Cruisin' in the USA is where you find it. With a city the size of St. Louis, you'd expect to find the action somewhere within the city limits. But hard-core CC reader Brian Barner slid us into a lesser-known but no less intense cruise in the nearby burg of House Springs, Missouri, where the faithful have been cruising for a solid 10 years. The Memories Car Club of Fenton host this little get-together, and this year the horsepower helpers have been hanging out in a small parking lot in front of the Stratford Inn at the juncture of I-270 and I-44 at the Bowls Avenue exit just across the highway from the DaimlerChrysler plant.
We rolled into town just in time to take in the festivities, and the locals were waiting for us. This cruise takes place on the first Friday of every month from April through September and has had to move its venue a couple of times for various reasons-and not because of unruly crowds and the inevitable burnout contests that seem to follow us around. There were about 350 cars this night, which seems like a small turnout, but it was intense since the parking lot barely contains half that many. The owners of the Inn allowed for CC's arrival by granting permission to park anywhere you could plant four wheels. Next year the site will move again, this time to a larger facility with more parking.
The fun starts long before the sun goes down with most of the action unraveling by 11 p.m. With this cruise occurring only a few days after the incredible tragedy of the Katrina hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast and especially New Orleans, the Memories Car Club held its usual 50/50 raffle with half the proceeds going to the a relief fund. St Louis area winner Linda Lyecken won the drawing and immediately donated her half as well with the entire $278 going to help the victims of the hurricane. While this may seem insignificant in comparison to the billions it will take to help rebuild lives that have been disrupted, but even half a continent away you could tell that these people cared enough to know that even their small contribution would help. It made an already fun evening that little bit more special.