First Posted: 8/18/2014
Young drummers rattled away with sticks to kill time near the fairground gates as a Chevrolet Chevelle, circa 1970s, rumbled past on its way down to the field.
Sunday was the 31st Annual Back Mountain Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show hosted by the Lake-Lehman Band Sponsors at the Luzerne County Fairgrounds.
Car show chairwoman Ellan Kepner, of Sweet Valley, stepped away from the pancake hut and said the fundraiser garners about $3,000 each year.
“That doesn’t pay for our whole season, but at least it puts a dent in it.”
Kepner believes Lake-Lehman’s show was one of the longest-running car shows in the region.
“We’ve had ours consistently for 31 years,” Kepner said. “Having it later in the summer like this helps offset all the costs of our fall marching season for band and (color) guard.”
One event organizer, Matthew Price, said 71 cars, trucks and motorcycles had registered. He applauded the volunteers who helped put everything together.
“Events like this could not be possible without supportive parents and hard-working children and the help of the band sponsors organization,” Price said.
Typically, the show brings around 100 autos, Kepner said, so attendance was down a bit. Still, she was pleased with the showing, she said, and added much of the fundraiser’s revenue is made by band members soliciting local businesses in advance of the show.
The cars on the field varied widely and included classic muscle, sky-scratching monsters and outrageous customization jobs in eye-popping color.
Wearing their bright red Corvette polo shirts, Mark and Sharon Nenichka looked proudly over their ‘73 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, which had become the center of attention for a few gawkers.
The Nenichkas, of Swoyersville, are the Stingray’s fourth owners. They have been restoring the classic car, and, unlike many of the customized car owners in the field that day, they work tediously to replace everything with approved restoration parts to maintain authenticity.
The Stingray’s previous owner, the late Rusty Flack who owned Diamond Consolidated Industries in West Wyoming, was Mark Nenichka’s boss. When he bought the car, he had asked Nenichka to restore it for him.
Flack died in 2011 due to complications from colon cancer.
“He was like a brother to me,” Mark Nenichka said. “Upon his passing, the car, through his estate, was passed to me. His brother’s comment was ‘Rusty wanted you to have it, for how hard you worked on anything he gave you to do.’”
Flack’s photograph was taped to the windshield.
Down the aisle, Bill Reese sat behind his dapper Solar Yellow 1950 Chevy Sedan Delivery.
He bought the car as a way to advertise his electrician’s business instead of paying for billboards around town, but it seemed the car mostly is a way to decompress on his down time.
“This car is the only thing I ever bought that wasn’t for my kids or my business,” Reese said.
Reese, of Harveys Lake, took great detail achieving a classic look, spending an entire year looking for the right painter to pencil lettering on the side.
Car shows for Reese are his way to get out of the house and meet new folks, he said. And he takes a great deal of pride when his car gets noticed.
He motioned to his neighbor in the aisle, whose own ride was getting some attention.
“When a guy like Bill says, ‘I like your car,’ that makes you feel good, because he’s got a beautiful car, too,” Reese said.