the banquet and several said they would not due to the cost. At last year's business meeting, we also asked that the registrar and her group see if the registration and hospitality rooms could be moved to the event center which was closer to most of the rooms and also closer to the show field. I have no idea if that was done. I have been in communication with my contacts in Salado. The restaurant is scheduled to reopen April 1st. Work is scheduled to begin on the Stagecoach Inn itself on June 1st. The delay was caused by the widening of I-35 in front of the hotel. Now that it is finished, a year behind schedule, they will be able to start on the hotel. It is our sincere hope that we will be able to move back to Salado in 2019. If not, maybe our club could just make it a destination for a fall tour and invite the others to participate if they like. Attendance in people and Packards was considerably lower in Kerrville compared to what we have come to expect in Salado. Even though I know several families that are not planning on attending, I think the fact that there will be a National Board meeting will boost the attendance for 2017. I have to say I sold more at the swap meet last year than I have in a long time.

The Darrows, Lortzs, and Baccaros drove Packards to today's meeting. When we left League City this morning it was overcast and pretty comfortable driving. On the way back, the clouds had disappeared and it was hot, but not as hot as in the summer time. It was approximately 60 miles each way and we had no problems at all on the way. However, on the way back when we made the turn from the Sam Houston Tollway to SH 225 it started chugging as I goosed it to get in the freeway flow. Suspecting vapor lock, I hit the electric pump and in about 3 seconds it caught and away we went. Near the house I turned the electric pump off and by then the mechanical pump worked fine. With the quality of gas we have to buy, I don't think anyone should drive an old car without having an electric pump as back up on warm days. The same thing happened a while back while driving our 1940 back from Galveston - the electric pump saved us then as well.

Our next meeting will be a buffet at the Los Cucos Mexican Restaurant on I-59 in Kingwood on March 19th at 1 PM. It is a Sunday and the meeting is late enough that it hopefully will not interfere with church. Thanks to the Jordans and the Lortzs for making the arrangements.

Report on the January 14, 2017 Meeting of Lone Star Packards - from Tommy Baccaro, Region Acting Director  

Despite early week predictions of a stormy day, January 14th turned out to be an excellent day to drive a Packard to the LSP meeting. Eight Packards and 37 people motored to the Ol’ Railroad Café in historic downtown Rosenberg for the January meeting. As in the past when we have met there, the food and service was excellent. Our thanks to Ron and Patricia Orr with assistance from the Carters for making it a wonderful day. The trip in a Packard included the following families: Carters, Orrs, Baccaros, Holzbands, Darrows, Carlsons, Rigsby, and Sartins. Thanks to all who drove or rode there! A reporter from the local paper was there and she took pictures of the cars and interviewed several of us. Hopefully our club will get some great publicity. Jerry Ehrman said the Rosenberg chamber should do something for us because of the crowd we attracted. A lot of people stopped to ask questions and take pictures. It was a great showing of Packards.
During the meeting, we made a presentation to John and Vivian Lortz for being the co-winners ofthe 2016 David McDonald Lone Star Packard Participation award. John and Vivian brought Packards to six different club functions in 2016. The Baccaros tied by also bringing a Packard to six different meetings.
During the meeting we voted to make a donation in the amount of $500 to the Packard Foundation to be used in the restoration of the Packard Proving Grounds. We also announced that it was time to send in the 2017 dues to Rich Trokey. Make your check payable to Lone Star Packards in the amount of $20. In addition, I appointed Ben and Lenny to come up with a prototype for new club shirts. We suggest taking orders for the shirts once a style is picked so that we do not spend money on shirts that don't find a home. We still have a few of the last shirts so kindly ordered by the Jordans but they are very limited in size availability. Juanita said the mens are very large and the womens are very small. Please contact them if you can use either.
Lenny announced he will again hold his car show in late October which last year benefited the Houston Food Bank. Evelyn Timmins announced that Keels and Wheels will again be the first weekend in May and this year the national Stutz Car Club will hold its convention in conjunction with Keels and Wheels. K and W benefits the kids at Boys and Girls Harbor. These two shows have served as our public service activity for several years but we are open to adding others.
We passed around a sign-up sheet for hosting a monthly meeting and the following months have been claimed; February, March, May, and December. Give us a shout out if you want one of the others. Otherwise the officers will work to fill them with fun and interesting meetings.
It is early but we have not heard anything about a Fall Tour. We normally have them in either October or November. The Lone Star Flight Museum is building a new facility at Ellington Field and it is to open sometime this summer. I would like for us to visit the new site when it opens.
We also had some fun at the meeting by surprising Mike Calistrat with a cake for his up-coming 90th birthday! Here is hoping for many more!
We had our monthly 50/50 drawing and Jack Sartin went home $45 richer (can't believe Caroline Calistrat was there and she did not win!)
Following the meeting, we hung around taking pictures and visiting at least another half hour and then all headed our separate ways. I was dreading the drive home as the sun was really pouring down on Rosenberg and I was not looking forward to the long hot drive back to League City. The Houston metropolitan area is so large that all you have to do is drive a few miles if you want the weather to change. We took Highway 90 to SH 6 and before we got to 6 the sun went under the clouds and it was a cool and smooth ride all the way home. We actually ran into fog as we reached Manvel. That is what I love about weather in Houston. Our trusty '55 logged 117 miles round trip.
The February meeting will be at Gateway Classic Cars in the Greenspoint area on Feb. 18. They have more than 200 classic cars for sale. The Darrows have arranged for them to give us a presentation as to how to buy or sell a car through their dealership. We will meet at a nearby Fuddruckers for lunch and then head to Gateway. More information on this meeting to follow.