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)

14 May

2021 MOGSouth Noggin / Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island (21-22 May 2021)

MOGSouth will now have the Noggin on Friday evening (May 21, 2021) at the Surf Restaurant along A1A, 3199 S. Fletcher Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL.

The location for the Friday evening MOGSouth Noggin is new this year. Last year’s location had certain advantages but there were also some disadvantages.

We will convene the MOGSouth Noggin around 5 PM at the Surf Restaurant.

We haven’t used this location for the Noggin before, but the staff seems excited to have us there.

The menu looks quite good and there appears to be sufficient parking. They have us on their patio (outside but there is covered space if needed) so if the weather doesn’t cooperate, I would recommend bringing a jacket or wind breaker.  Also, I don’t know what the regional virus requirements will be, so do bring a mask.  And, please don’t come if you are feeling ill or have any symptoms.

The Saturday Cars and Coffee event (May 22, 2021) will be held as usual, the Saturday following the MOGSouth Noggin, the day before the big Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, May 23, 2021.  You must have applied, paid your fee and received back an acceptance ‘ticket’ in the mail.   Bring this ticket on Saturday. Without this, they will not let you show your car, however you can attend as a spectator.   

As is the norm, all the Morgans will rendezvous on Saturday morning at 0730 (yes, I know this is early but . . . ), before the Cars and Coffee event. (There is parking in the lot out front of the Surf Restaurant, as well as behind the restaurant. Note: We will only stay a few minutes and then head off to the Cars and Coffee location.)  This will give us sufficient time to drive to the Cars and Coffee event and get parked together in the designated Morgan area. 

If you miss our little convoy (we will leave the Surf NLT 0800 Saturday morning) you may not be parked with the Morgans.

Cheers,
Mark

11 May

2021 MOGSouth Spring Meet – Little Switzerland, NC, 7-9 May – Report from the Field

It was hard to tell what sort of meet we would have given the external influences of the moment.  Well, 50 people and 22 Morgans say a lot!  It was grand!   The weather was cool (in the 40s and 50s) and very much appreciated by those of us escaping the high 80s of Florida. 

The cars behaved . . . for the most part, with only a few Morgan gremlins lurking about.  An intermittent starter problem, a gas guage with a mind of its own, and a few unknown gremlins saving themselves for the trip home.  A lovely array of cars!!  We had three Aero 8s, an AeroMax, two Plus 4 Drop Head Coupes, three Plus 4, 4 Seaters, at least three 4/4s (I think another one might have been lost along the way?), a good number of Plus 8s (one turbo!) and both new (3.7L) and old Roadsters (3.0L).  Even a brand new Plus 4!   As someone said, ‘eye candy!’

Little Switzerland is situated right off the Blue Ridge Parkway and a few high-octane twisty mountain loops that will certainly elevate your blood pressure, in a lovely spot in the North Carolina mountains.   

The Meet was designed to be low key.  No activities were mandated but we did want to stay in compliance with the safety policies of the region and the hotel.   

Mostly, our plans seemed to have worked.  Folks had their choice of drives on Saturday and an afternoon to investigate the lovely mountain vistas, local shops and villages.  Our Hospitality Suite was a separate cabin and, as it the norm, it was full of folks reminiscing about past meets and planning future outings.   We haven’t been all that social of late, so everyone seemed to be in great spirits and happy to be out and about.   

We had a group photo with the cars in the lot and the North Carolina mountains in the background.  All were amazed we didn’t lose a car or two down the hill!  How about those handbrakes? 

The planned outside dinner was rewickered and held in the main hotel dining room.  It was just a tinge too cold for us to hold it outside; but the hotel was accommodating, and they quickly put us inside the main dining room.  That worked out well.   The dinner was exquisite, the views stunning, and banter, lively (and loud)!   There were a few unlucky souls (other hotel guests) in the dining room at the time that had to listen to our Club drivel, but they did not seem to mind too much (or at least they didn’t say). 

The key points communicated were the upcoming Club events!   The MOGSouth Noggin at Amelia Island starting at 5 PM (at the Surf Restaurant in Fernandina Beach, FL) on Friday, 21 May 2021, the Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island on the following Saturday, 22 May 2021 (Note: we have an extra acceptance ticket should you need one and want to attend. Contact Mark), the MOGSouth Fall Meet in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (Last minute change, bumped again due to Covid) , 5 – 7 November (We are part of the Car Club Showcase on Saturday), and the MOGSouth Holiday Party in Peachtree City, Georgia Saturday 4 December 2021.

Also, there is a Road Trip to Key West, planned for 3 – 10 October 2021, starting in Daytona Beach, Florida with the Morgan Dealer’s open house and finishing in Lake Mary, Florida at a party in Liam Fitzpatrick’s Irish Pub.  

This year’s calendar is on the MOGSouth Web Site, www.mogsouth.com.  The web site is not sending emails when new items are posted so you must go to the web site periodically to ensure you aren’t missing things.   Go to the Calendar page and look for events.  If they are underlined, there is more information. Click on the underlined event to go to the link with more details.  We will also try to send broadcast email messages when new things are added. 

Photos courtesy of Richard Ihns (the mountain drives) and Mark Braunstein (the dinner and group photo).

This past year’s events were challenging but we are now having fun.  If you weren’t in Little Switzerland, you missed a great MOGSouth meet, some wonderful scenery and roads, and most likely a lot of your Morgan friends!  I know things come up and sometimes these absences cannot be helped.  Luckily, there are more opportunities to play this year.  

See you there!!

Cheers,
Mark

10 Mar

2021 MOGSouth Spring Meet – Little Switzerland, NC (May 7 – 9, 2021)

Folks this year is a little different from normal.  The MOGSouth Noggin and Cars and Coffee event at Amelia Island, in March, is usually our first get together of the new year.  However, the Covid-19 Pandemic changed things and the Concours at Amelia Island and the associated Cars and Coffee event were moved to the latter half of May.  This means our Spring Meet, at Little Switzerland, NC will precede the Cars and Coffee event by a few weeks. 

As you all know we attempted to have the Spring Meet at Little Switzerland in May of 2020 but, like many other things, it got postponed until this year.   We have renegotiated the dates for this year’s Spring Meet (to replace the cancelled event) with the Switzerland Inn, Little Switzerland, NC.  The new dates are now arrival on 7 May 2021 and Departure on 9 May 2021.   Make sure your schedules show these new dates!!   From the MOGSouth perspective, this meet is going to happen.  The only thing that will cancel it outright is the Switzerland Inn’s unavailability or a regional mandate that would preclude us holding the event in NC. 

We were told that the Switzerland Inn was going to roll over your existing 2020 reservations to the new 2021 dates; however, I would call them at (828) 765-2153 just to be sure this rollover happened.  If you didn’t have reservations in 2020 and need to make new reservations for the new 2021 dates, you will have to call them at (828) 765-2153. As I understand it, you have to call. You cannot make reservations on line.  

In setting up the meet this year, we have obviously been mindful of the ongoing and evolving Covid-19 situation.  As more people become vaccinated and local regulations change according to the most recent guidance provided by local and national authorities, the exact details associated with masks wearing, social distancing, etc. for our meet will likely change as well.  MOGSouth will comply with all Covid-19 compliance requirements as mandated by local authorities in place at that time.  The Switzerland Inn is also committed to a high standard of compliance with all the local rules and regulations. 

Having said that, I am sure everyone understands that most folks in the Club’s membership are in the higher risk categories with respect to the Covid-19 Virus, so please don’t participate in this or any club event, if you are concerned about your own personal safety or if you personally feel ill or have symptoms, etc.  Please, don’t put others in the club at risk!  And, of course, you need to do what is best for your own health.

Again, it is not my place to be dictatorial in any way and given this, I won’t tell you what to do or what not to do.  These decisions must be made on your own!  You are smart . . . smarter than most and can make up your own mind!  

I guess my job is to simply provide you with the opportunities.  You have to decide which ones make sense for you, given your own situation.  Now, I will accept that I need to craft these opportunities, best I can, in such a way as to make them as safe as possible with respect to the virus and I have tried to do this.  

The good news is that, as I see it, our car events are not the worst thing you could do.  Driving about in open cars is far less risky than many other activities.   We are outside, we are socially distant, we are about as good as we can be.   (If you want to wear a mask while driving?  Wear a mask!)  However, there are some activities of our “typical” meet that warrant additional attention given the virus.  These include the group meals and the hospitality suite. 

First let’s address the group meals.  The Friday dinner and all Breakfast meals are typically on your own anyway, so this comment is primarily targeted at the Saturday meals.    Saturday lunch is currently envisioned as a ‘box lunch’ so you can simply pick up your meal and go wherever you would like to eat.  (You may need to wear a mask when you pick up your box lunch depending upon local policy.)  We have asked that the Saturday evening dinner meal be outside in the Switzerland Inn’s outside dining facility, weather permitting.

The Hospitality Suite is planned in a separate cottage on the Switzerland Inn property, with a large outside patio with numerous picnic tables.   We will set up our Hospitality Suite with beer, wine, soda, etc.   We will do this outside, if necessary.  If the weather is problematic, we will have to react in some way, so do bring a rain slicker or an appropriate jacket and maybe an umbrella.  (FYI, the weather in the area during May is typically nice . . . well, that is if you trust the internet?)  I would also recommend bringing your own lawn chair just in case.

Just staying in a hotel may be problematic for some.  That cannot be mitigated by the Club; however, I am assured by the Switzerland Inn, that they have gone overboard in cleaning and sanitizing the rooms.  You may want to bring your own sanitizing spray or wipes just in case.  However, if merely the act of staying in a public place like a hotel is problematic for you, I am sorry.  There is really nothing I can do about this issue and if you choose to avoid the meet, I and others, will certainly understand.  

 Cheers,

Mark

11 Jan

CALENDAR CHANGE: 2021 MOGSouth Noggin / Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island (New Dates: 21-22 May)

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance has rescheduled their Concours event. It was in March 2021 but now has move to May 20-23, 2021. The MOGSouth Noggin is now the evening of 21 May and the Cars and Coffee at Amelia is 22 May, 2021.

The location for the Friday evening MOGSouth Noggin is new this year. Last year’s location had certain advantages but there were also some disadvantages.

MOGSouth will now have the Noggin on Friday evening (May 21, 2021) at the Surf Restaurant along A1A, 3199 S. Fletcher Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL.

We will convene the MOGSouth Noggin around 5 PM at the Surf Restaurant.

We haven’t used this location for the Noggin, as yet, but the staff seems quite excited to have us. The menu looks quite good and there appears to be sufficient parking. (Click on the link above to go to their web page!) We have negotiated a completely outside patio location, so do bring a wind breaker if the weather gets a bit cool, and if you are more comfortable with a mask, bring it! Please don’t come if you are feeling ill or have symptoms of the recent virus.

The Saturday Cars and Coffee event (May 22, 2021) will be held as usual, the Saturday following the MOGSouth Noggin, the day before the big Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, May 23, 2021. All acceptances previously provided by the Concours organizers will be honored for the changed dates.

You don’t have to do anything unless you have a conflict. Email Jennifer Grosse: JGrosse@ameliaconcours.org but only if you are now unable to go.

As is the norm, all the Morgans will rendezvous on Saturday morning at 0730, before the Cars and Coffee event. (There is parking in the lot out front of the Surf Restaurant, as well as behind the restaurant. Note: We will only stay a few minutes and then head off to the Cars and Coffee location.) This will give us sufficient time to drive to the Cars and Coffee event and get parked together in the designated Morgan area.

Looking forward to the event and hope to see you there!! There will be more information published if and when it becomes available.

Cheers, Mark

20 Aug

2021 Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island – Location for the Friday Evening (Mar 5, 2021) Noggin

As is the norm, MOGSouth will have a Noggin on the Friday evening (March 5, 2021) before the Saturday Cars and Coffee event (March 6, 2021) on Amelia Island, the weekend of the big Concours d’Elegance. The Concours d’Elegance is on Sunday, March 7, 2021.

To make is easier on the masses, we have moved the Noggin a bit south, and will convene the MOGSouth Noggin around 5 PM at the Surf Restaurant, along A1A, 3199 S. Fletcher Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL.

It is the same location we use to rendezvous on Saturday morning before the Cars and Coffee event. There is parking in the lot out front as well as behind the restaurant.

We haven’t used this location for the Noggin, as yet, but the staff seems quite excited to have us. The menu looks quite good and there appears to be sufficient parking. (Click on the link above to go to their web page!)

Looking forward to the event and hope to see you there!! Mark

13 Jul

2021 Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island – Registration is Now Open!!

As many of you know, the Amelia Island, GA Concours d’Elegance weekend is traditionally a big weekend for MOGSouth. For many of us, the start to the new Morgan year. This year (2021) will be similar to the previous few years.

We will have our MOGSouth Noggin on Friday (5 March) evening and we will again participate in the Saturday (6 March) Cars and Coffee. The formal Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for Sunday (7 March) but has in the past been moved up to Saturday if the weather is challenging.

As is the norm you have to register for the 2021 Cars & Coffee at Amelia Island event to bring your Morgan and you have to be accepted.  (They will send a letter.) You need not register if you don’t want to bring your car and simply want to spectate.

However, it is best to register, even if you are unsure. The registration form is attached below. The earlier you register, the more likely you will be accepted. They are limited in the number of cars accepted due to space constraints, so don’t procrastinate. If you don’t use your acceptance you can always give it to someone else who didn’t get accepted. So Register now!! Cars and Coffee Registration for 2021.

The MOGSouth Spring Noggin will again be on Friday (5 March), starting at 5PM until going until whenever, at the TBD. Note: We are working to find a warmer spot for the Noggin. Last year it was quite good but a bit too chilly for us. We will communicate the location as soon as it is confirmed.

Then Saturday morning (6 March), those of us with Morgans, will all gather at 0730 at the Surf Restaurant’s front parking lot, along A1A (3199 S. Fletcher Avenue, Amelia Island, FL.)

From experience we know that if we don’t arrive together, we will be parked where ever they have a space, and most likely not together.

We will only wait at the Surf Restaurant for 10 minutes or less, so don’t be late!

For those coming from out of town, there are a number of Lodging options. You can stay on Amelia Island or in Fernandina Beach, if you can get a room (they go very fast) and you are willing to pay the price (they are very expensive.) Alternatively there is a Hampton Inn, Jacksonville East, Regency Square that is just south of the Jacksonville -395 bridge over the St Johns River and just a short (45 – 50 min) drive along FL-105 to Amelia Island.

Plan on a great Morgan weekend and we hope to see you there!!

Cheers, Mark

29 Mar

2021 MOGSouth Spring Meet – Little Switzerland NC (May 7 – 9, 2021)

Folks as indicated before, we have negotiated dates for next year’s Spring Meet (to replace the cancelled event) with the Switzerland Inn.

The new dates are arrival 7 May 2021 and Departure 9 May 2021. Pencil this in on your 2021 Calendar.

Be advised the Switzerland Inn will rollover your current reservation, however you must call them at (828) 765-2153 and request this rollover, or alternatively request a refund of any deposits or prepayments you may have already made.

It is not possible to cancel your reservation online, you must call them.

Cheers,

Mark

27 Nov

2018 MOGSouth Holiday Party Weekend Schedule

2018 MOGSouth Holiday Party Weekend Schedule

30 Nov – 1 Dec 18

[This is the latest schedule for the St Simons Island Holiday Party at the King and Prince Resort.  Things can and do change so be flexible.

For those of you that haven’t attended a Holiday Party previously a dress code doesn’t really exist. Just wear whatever is comfy, festive and/or Morgan(ish)?  Some come fancy, others . . . not so much.

Don’t forget to bring cash (or Check) for the Trolley ($20 per person) and for the Banquet Dinner ($41 per person).  Oh, and $25 for 2019 MOGSouth Dues. (And, please keep these as all separate payments so we don’t get too mixed up.)   Cheers, Mark]

Friday –  30 November 2018

  • 3PM – Arrival & Check-In at the King & Prince Resort, St Simons Island GA
  • 3PM – MOGSouth ‘Hospitality Suite’ Open – Wesley Cottage
  • 5:30PM – ‘Hospitality Suite’ Closes for Dinner (Hotel Restaurants, Others in the Community)
  • 9PM – 10:30PM, MOGSouth ‘Hospitality Suite’ Open – Wesley Cottage

Saturday –  1 December 2018

  • Breakfast on your own (Hotel Restaurants, Others in the Community)
  • 10AM – First Trolley Departs Resort Front Door (10AM 1 Dec Trolley Listing)
  • 12PM – Second Trolley Departs Resort Front Door (12PM 1 Dec Trolley Listing)
  • 1PM – MOGSouth ‘Hospitality Suite’ Open – Wesley Cottage
  • 5:30PM – ‘Hospitality Suite’ Closes for Holiday Dinner
  • 6:30PM – 7:30PM, Cash Bar – Solarium
  • 7PM – 8:30PM, MOGSouth Holiday Party – Solarium
    • Mother Courage Award Presentation
  • 9PM – 10:30PM, MOGSouth ‘Hospitality Suite’ Open – Wesley Cottage

Sunday  –  2 December 2018

  • Breakfast on your own (Hotel Restaurants, Others in the Community)
  • Travel Home – Happy Holidays and Stay Safe !!
19 Oct

2018 MOGSouth Holiday Party – Updates (as of 19 October 2018)

Folks, just a quick update to remind folks to make reservations for the MOGSouth Holiday Party,  1 December 2018.  (FYI, Most folks have indicated that they will arrive on Friday, 30 November.)

The 2018 Holiday Party will be held at the St Simon’s Island King & Prince Resort (www.kingandprince.com) on Sat 1 Dec 2018. 

Unfortunately, the reserved MOGSouth block of rooms with the discounted rates are now all gone.  I understand that there are still rooms available at the King and Prince Resort, but not at the reduced rate.

Send Mark an email (series1@cfl.rr.com) as soon as possible, if you have not already done so.   Please let Mark know if you are staying in the King and Prince Hotel and will be attending the Holiday Banquet.

We will collect the money for the banquet at the door.  It will be 41$  per person.  Please bring cash or personal check to pay.  We cannot take credit cards.

Note MOGSouth will be subsidizing the banquet prices over and above the 41$.  We will also have a full bar available before and during the banquet.  This will be in addition to the traditional MOGSouth Hospitality Suite (The Wesley Cottage) which will be open at selective times throughout the weekend.   Wow!! Your dues $$ at work! 

FYI, the planned Trolley ride for Saturday morning (1 Dec) has been fully booked . . . twice (they added a second tour just for us).   Seats on the trolley may become available, but only if folks cancel.

Regardless, it will be a great time to come together as a group and rekindle old friendships and make new ones.  I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone in December.

Cheers,
Mark