2011 season ends for another year of Cruisin' the Square

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Autumn has arrived and that spells the end of this year's Cruisin' the Square in Lewisburg where on Saturday dozens of classic cars were on display.

The end-of-season show had no contest winner, but there were plenty of automobile enthusiasts who came for the camaraderie. There was no band, but the '50s Ice Cream Parlor/Pool Room was open.

And the weather was perfect. It was a time and place to be and wait and visit among folks from all around.

Alecia Williamson of Shelbyville brought her children to the square where they were passing time before they went to the haunted woods at Andrews Spring Farm on State Route 50, New Columbia Highway.

Caleb, Isaiah, Hailey and Hannah looked through windows and saw their reflections in shiny car paint.

Larry Harwell of Franklin Highway admired the Ford Model A truck with the cedar wood bed owned by Edmund Roberts who took a long time to look at an antique Rolls Royce limousine that's being restored by a mechanic in Belfast for a New Jersey resident.

Among others displaying their vehicles were Mike and Donna McDonald of Columbia who came to Lewisburg in their garnet red 1940 Ford 2-door sedan.

"It'll go 120 mph," he said, apparently relying on another's information since he denied driving that fast.

"That's his toy," Donna said. "I support the habit.

"If I put a dent in it, we'd be divorced," she said.

"We drove it to St. Louis where they had an open house at the Solutia chemical plant in Sauget, Ill.," Donna McDonald said. "It was Monsanto before."

Monsanto had extensive phosphate mining operations in Middle Tennessee decades ago.

With so many automobile enthusiasts on the square, someone had to ask about the work contract reached last week between the UAW and General Motors.

"It'll be a good thing for around here," Ronnie Harwell said. "They should never have shut it down."

GM's pending reopening of the assembly plant is expected to revitalize the Middle Tennessee economy, according to various others reacting to news of the contract. Still, Harwell was hesitant to get excited.

"I don't know how any of them (GM, Ford or Chrysler) can sell a car around here now," he said. "People can't afford it."

Nevertheless, Harwell remains partial to Chevrolet.

"Yes," he confirmed. "I didn't know they made anything else. There's something they call Ford, fix or repair daily."

Harwell was asked about antique automobile license plates for vehicles that are 25 years old or older. They're exempt from the state registration fee.

"You're not supposed to drive to and from work" in a vehicle with an antique tag, he said. "They'll tell you right quick about the antique tags at that office" in the Marshall County Courthouse Annex where County Clerk Daphne Fagan sells and renews license plates.

So, while there's apparently no practical use for an antique tag since they're for old cars driven to and from car shows, the last Cruisin' the Square for 2011 was deemed a success because people just came for a good time and that resulted in "one of the bigger crowds we've had," Jennifer Allen said.