04 Jul

MOGSouth Name Badges – Do You Have Yours??

[I posted this once before however with the number of new members we have, I am sure there are folks out there that want MOGSouth Name Badges. If you are new to the club, or simply can’t find yours, we’re here for you!! In case you are wondering, they look like the picture below. They are available for $8.00 plus shipping. I can’t remember what the shipping is, so let’s say $2.00 each. If you want one, simply send an email to MOGSouth@yahoo.com and provide us with what you want the badge to say (Name, nickname, Alter Ego, etc.), put a check in the mail to Mark Braunstein (address on the membership roster) and we’ll get the process started! And, be patient. They will take a bit of time to get created and mailed. FYI, they either come with the little magnetic device that magically attaches to your garment but leaves no holes or the old ‘pin it to your shirt’ style! Let me know if you have a preference. Cheers, Mark]

28 Jun

The Passing of Long Time Member Peter Olsen – May 2021

It is with a very heavy heart that I have to report the death of Peter Olsen.   Peter has been a member of MOGSouth longer than I can remember, certainly longer that myself.  And, he was a great friend to me for well over 20 years. 

Peter passed away in late May and at that time, I just couldn’t find the words to describe my feelings or thoughts.  Hence my tardiness in this report.  

Peter and I did many Morgan related things together when I lived in Atlanta, prior to my move to Florida in 2006.   Whether it was showing the Morgans at Chateau Elan in Braselton or getting into trouble in the suburbs, Peter was always up for some fun with the cars.  He gave Andrea her first ride in a Morgan three wheeler in HHI in 2003 and I have it etched vividly in my mind, as it was something quite memorable given the road’s center crown. 

He was president of the Roswell GA British Car Club that held the annual Atlanta British Motorcar Day, and when not committed to them he would play with MOGSouth.  He and Shari were always at the MOGSouth events.   I hate to think of a MOGSouth event without Peter.   His interest in Morgans narrowed a bit over time.

He soon found himself focused on his beloved three wheeler as it was more like his other love, motorcycles, so he sold his Plus 8.   I don’t blame him as his three wheeler was a gem and always quite well received at some very prestigious car shows.    

My sincere condolences go out to Shari and the rest of the family and if ever there is anything I (or MOGSouth) can do, please ask!

Mark

23 Jun

2021 MOGSouth Fall Meet – Amelia Island, FL – 5 , 6 November

Friday (5 November) is travel day.  Folks travel to northeastern Jacksonville, Florida and check into the Meet Hotel.  The Meet Hotel is the Aloft hotel, 751 Skymarks Drive, Jacksonville, Florida 32218.  This is our base of operation for the 2021 Fall Meet.  Click the following link to make reservations.  Discounted Room Rate for Morgan Owners Group South  Breakfast is an unknown at this time.   They may have something, they may not.   According to the hotel COVID changed certain things so I would assume the worst case and plan on finding breakfast somewhere else.  There are lots of restaurants serving breakfast in the area.  

The Hospitality Suite is at the hotel’s bar.  There is no separate room available to serve as our Hospitality Suite this time!!  

At 10am (Saturday, 6 November) we gather up at the front door of the hotel, and travel as a convoy to Amelia Island, Fl along FL-105, Heckscher Road, A1A, Fletcher Road.   This drive should take us about an hour and a bit.  This is a wonderful Morgan drive as it skirts the St Johns River with its scenic bridges, watery vistas, marsh grasses and lots of marine activity.  No doubt the local folks will be out fishing and boating as we go by. 

Once onto Amelia Island we will pass by some exquisite housing areas, exceptional golf course and fine hotels.  This is the home to the famed Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, in my mind the finest Concours d’Elegance on the east coast.    We will follow the ‘round abouts’ along the coast road (A1A / Fletcher Road) and across the various islands to the quaint town of Fernandina Beach, FL.  We will all park downtown Fernandina Beach (parking is a challenge so it will everyone for themselves!) and spend a few hours perusing the shops and boutiques.  Lunch is on your own so find something appealing at one of the many restaurants in town.   Just make sure you don’t miss the boat, leaving from 1 N. Front St, Fernandina Beach, FL (Yes, it is on the water!) at 3:30pm.

We will all board a few minutes early, at 3:15PM.  The Cumberland Island Tour Boat has been chartered just for MOGSouth folks and will cost only 20$ per person.  Again, MOGSouth is subsidizing the costs of this boat charter, so you can feel good about getting your money’s worth for your 2021 MOGSouth dues!!   (Wait a minute!  We didn’t have any dues for 2021?)

The Charter will provide us with a leisurely tour of Cumberland Island and take about an hour and a half.  It will be fully narrated by a knowledgeable guide, giving us the back stories as well as a great sense of the island’s interesting history.   At this time of year there is also a good possibility of Right Whales sightings or sightings of other wildlife as we motor along!

After the tour, but no later than 6PM, we will all gather at one of the Fernandina’s great restaurants for a group dinner.  (Note: we are still working the specifics of the dinner, so standby for more information.)

The dinner should end around 7:30-8PM and we will all gather back up and convoy, again along Fletcher Road, A1A, FL-105, Heckscher Road back to the Hotel in northeast Jacksonville.  Again, there is no separate room for the Hospitality Suite so those interested in continuing to visit will gather in the Hotel’s bar.

Sunday is check out day and the time to travel home.

23 Jun

2021 MOGSouth Holiday Party – Peachtree City, GA – 4, Dec

Friday (3 December) or Saturday (4 December) could be travel days, depending on where you are!!  I would think that folks traveling a long(ish) distance to Peachtree City will want to arrive early, like on Friday afternoon / evening, and get there in time to relax and wind down.  Folks coming from Atlanta or other locations a bit closer to Peachtree City will probably want to travel early on Saturday but be advised the party starts a bit earlier this year!

The meet hotel is the Crowne Plaza in Peachtree City, GA  (201 Aberdeen Pkwy, Peachtree City, GA 30269.)  This is our base of operation.  We have negotiated a reduced rate for the MOGSouth membership, but you need to call ASAP to make your reservations.  Use GROUP NAME: MOGSouth Car Club and GROUP CODE:  NH9 to identify the group.  The cutoff date for booking rooms Nov 3, 2021. 

Use this link MOGSouth Car Club Room Block to make reservations or call the hotel at IHG Reservations at 1-877-227-6963.  Be sure to use the Group Name and Group Code. 

The Hospitality Suite is at the Sutherland Suite on Friday afternoon/evening (this is a one day only location.)  The Hospitality Suite goes mobile and moves to Falcon field on Saturday afternoon!!  

On Saturday morning folks can either take advantage of the hotel’s breakfast or try one of the other restaurants in Peachtree City.  The cost of the hotel breakfast isn’t included in the hotel room rate, but you can buy a discounted breakfast voucher when you check in.   The breakfast is a full buffet, an omelet station as well as other continental breakfast items.   I have tried it, the selection is quite good and the food is tasty enough!  

Basically, if you arrived on Friday, Saturday morning is available for you to relax, sleep late, attend to some imperative Morgan maintenance issues, get gas in the car or visit the various shops, boutiques and neighborhoods of Peachtree City, GA.  It is an interesting place, to be sure!!   If you are in Peachtree City already, Saturday lunch is on your own.  

For those traveling in on Saturday (4 December), just be sure to be at the Crowne Plaza by 1pm. 

Right after lunch on Saturday, at 1pm, we will form up in a convoy in front of the hotel’s registration building and then move to Commemorative Air Force’s hanger at Falcon Field (Falcon Field is the Peachtree City, GA municipal airport.)  This is a short drive, some 5 miles or less.   

Once at the Commemorative Air Force’s hanger we will get situated and folks can take in the Commemorative Air Force’s numerous war birds, peruse the interesting items in the small museum or visit the maintenance shops to see what is currently in work.  There will be folks from the Commemorative Air Force there to answer any questions you might have.   There may be a photo opportunity with the Morgans and the Commemorative Air Force’s aircraft (war birds) depending on the weather, availability of aircraft, etc.   

Then around 4pm we will re-open the MOGSouth Hospitality Suite and folks can enjoy a glass of wine, beer or whatever, etc.

The Holiday Party banquet is a fully catered event and the caterers will be setting up the dinner buffet as we mill around the hangar.   Also during this time the caterers will be passing out hors d’oeuvres (chicken skewers, fried green tomatoes, and seared crab cakes) to whet your appetite before dinner!

Dinner will include all the good stuff . . . Grilled Chicken Romano, Prime Rib with Rosemary Cabernet Jus & Horseradish Cream, Mashed Potatoes, Butternut Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Molasses Glaze, Grilled Asparagus with Honey Vinaigrette with just about everything Gluten Free.  Beverages will be available, e.g., iced tea, water, etc., (in addition to those you might have gotten from our mobile Hospitality Suite!)

Dinner is scheduled for 5PM with coffee and dessert included.  The dinner will only cost you $25 per person this year.  MOGSouth has once again subsidized the cost of the dinner so you should feel good about your membership in such a wonderful and generous club as MOGSouth!  

And yes, we will have a few MOGSouth club remarks (yes, I know!  Keep it short!)  as well as, the Mother Courage Award presentation. 

The dinner should end around 7 and we will all gather back up and convoy back to the hotel.  Again, there is no separate room for the Hospitality Suite at the hotel, on Saturday, so those interested in continuing to visit will need to gather in the Hotel’s bar.   Sunday is check out day and the time to travel home.

04 Jun

2021 Road Trip to Key West Overview and Hotel Worksheet

This document is intended to be a worksheet identifying the hotels we will stay in along the way. You have to make your own reservations at each hotel. Instructions on how to do this is provided in the document. Simply print this document out and use it as a check list.

In most cases we have negotiated reduced rates or special discounts. If you don’t follow the procedures provided in the worksheet document, you most likely will not get these reductions or discounts.

There is only one other activity scheduled during the trip that you have to book ahead of time. This is the Fury Sunset Cruise in Key West. Instructions on how to book this activity are also provided in this document. Be advised there are other activities that will incur some ticket price or entry fees. Credit cards may not be viable in all cases so be prepared to pay cash or by check.

25 May

2021 MOGSouth / GatorMOG Road Trip to Key West, FL 3-10 Oct

The event for 2021 is planned. Details will be forthcoming. This is our third trip to Key West, FL and we learned quite a bit from the previous two trips. The basics of this trip include the following;

  • Limited Number of Cars – Too many cars, means too many people! Something like herding cats . . .
  • No ‘Marathon’ Drives – I am not really interested in getting up and out early and driving until the sun goes down . . .
  • No ‘Highways’ – Mostly Back Roads – The highways all look the same! Only one short bit (downtown Miami) where we can’t avoid the highways but we will travel together and keep the speed down.
  • No ‘Crack of Dawn’ Starts – What?? and not take advantage of the cardboard waffles offered by the hotel??
  • No Formalities – It’s just not my style! You won’t need that tux or evening gown! No room for it anyway!!
  • Lots of Nature Breaks – Frankly we are getting older and need to stop a bit more often . . .
  • 2+ Days in Key West – Need more time to see the sites . . .

The tentative itinerary is as follows (Activities/times are subject to change so be flexible!) Extra Expenses – This is a ‘Pay As You Go’ sort of trip.  Each participant must pay their own way.  Meals, gas, and hotel rooms will be on you, but there are other planned activities that have individual ticket costs.  If you choose to play you will have to pay!!  We have done our best to minimize costs, but this is Florida in the Winter so prices are somewhat elevated. 

  • Day 1 (Sunday, 3 Oct) – Daytona Beach – (Drive From Home), 1830  – Open House at Morgan Dealer Christopher John LTD, Group Dinner
  • Day 2 (Mon, 4 Oct) – Daytona to West Palm – 4.5 Hrs (236 Mi), 1830 – Party Hosted by MOGSouth Members Bennett Shuldman / Eric Singer
  • Day 3 (Tuesday, 5 Oct) – West Palm to Key West – 5.5 Hrs (263 Mi), 1830 – GatorMOG Noggin (Pizza and Beer)
  • Day 4 (Wednesday, 6 Oct) – Key West – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner – On Your Own, 1730 – Sunset Catamaran Cruise
  • Day 5 (Thursday, 7 Oct) – Key West – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner – On Your Own
  • Day 6 (Friday, 8 Oct Nov) – Key West to Naples/Fort Myers – 5 Hrs (237 Mi), 1300 – 1400 Air Boat Ride Everglades Safari Park, 1900 – Party Hosted by MOGSouth Member John Pokorny (Cape Coral).
  • Day 7 (Sat, 9 Oct) – Naples to Winter Haven – 3.5 Hrs (150 Mi), 1900 – Party Hosted by MOGSouth Members Tom and Cathy Coryn Party
  • Day 8 (Sunday, 10 Oct) – Winter Haven to Orlando – 2.5 Hrs (100 Mi), 1230 – 1430 Lunch at Ace Café, Orlando, FL  (Followed by a 30 – 45 mins Drive to Lake Mary, FL), 1800 – Close Out Party Hosted by GatorMOG at Liam Fitzpatrick Irish Pub

If you think you will want to participate send an email to Mark Braunstein at mogsouth@yahoo.com or series1@cfl.rr.com and it is recommended that you do this quickly as the available slots are going fast!

Mark will let you know if you are on the list to go and send you emails as the details evolve and more information is known. Updates will also be posted to the MOGSouth Website at www.mogsouth.com so check the website often.

24 May

2021 MOGSouth Noggin / Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island, 21-23 May 2021 – Report From the Field

MOGSouth ‘Noggin’ and Cars and Coffee at Amelia 21-22 May 2021

We found a new location for MOGSouth’s Friday evening ‘Noggin’ (for those of you unfamiliar with term, per Webster’s dictionary a noggin is (1) a small quantity of spirits or a small mug or cup). Our new location was the Surf Restaurant and Bar in Fernandina Beach, FL (Amelia Island, FL).  And it worked out quite well!!

As is the norm, MOGSouth holds a noggin (or a ‘beer call’, if you’d prefer the American term!) the Friday evening of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance weekend to gather all the Morgan types in town together before the Cars and Coffee at Amelia event on Saturday.   The Surf was the designated spot this year as last year’s location proved to be a bit too cold!  It was a roof top location with a stellar view, but it was also subject to the cold ocean breezes and we froze.  Not this time. It was warm, certainly attributable to the later timeframe (the month of May versus the usual March (COVID adjustments…) Who knows what next year will bring…

But my weekend of woe started earlier a mere half mile from my hotel.  One of the tires on my trailer decided it was time to go and shredded itself all over the road!!  I pulled over and stopped and then after some reflection and discussion proceeded the short half mile to the hotel and parked.  I had a spare and thought about getting out the jack, but then someone said AAA and I elected simply to call and let them do all the work while we sat in the bar at the Surf and drank beer!!  Easiest tire I have ever changed! 

I can’t complain about our new location. In my mind, the Surf proved to be a great spot for our noggin!! Plenty of space, we pushed a few tables together on their patio, and had reasonably attentive staff.  The food was fine, although not gourmet, but the beer was good and cold!  A few rain showers while we were there, however, we were under cover and out of the weather.  

The new location didn’t keep the stalwarts away and it certainly didn’t dissuade a rash of new Morgan folks!!   Even a few notables. The vintage tire mogul, Corky Coker, stopped by.  Who knew he has a Morgan trike at home in Chattanooga?  He certainly does need to join MOGSouth!! There were quite a few new faces.  Some newly joined folks and some folks looking to join.   

I was initially worried a bit about the band, but that proved to be unnecessary.  They were really not over-powering (we were about as far away from the speakers as we could be) and a few of our folks were even caught dancing!  It was all good fun!  I think the YouTube video, already posted to the internet, has gone viral!!   

Saturday morning came exceedingly early, although some were out beforehand, searching for breakfast??  As is our routine, the Morgans gathered in the parking lot of the Surf (yup, the same place . . . like it was planned that way?) early to convoy over to the Cars and Coffee location as a group.  This keeps us parked together rather than all over the place!

We had a few mishaps along the way (my ‘51 Plus 4 lost power and I needed a push, and I heard about some overheating??), but we all got there and were parked in a pretty good location (right next to a food and beverage vendor). 

A beautiful array of Morgans . . . in fact a few spectators thought the Morgans stole the show when we entered the field!  The crowd couldn’t wait and quickly gathered around us, before we even had time to get our chairs and what-not out of the cars!  Lots of ‘knowledgeable’ (some not so much!) spectators and lots of photos taken. I was up and down from my lawn chair, all day, answering questions and letting kids sit in my car for photos.  By the end of the day, and it ended early enough (1 PM, I think?) I was exhausted.  Normally they don’t end the event so early. Normally it’s more like 3PM.   It may have been a concern for the staff and the May heat?  I don’t rightly know.

 

Well, when they turned us loose, Andrea and I headed back to the Surf for a late lunch and a nap!!  As is the norm, the traffic was chaotic, but Andrea’s telephone-based GPS took us (and those following us!) through some lovely Amelia Island neighborhoods, to bypass the big, usually congested, intersections.  A bit circuitous route but it worked!!  We joined two other Morgan couples for lunch and plotted out our Sunday return to Orlando. 

Sunday was another day of trials and tribulations for me.  A second trailer tire let go before I was even off Amelia Island (the steering wheel was vibrating really hard at any speed above 40), so I ended up replacing them all in Jacksonville.   Finding new trailer tires and some place willing to mount them, on a Sunday, was miraculous!  Rick Frazee was traveling with me and was a godsend.  It is always best to travel in packs!!

Looking forward to seeing you at the next event!!

Cheers,

Mark

(Photos Courtesy of Rick Frazee and Karen Bernath)