President’s Message – January 2020

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone enjoyed a joyous holiday.   Believe it or not, we’re ushering in a new year and a new decade!  This gives us time to reflect on times past but also focus on the opportunities that lie ahead.  We will be celebrating our CFMC Holiday party and annual meeting on January 5, 2020 at the Circa 1922 restaurant in Wilmington.  Thanks to our hosts, Leon and Beth Rooks, for coordinating this year’s event.  The evening’s events will include great food, fun and fellowship with our members, and our famous “Yankee swap” gift exchange.  We also hope to finalize the list of events and activities for the New Year.  Some members have already stepped up to host events for 2020 and I encourage other members to consider hosting an activity for one of the remaining months.  In other business, the nominating committee will present, and members will vote on, the nominees and candidates for the positions of President, Treasurer, Editor, and Activities Committee chair for 2020-2021.

The beginning of a new year provides us with the opportunity to set goals for our Club for the upcoming months.  Some of the items I would encourage the CFMC to focus on in 2020 include:

  1. How to integrate our CFMC communication tools, the Ragtop Tales, our website and our Facebook page, to coordinate and complement our outreach to members and others.  This could include a survey of our membership on the types of information we would like to include in each communication tool.
  2. Continue to build our relationship with the new staff at Stevenson-Hendrick Mazda and identify partnering opportunities for events and activities.
  3. Continue to identify efforts that encourage and assist members in participating and contributing to our Club through things like volunteering for events, activities, special committees and other ways of supporting our Club.

I look forward to another great year for the CFMC, our 27th as a Club.  Let’s remember to be grateful for all the blessings and freedoms we enjoy, thank those who make those possible, and take advantage of the opportunities we are given and use those to be of service to others.

My best wishes to you and your families for a safe, happy and healthy New Year.

Zoom-Zoom!

Ron Carmichael

President’s Message – December 2019

I hope that everyone enjoyed a safe and happy Thanksgiving. It is hard to believe, but 2019 is rapidly coming to a close! While this year has certainly flown by, we’ve enjoyed another successful year at the Cape Fear Miata Club.
We have shared fun and friendship with our fellow members on a number of exciting and enjoyable activities and events. And 2020 promises to be another great year for the CFMC.

We had over 30 members attend our November 16 business meeting, hosted by Bill Bertrand and Jo Ann Craig. We were very fortunate to have Luis Rivera, Service Manager at Stevenson/Hendrick Mazda, attend our meeting. Luis highlighted his career with the Hendrick Auto group, discussed some of the changes at the dealership and shared his interest and commitment to work with the CFMC on many cooperative activities. We appreciate Luis taking time from his busy schedule to visit and meet our club members and we look forward to working with him and the Stevenson/Hendrick staff.

We will wrap up our 2019 activities with a December 6 trip to the Carolina Opry Christmas show in Myrtle Beach hosted by Don and Mary Sue Wahl. Following the show, we’ll enjoy a holiday dinner at the Parson’s Table restaurant in Little River.  And don’t forget our Holiday Party and annual meeting on Sunday January 5th at the Circa 22 Restaurant in Wilmington, coordinated by Beth and Leon Rooks. See more details elsewhere in the edition of the Ragtop Tales.

As I’ve discussed for several months, at our November 16 meeting we began efforts at identifying our 2020 events. Lots of great ideas were suggested and the Activities Committee will be collecting and finalizing our 2020
activities and events list for our members to approve at our January 2020 annual meeting. Please get your event suggestions to Paul Reinmann at pfreinmann@charter.net. Our monthly activities are the lifeblood of our club
and it is important that we maintain interesting and fun events for our members. On that note, we need our members to not only participate, but also host events. I encourage you to consider hosting a CFMC event in 2020. As I also mentioned at our November 16 meeting, our 2020 nominating committee of Ken Schiess, Judy Judson and Leon Rooks will be soliciting nominees for the positions of Ragtop Tales Editor and the Activities Committee
Chairperson. In addition, the two year terms of the existing President and Treasurer positions expire at the end of 2019. Our club bylaws call for solicitation among our members of interest in these two expiring officer positions. Please see one of the nominating committee members if you are interested in being considered for any of these positions. Members will vote on the nominees at the January 5th business meeting.

Finally, I want to wish every member and their families a safe and joyous holiday season and a happy and healthy 2020! Please remember our military men and women and their families this year during the holidays, especially those who are far from home. We could not enjoy the blessings we have without their service and sacrifice which make our freedoms possible. I look forward to sharing many enjoyable events with the CFMC members in 2020!
Zoom-Zoom!

Ron Carmichael

President’s Message – November 2019

Even though our summer heat refused to realize it was October, Fall days have finally arrived and we are starting to plan, prepare, or at least acknowledge, the rapidly approaching holidays. We started October with an absolutely fabulous trip to the Outer Banks hosted by Jenny and Sean Hsu. As described in the attached article, CFMC members enjoyed three days of beautiful weather, great venues, local cuisine, good friends and fellowship.
Thanks to Jenny and Sean for planning and organizing such an outstanding trip!

With 2019 flying by, we are now beginning to focus on our Club’s activities for 2020. Our upcoming November 16 business meeting is hosted by Jo- Ann Craig and Bill Bertrand. Please see more information on the meeting in the edition of the Ragtop Tales. Make sure you notify Jo-Ann Craig by November 2 if you are planning on attending the meeting. As I’ve mentioned numerous times, one of our agenda items will include a discussion of possible CFMC activities for the upcoming year. Please send your thoughts and ideas for possible 2020 events to Paul Reinmann pfreinmann@charter.net or bring those with you to the meeting. Regarding 2020 trips, Judy and I have received confirmations of interest from 13 members (7 cars) who have responded to our planned Spring Mountain Adventure in May 2020. We are again including the article about the trip in this month’s Ragtop Tales. It is not too late to join in if you are interested in participating. Please let us know at rcarmike@aol.com ASAP so we can advise the hotels of the number of needed rooms. More information on lodging reservations will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

Also, Mary Sue and Don Wahl will host our December event at the Carolina Opry followed by dinner. More details are included in the activities column of this issue. Finally, let’s all remember that Veteran’s Day is November 11. Please make a point to thank our veterans, and their families, for the service, commitment and sacrifices they’ve made and continue to make for all of us. Just imagine, being away from your family for months on end, especially during the holidays. Veterans and service members deserve our continuing support! Also, I want to wish all of our members and their families a safe and blessed Thanksgiving. And before you winterize that Miata, enjoy a few more beautiful top-down days here in Southeastern North Carolina.
Zoom-Zoom!

Ron Carmichael

President’s Message, October 2019

Fall has arrived! After an unusually warm summer, we are happy to see the cooler nights and days of autumn. We ended September with a fun trip to the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh. John and Peggy Harris were our hosts and we enjoyed a weekend of great music and entertainment. Thanks to John and Peggy for arranging this fabulous trip.

We immediately move into October with our Down East/Outer Banks trip hosted by Jenny and Sean Hsu. This
promises to be an outstanding trip with eight couples currently signed up to participate.

Please remember our Quarterly business meeting on November 16 at Elizabeth’s Pizza in Wilmington. One element of the November meeting will be a discussion of potential trips for 2020. Please send your thoughts and ideas
for possible events/trips to Paul Reinmann at pfreinmann@charter.net.

We’ll close up the year with a trip to the Carolina Opry Christmas show. Please see the activities column for specifics on each of these events. I call your attention to the “Save the Date” column in this month’s newsletter. Judy and I
will be hosting a 2020 Miata Spring Mountain Adventure in May. We are blocking rooms at the trip lodging venues so please see the column for specifics on this upcoming trip and how to reply regarding your interest in participating.

An update on some of the new staff at Stevenson-Hendrick Mazda was included in the September Ragtop Tales. On September 18, Paul Reinmann and I met with Luis Rivera, Service Manager at Stevenson-Hendrick Mazda to familiarize him with the Cape Fear Miata Club. Luis graciously gave us a significant amount of his time to learn about the CFMC and tell us about the new dealership plans. We also discussed the Club’s past relationship with
Stevenson Mazda and some of the perks that the dealership provided to the CFMC. Any continuation or modification of perks previously provided by Stevenson Mazda to CFMC will have to be reviewed and evaluated by the new
owners and management. Changes in the previous CFMC’s member discount amount and Tech Day format can be expected. Luis indicated his desire to continue the new dealership’s relationship with the CFMC, and he will be discussing possible joint efforts, some level of discount for CFMC members, and the feasibility of some type of technical support event with the new management. We will be sharing this information with all members as soon as possible.

Get out and enjoy our beautiful fall weather. I hope to see you at our upcoming CFMC events!
Zoom-Zoom!

President’s Message – September 2019

Welcome to September! Our Labor Day celebrations remind us fall is just around the corner. As we reluctantly say goodbye to summer, we need to remember that we’re heading for the peak portion of our hurricane season. As I mentioned last year, it is the perfect time to make sure that we have our hurricane preparedness plans in place and
ready to be implemented if needed. And as we found out last year, it can and does happen. So please double-check your preparedness plans.

We have some great CFMC activities planned as we ease into fall. Peggy and John Harris are hosting a trip to the International Bluegrass Music Association event in Raleigh September 27-29. Jenny and Sean Hsu have a fabulous trip to the Outer Banks planned for October 2-4.

Our next business meeting, hosted by Jo Ann Craig and Bill Bertrand, is planned for Saturday, November 16 at Elizabeth’s Pizza Restaurant in Wilmington. And we will wrap up 2019 with a Christmas time event in December hosted by Mary Sue and Don Wahl. See more details about these events in this edition of the Ragtop Tales.

As I mentioned at our April quarterly meeting, our November meeting will focus on planning for our 2020 CFMC activities and events. Between now and the November meeting, I encourage all members to identify possible
Club events and activities and forward those to Paul Reinmann, Activities Committee chair at pfreinmann@charter.net. The Activities committee, and members, will present the potential 2020 events for discussion at the meeting. The goal is to develop a list of monthly 2020 activities and hosts, between our
November business meeting and our annual business meeting in January 2020. The list of activities and hosts will be presented to the CFMC membership at our annual meeting. This will enable all members to know what activities
and events are planned and schedule these on their 2020 calendars.

As you are probably aware, Stevenson Mazda has become part of the Hendrick Automotive Group as Stevenson-Hendrick Mazda. You will notice many new faces in the Service Department of the new dealership. Please
introduce yourself next time you are there to have your Miata in for service. Soon, we will be in contact with the new owners and service managers about our Club and the support that the previous Mazda dealership provided to the
CFMC. If there are any changes, we will advise the membership.

Finally, September 11 is a painful reminder that evil still lurks in our world. As Americans we must remember all of the victims and families of those whom were lost on that day, and the many first responders and military members
and their families whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice since then to keep us safe. Freedom, safety and security are not free; someone pays the price for each of those blessings. We should never forget the cost, or those who pay
that price, for all of us. Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day.
Zoom-Zoom!

Ron Carmichael

President’s Message – August 2019

Don’t look now but we’re on the downward side of 2019!  Assuming that you’re reading this on August 1, you have 146 shopping days until Christmas!  Now that I’ve gotten your attention, we have lots of fun CFMC activities to keep you busy until the jolly ole man comes around.  We wrapped up July with a fun and filling Taste of Wilmington Tour on July 26.  Hosted by Judy and Rick Judson, seven members enjoyed an absolutely beautiful summer day and sampled a half dozen of Wilmington’s most interesting eateries.  For any of you who have been considering this Tour, my advice is to go for it.  You will experience fine food and drink and meet some of the area’s outstanding chefs and owners.  Thanks to Rick and Judy for hosting such a unique and enjoyable event.
The upcoming months include a number of exciting and fun activities for the CFMC.  Peggy and John Harris are hosting a two-night trip on September 27-29 to the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass event in Raleigh.  We have several couples planning to participate.  More details on this trip are included in this month’s Ragtop Tales.
On October 2-4, Jenny and Sean Hsu are hosting what will be a fun-filled two-night trip to the Outer Banks.  A preliminary itinerary is included elsewhere in this edition of the newsletter.
We’ll have our next quarterly meeting in November, hosted by Jo Ann Craig and Bill Bertrand.  As noted in last month’s newsletter, this meeting will focus on planning for our 2020 activities.
We’ll wrap up 2019 with a Christmas themed event for December.  Look for more details on our upcoming activities in this edition of the Ragtop Tales.   I want to thank all the members of the CFMC who have contributed to the success of our club through your participation, service and hosting of events.  There are many ways for members to contribute to sustaining and making our club enjoyable and fun for everyone.  If you have suggestions or ideas you’d like to offer, or have skills or talents that you’d like to share, please contact me or any officer.   There are numerous roles in sustaining our club that members can help fulfill.   Now, start working on those Christmas shopping lists!   We’ll see you soon!

Zoom-Zoom.

Ron Carmichael

President’s Message – July 2019

I hope everyone survived our record breaking May weather and enjoyed our June respite from the heat! May was a not-so-subtle reminder that summer is in full swing. And, it is peak Miata-time. Since our last Ragtop Tales newsletter, we enjoyed the well-attended Sit, Sip and Socialize event at Soif de Vin winery in late April hosted by the Panes and Judsons, the Brits at the Battleship event on May 4 coordinated by Tom and Nancy Pane and the Moss Miata outing June 7-8 hosted by Ken and Patty Badoian. We sent out an Activities Update in May in order to keep members apprised of our upcoming activities. We will continue to publish Activities Updates between quarterly editions of the newsletter. As soon as we have a new Editor, we will return to monthly editions of the Ragtop Tales. In that regard, we are soliciting for volunteers for Editor. If you are interested and willing to consider this position, please contact me at rcarmike@aol.com for details on what is involved.

As decided at our April 13 meeting, we will not have a quarterly meeting in July, but plans are being made for a CFMC event. We are in need of events for several remaining months of 2019. I encourage you to contact Paul Reinmann, Activities Chair at pfreinmann@charter.net if you are willing to host an event or activity.

I hope that everyone took the opportunity recently to reflect on the sacrifices of those whom have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we are blessed to enjoy. Memorial Day and the 75th Anniversary of D-Day are the most recent reminders of the debt we owe to the many brave Americans who have served and continue to serve. If you’ve ever been to the beaches of Normandy or the American cemetery there, you will understand what service and sacrifice really mean. We are the Land of the Free because of the Brave. Let’s try to remind ourselves of that every day, not just on holidays. I wish everyone a happy and safe July 4th holiday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!!
Zoom-Zoom!

Ron Carmichael

President’s Message – April 2019

Spring and April are here!  That means better weather for all types of outdoor activities including top-down motoring for the CFMC!  We have a number of great events planned for the coming months.  On March 30, Judy and I hosted an informal/impromptu visit to the Blue, Brew and Que Festival at the Duplin County Events Center in Kenansville.  Event headliners included several nationally and regionally known Bluegrass Bands, as well as several outstanding local BBQ, craft brewing and winery vendors.   This was the third year in a row that CFMC members attended this event.

We will have our quarterly business meeting on Saturday April 13 at the Niche restaurant in Carolina Beach.  Ken and Patty Badoian will be our hosts.  Details including the luncheon menu are included in this month’s Ragtop Tales.  A meeting agenda will be sent to all members the week before the meeting.  Other upcoming events include a Sip, Sit and Socialize event on Sunday April 28 and CFMC’s participation in the 2019 Brits at the Battleship event on May 4.  Because of the Brits event, there will not be a Bitty and Beau’s social on Saturday May 4.  See the Activities column for more details on these and other upcoming events.

As you will notice, the Ragtop Tales has returned to its earlier format.  Due to other priorities, Ken Badoian has relinquished his duties as Editor.  Ken (and Patty) put a tremendous amount of effort into publishing the RTT over the past 15 months.  We are very appreciative of the work that they have done for the Club.  We will continue to publish the Ragtop Tales but in the meantime, we are going to use this period to experiment and evaluate modifications to the newsletter.  The Ragtop Tales will be published on a quarterly basis for the next few months.  Monthly updates on Club activities will be included on the CFMC website and via blast emails to members.  We appreciate your patience and understanding during this period of transition.  We will evaluate changes and solicit member feedback later this year.  Let’s all enjoy the newness that Spring represents. Zoom-Zoom!

Ron Carmichael

President’s Message – March 2019

As we say goodbye to February, suddenly it is March – in like a lion and out like a lamb. We have the return of daylight savings time (March 10), March madness, and St. Patrick’s Day to look forward to and we begin to envision the newness that the first day of spring promises. We leave February with fond memories of another great Tech Day event on February 23. We had over a dozen toolbox-challenged members participate this year, tackling routine and some not-so-routine maintenance items on our Miatas. Paul Reinmann again was our host for this year’s garage gathering. As usual, Paul did an outstanding job coordinating the work to be done with Service Manager Howard Ramsey and his team of service technicians at Stevenson Mazda. And Paul seems to have a knack for getting everyone’s favorite pizza and beverages. We also had the opportunity to meet Tracy Whitmire, the new General Manager at Stevenson Mazda, who briefed s on some of the upcoming changes at the dealership. On behalf of our club, I want to thank Howard, his service technicians, Tracy and the management at Stevenson Mazda for their many years of support to the Cape Fear Miata Club. I encourage members to show our appreciation for Stevenson’s support and remember them when you are looking for service on our Miatas.

Also, the CFMC Board met on February 24 to transition our outgoing and incoming officers for 2019 and sort out their individual and collective roles, responsibilities, duties and functions. We welcome JoAnn, Bill, and Kevin to our leadership team and appreciate their continued commitment and willingness o serve our club. We also thank Rick, Judy, Tom and Nancy for their many years of leadership service and dedication to the CFMC.

As I mentioned last month, we have our 219 quarterly business meetings scheduled for April 13, July 13, and October 19, so please put these dates on your calendar and plan to attend. Your participation is needed in order for our club to continue to prosper. We need a host for our April meeting to select and coordinate a meeting venue. Please see Paul or a member of his Activities committee if you are willing to be our host.

We have plans underway and ideas under consideration for some exciting events in the coming months, but we still need hosts and events for many months of the year. Please see Paul if you have ideas and a willingness to host an event in 2019.

Finally, the Bitty and Beaus first Saturday socials will continue for 2019. These have helped tremendously in expanding our visibility and showcasing the uniqueness of our club to potential members. Let’s hop March’s lion is mild and it’s lamb is warm and fuzzy for our of our members. Top down weather is coming.

Zoom-Zoom!

Ron Carmichael, President

Presidents Message – February 2019

With the holidays behind us, we begin a new year full of opportunity and excitement. The
CFMC started our year with an outstanding Holiday party and annual meeting on January 6
at the Circa 1922 Restaurant.
Over 30 members attended the event which included lots of socialization, great food and
our always-fun Yankee swap gift exchange. As has become a tradition at our Holiday party,
the much-envied earwax remover gift showed up again; and I’m sure it will reappear in the
future.
It was a fun and enjoyable evening and our thanks to Beth and Leon Rooks for handling the
arrangements. One important aspect of our annual meeting was the selection of Bill
Bertrand and Jo-Ann Craig as our new Vice Presidents and Kevin Perham as our new
Secretary.
I look forward to working with Bill, Jo-Ann and Kevin and I appreciate their willingness to
serve our Club. Incumbents will continue to serve in the positions of President, Treasurer,
Activities Chair, Membership Chair and Ragtop Tales Editor for an additional year.
There were several potential CFMC outings identified at our annual meeting. Hopefully
these will evolve into many great events for the coming year. As we focus on our activities
for this year, we have selected the dates of April 13, July 13 and October 19 for our 2019
quarterly meetings.
We are looking for hosts for these meetings to select a venue and make arrangements for
our group. This is a great way for members to get their feet wet in hosting an event. If you
are interested and willing, please contact Paul Reinmann or one his committee volunteers.
As of this writing, Paul Reinmann is still finalizing arrangements for our annual Tech Day.
We hope this popular event will continue. Look for more details in this month’s Ragtop Tales.

Zoom, Zoom!

Ron Carmichael