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Zone Rep Report June 2009

Sean CridlandIn the Zone by Sean Cridland

We’re getting into the busy part of the season now with many Regional events already underway and many, many more coming up as we head into summer. I’ve been busy and on the road in the past month. Though March was a slower “catch-my-breath” time, April got very busy.

In mid-April I headed up to Denver for the Parade Committee meeting. I know that this year’s Parade will be a successful one because I was able to see the extent of the work being done. About 80 people from all over the country came to make their reports and team together to coordinate their efforts. The “only” hindering factor for the meeting was the epic-sized snowfall that hit Colorado the weekend of the meeting. It was a testament of the dedication of PCA members that about 95% of the meeting’s attendees made it in despite some very challenging weather. Anyone who was in Denver that weekend will tell you that the snow-storm was more akin to those in the Sierras than the Rockies.

The Rocky Mountain Region, with support from the Alpine Mountain Region, hosted a social get together the evening of the Parade Committee meeting that was well attended by local members and National Officers and Staff. It was great to get out and meet more of the members of the Northern Regions. I look forward to meeting more people throughout the summer. Porsche people, as you all know, are really great and come from a wide array of backgrounds. I’m always amazed at the kinds of topics discussed by the members. Such a diverse group of people!

The next day was a little quieter as I attended the PCA Executive Council Meeting to take notes and make the minutes report to the council of Zone Reps. Several of the EC members asked me my thoughts during the day about the process. My comment is: when you’re working at the Regional level, so much of what you hear from National is a “murmur.” It’s much better to hear it in person and to get to know the issues up front and in detail. Of course, EC discusses many issues that will eventually become PCA policy, so providing snippets is not encouraged. The EC meetings are where the wrinkles are ironed out and the details are formulated. That way, by the time you hear what is going on, things will be well thought and ready to be put in place. But I can tell you this much. A main topic of the day was the problem that you all know about with the PCA National website and the way in which it affected many of the nations Regional websites. Rest assured the situation got the attention of the EC in a big and meaningful way and many steps are being taken to keep that situation from repeating itself.

The day after the EC meeting, I took the opportunity to drive home via Keystone, our Parade site for this summer. Since many of my Region’s members are avid autocrossers, I took the opportunity to visit the site and take lots of photos of the venue. It’s not anywhere as big as some of sports stadia and tracks we’ve used in the past, but it’s of ample size and will be a fun site. Certainly no autocross venue in the US will have the kind of scenic backdrop this one does!

The drive wasn’t half-bad either. I elected to go up and over Loveland pass on the way to Keystone, which was recently snow-covered. Loveland and A-Basin ski areas were both packed with enthusiastic spring skiers with big smiles on their faces! The drive home through Breckenridge, the Arkansas and San Luis Valleys was great too, with all the fresh snow on the 14ers.

A short break ensued and I was packing up for another trip, this time down to Lubbock, Texas for the West Texas Region’s RUF event. Every few years the folks from the RUF Auto Centre in Dallas bring some cars up to Lubbock to Gene Messer’s Volkswagen for the West Texas Region to show off to their members. A whole day of activities was built around the event with a lunch, a drive-out, and a dinner. About 37 Porsche drivers and their cars showed up for the event, which is a very large turn-out for WTR. It was a really fun day and I got to see some old friends and meet lots of new ones. It was my first real exposure to Texas culture, so I learned a lot!

On the way home I took the opportunity to do couple of things that have been on my list for a long time. One was to visit the Chaparral Car Collection at the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Midland. Having seen some of these cars race in the Can-Am back in the late 60s and early 70s, it was sure great to see them again, now fully restored and bright and shiny. It’s impressive how modern they still look, a tribute to Jim Hall’s brilliant innovative mind and uninhibited imagination.

After the seeing the Chaparrals, I decided to go underground…literally. I went up to Carlsbad, NM and visited the Caverns. I opted for the “walk-down” trail. If you do it, make sure you’re in good shape, because it’s a long and steep walk down. Very impressive! As you’re walking you realize that whoever went down there the first time really WANTED to go down there!

Now we’re into May and I’m taking a little time off from my Zone Rep duties to get all my over 50 medical exams done and to go back east for my nieces wedding and a huge family reunion. Then I’ll be back in June in time for a whole slew of events around the Zone, culminating with Parade at Keystone. I hope to see you all there!
Sean

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