Powered by Volunteers, from Big Bend to the Bonneville Salt Flats
In the Zone by Rich Sanders
A Zone Reps life is not all traveling, fun and games. We also act as liaisons between National and the Regions in matters of safety, policy, and liability and communications. Many of us also serve on National Committees, write articles for Panorama and RegionFocus, and even make time to attend major events and help out our home Regions. Here’s your opportunity to see a little of what goes on in the life of a PCA Zone Rep. If ever you have any comments please feel free to contact your Zone 9 Rep. We look forward to serving you in any way we can.
Make no mistake, It’s About the People! While the cars are amazing, they are a means to the end of pulling us all together. For the past four years, as PCA zone rep, I’ve attempted to support our seven regions as they collectively cycled through about 10-15 sets of changes in leadership. In some cases, the new teams were fully prepared and needed little help. In other circumstances, “a deer in the headlights” might have been an appropriate description for new leaders.
MOST of the planned 65th Porsche Parade didn’t happen. PCA merchandise sold out quickly online as soon as the cancelation was announced. Perhaps this was as a future collectible, since next year’s Porsche Parade in French Lick Indiana, will now become the “65th”. But there was ONE element of the 65th Porsche Parade that actually did happen. And it was one of the most important events. The event was a virtual alternative to the highlights of two banquet nights normally held at parade. This was the presentation of all of the awards, including website, newsletter, and other awards, as well as the four coveted National Awards. The presentations were held “live” on PCA’s YouTube channel earlier this week. As I write this, you can still go to PCA.org and navigate to a full video of the presentation ceremony. Kudos to PCA’s Executive Council and to Michael (and Lisa) Soriano, National Awards Chair (and first-award lady) for making lemons out of lemonade.
Max, our Berne-doodle guard-dog, used to get mad when I’d head out of the house for a walk without him. He’d chastise me with frustrated barks as I walked out the door. Now he just lays on the cool stone foyer floor and picks up his head to acknowledge my departure. Too hot, he says. In fact, he’s probably sick of me as well, hoping I’ll spend less time in the house.
By now you all probably get that I like to write about more than current events. But I figure that in times of important changes in our routine of operating PCA regions, its probably a priority to err on the side of over communicating on the topic of “what’s going on”.
Back to “normal”?
Zone Reps meet on a monthly conference call with the Executive Council of PCA. Each month an agenda is organized by an assigned zone rep and presented in advance. The month of May was my month in the rotation to organize the agenda and manage the meeting. Needless to say the request for agenda discussion topics by zone reps, as well as the update portion presented by the EC, revolved largely around the corona virus. And specifically how PCA nationally, and regions locally, will prepare for re-opening in this new environment
I guess I shouldn’t be “that guy”.
Hunkered down is the term I’m hearing most. As I write this, my home city, Salt Lake, is the “hot spot” for Coronavirus in Utah. Hopefully we’re entering a plateau in virus cases. Perhaps by the time this monthly letter hits your computer or mailbox, we’ll all be in a phase that has us coming out of hibernation. For now, though, I like the term “couped” up. It sounds the same as being cooped up, but I like the comparison to our car models.
It’s hard to think of membership in PCA as a computer based pursuit. But I guess in these unusual times, it’s the right thing to do. Last month, I recapped all of the face to face, super exciting things we have in front of us for 2020. And as I’m sure you’ve read, most events in regions across the zone have been put on hold or canceled. Just an hour or two before wrapping up this month’s letter, I read the official notice that Treffen at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs has been canceled.
In the past couple of months, two well-known monthly printed car magazines have announced that they will no longer exist, or will be offered only in digital form. That got me thinking about trends in PCA. It is a pretty common trend across PCA regions, including regions in this zone, for newsletters that used to be in print monthly to move to a less frequent print schedule or to stop print completely and move to digital form.
Last Friday was spent sitting on a “Flixbus” heading from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas. My purpose was be an additional set of critical eyes and a return driving companion for my son. His intention was to buy an Audi SQ5 in Nevada. The bus ticket fit his budget as last minute one-way airfares were nuts- especially considering that we may have needed to return the same way, if the car was not what it was expected to be. The risk of it being a bust had been minimized by a true PCA “It’s about the People” story. Prior to our visit a Las Vegas Region PCA member had provided tremendous assistance before we made the 500 mile trip. But that cool story is for another edition of this monthly tome.
It’s shaping up to be a banner year for PCA members around the zone. If there’s any year to really plan ahead and lock in your calendars EARLY, this is it. In addition to the stellar bucket of activities which support you in your “local” regions, there are big events emerging that will require that you actually enjoy a few more miles in your Porsche.
Walking the dog last week, I noticed that a neighbor had left the garage doors open. Noting the cars in the stalls, including a familiar 911 C4S Cab, another car caught my eye. It was a white Infiniti QX60, a small sport crossover. The reason that it caught my eye was the familiar Porsche “Cayenne” logo on the back, painted in white to match the car.
This monthly letter is being
dreamt up during “Speed Week” at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Scheduled to start
last Saturday, it looks like the shortened week will begin tomorrow, a Tuesday.
The delay is thanks to two thunderstorms last week. Salt needs time to dry in
order to become safe again for racing. Such are the narrow parameters needed to
run the safest possible event for those who want to set world records. But
thinking about one of the more unique records at Bonneville reminded me of a
former Zone Rep, Sean Cridland. (Sean still holds a world record from “speed
skiing” while strapped on the roof of a car at 162 MPH on the salt). And
thinking about Sean reminded me of yet another newly minted author in our
midst, Chris Lennon. And that finally led me to take stock in the overall level
of talent that’s scattered throughout our regions. Let’s start there, and we’ll
work back to Sean and Chris!
Monterey has “Car Week” every
August. Never been. It’s on my bucket list as an enthusiast. Sometime after I’m
no longer a zone rep, I’ll get there. For now, in an effort to manage domestic
tranquility, I need to be very careful how much time I put into auto-enthusiasm.
Commitments to the “job” have me on the road a bit supporting PCA. Adding additional
“non-PCA” car stuff to the calendar typically requires a calculated approach
and some forethought into the anticipated “but why would I be interested in
that?” question. So when HER friends were arranging for us to join a week-long
June walking tour of London, I was pleased that this vacation would help
balance things out. But then Julie
asked, “Do you really want to travel all that way and spend just 7 days? So with
a limit of about 12 days as a total trip length, due to a desire for Max the
Berne-doodle to recognize us on our return, we looked for a 3-4 day additional
excursion to “add on” to the London trip. Portugal? Italy? Southern Spain?
Nope, not enough time to do any of them justice. Soooo……I meekly suggested,
“what if we went to Stuttgart and hit the Porsche factory”. Expecting to maybe
get smacked, I was shocked at the resoundingly positive response. As it turns
out, a trip to the Ford F-150 factory near Dearborn a few years back had left a
very positive impression. Who knew? And so, perhaps pushing my luck, I asked “what
if we spent 3-days and also hit the Mercedes, BMW and Porsche museums as well?”
AND…fly into Munich and do a bit of Autobahn driving, too? Sold! The trip was
Prior to this role, I had no reason to ponder where the Rocky Mountains came to an end as you head south in the US. In 2017, when I took this zone rep “job”, I would not have guessed that a majority of the regions were not either east or west of those mountains, but instead, south of them. Now that I’ve flown over and driven around them, I get it.