President’s Message – February 2018

Hello Members,

Happy 2018 to everyone! I would like to begin this year by thanking the CFMC members for their vote of confidence. As your new President it will be my privilege to work to guide and direct our Club.

We started off the New Year with a great Holiday Dinner and Annual Meeting at the Osteria Cicchetti restaurant in Wilmington. The usual CFMC staples of good food, great friends, and a festive time was enjoyed in abundance. Our thanks to Judy and Rick Judson for arranging this event.

There will be many exciting activities scheduled for this year.

In February a visit and tour to the Fort Fisher Aquarium that will include a ferry trip to Southport for lunch. Also this month our annual Tech Day at Stevenson Mazda.

In March, on St. Patrick’s day, a road trip into the past as we journey to The Farm Days Festival at Lake Waccamaw then Dinner in Whiteville.

More information about the proposed trip to Myrtle Beach in April and the Club’s participation in the British Motor Car Club car show at the Battleship in May will be published next month.

Future fun events and activities will be on-tap for the balance of the year. The RTT will keep members informed.

At the start of this year I looked back and reflect on how far the Club has come and ask myself what will be important for our continued success and how I assist in the this endeavor.

Our outgoing officers and committee chairs have been instrumental as they lead and guided us in our journey. I want to thank our “retiring” officers and committee chairs: Ken (and Gina) Schiess, President, Dave Tousignant, membership chair, and Tom Pane, our Secretary and Ragtop Tales publisher, for their many years of leadership and commitment to our Club.

I look forward to work with the new and returning officers and committee chairs; Rick Judson, Vice President, Mary Sue Wahl, Treasurer and Tom Pane, who will continue as Secretary. Also, a welcome to the new RTT editor, Ken Badoian, and to the new Membership chair, Trudy Williamson.

As we we work together, elected officers and club members, we will continue to build on the hallmarks of CFMC fun and friendship.

This interest and participation in activities has fueled our growth since the start in 1993. For Twenty Five years the club has provided members with an unique opportunity to meet other Miata owners and their co-pilots, cultivate new friendships, and enjoy many varied activities throughout our area. I feel we are an outstanding group of individuals with a common bond of Miata ownership that ties us together.

It is that comradery, fun, and friendship that will allow Cape Fear Miata Club to grow. So let’s buckle up and enjoy a great ride for 2018!

Ron Carmichael, President

President’s Message – January 2018

Hi All,
Well, it is December 2017 and this is likely my 36th monthly President’s letter. It is also my last for the foreseeable future. In January, at the annual General Membership meeting we will elect new officers and I will be stepping down as the leader of this wonderful club. It has been a wonderful experience. I have made many friends whom I fully intend to keep going forward. Gina and I will be as active as ever, participating in the many events to come.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Executive Board Team (Rick Judson, Tom Pane, Mary Sue Wahl, Ron Carmichael and Dave Tousignant). They have been great to work with and very supportive. Without these folks, we could not have grown to 45 cars this year, and if we did we could not have managed it. So, thank you team!

Change is always unsettling but I’m confident the nominating committee has put together a strong slate and that the Club will get better and better in the days, months and years to come.
December was a busy month, Christmas aside. The Club participated in the Carolina Beach
Christmas parade and enjoyed a trip to the Carolina Opry for the Christmas show and a short stop at St. Nick’s Knacks then on to dinner at the Parson’s Table in Little River, SC. (Thanks to our hosts; Ken& Patty Badoian and Mary Sue & Don Wahl) and that was all before the 10th of the month.
January will be just as busy with the Annual Meeting / Holiday Party, and Tech Day at Stevenson Mazda.
The Annual Meeting and Holiday Party will include a Yankee Swap Gift Exchange, Election of officers and other ‘business’ stuff) followed by dinner at the Osteria Chiccetti in Monkey Junction. I’m looking forward to seeing you all there. It has been a lot of fun for the past four years that I’ve been in the club and I expect that it only gets better.

Year end is a time for reflection and as I reflect on the Cape Fear Miata Club, it has been a great year. Thanks to all of you for hosting and participating in a variety of events. I look forward to our newer members thinking up new fun stuff for us to do and taking the pressure off the “old timers”.

I’ll close with one last ‘official’ reminder: Dues are due January 1, 2018 except for those who joined late in the year (you know who you are).
I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you all a happy New Year.
Safe travels, Ken Schiess

CFMC President’s Message – December 2017

Hi All,

November was a great month for the club. We saw the addition of a number of new members and two events, the monthly social at Bitty & Beau’s and the Purple Feet Festival at the Silver Coast Winery (hosted by Bill Bertrand and Jo-Ann Craig) where our own Judy Carmichael won a first prize in the Lucille Ball “Lucy” look-alike contest. Deb Perham came in a close second so CFMC basically swept the contest. Congratulations to our creative members. Thanks to both, their costumes made the day even more fun for all of us. More coverage with pictures later in the Rag Top Tales is assured.

Thanksgiving was a time for all of us to spend with family and friends, remembering those who have served this country to allow us to celebrate this occasion enjoying the abundance of our great land and time to honor those who are not able to be home while they assure us of safety.  We thank them for their sacrifice.

I am looking forward to December. It starts off with the Carolina Beach Christmas Parade. We are hosted by Ken and Patty Badoian. Following that will be the Carolina Opry Christmas Show hosted by Don & Mary Sue Wahl.  I look forward to seeing many of you for one or both of those events.

Christmas will soon be upon us and I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The annual General Membership Meeting/Holiday Party will be January 6th details later in Rag Top Tales. This is the most important meeting of the year as it involves the election of officers to lead the club for the next year(s). I hope that all the members will make the effort to attend and plan to be fully involved in the coming year. The Club is great but only because of you, the members. It is your involvement, your support and your willingness to participate. I look forward to next year being even greater than this year was.

I wish you a very happy and safe holiday,

Ken Schiess,

CFMC President’s Message – November 2017

Hi All,
This is the November edition of the Rag Top Tales and my 11th letter this year. I am really pleased to have had the privilege to be your president for the past nearly three years (January 2015). The club has had a good run and a lot of it comes from the efforts of the leadership team that I had the joy to work with.

Ok, so moving along we have had a lot of new members this year to whom I wish a warm welcome. The Club, as I understand the numbers is now at 37 cars, having grown slightly (net 6 members) since December 2014 when we numbered 31 cars. There have been a lot of new faces, but many have sold/traded their Miata’s and some just didn’t find us a good fit. God Bless them all.

Editor’s note: There are now 38 Miata’s in the Club. This is a net gain of 7 members since 2014.

We are today stronger and more vibrant than ever and that is because of the willingness of new members to step up and host events and participate in the events hosted by others. That leads me to comment that the biggest event of the year was this month’s trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Attendance was great with 15 Miata’s represented (Ok, so one SUV stood in for a Miata). I think that is the best attendance we
have had in my memory (someone please correct me if I misspeak). I wish to thank our hosts, Ron & Judy Carmichael, and to the members who took the time to participate in this event. It was a commitment of time (and cash) to attend but, speaking for Gina and myself, well worth it. I’m certain that Ron & Judy appreciated the support. I won’t get into the weeds here because I’m sure that the following pages will be filled with a chronology of the trip and many, many pictures.

I am looking forward to upcoming events which are listed in the Upcoming Events section of this Rag Top Tales and on our website. I am looking forward to seeing you there and, as always, enjoying your company.
Just as a reminder, we need volunteers to fill upcoming vacancies in the leadership team. If you have any interest please contact one of the nominating committee, a list of whom will appear further back in the Rag Top Tales. Elections take place at the next (January 2018) quarterly general membership meeting (and Holiday celebration!!).

As the leaves fall remember to be careful, wet leaves are as slick as ice.

Be well, stay safe, drive carefully,
Ken Schiess

CFMC President’s Message – October 2017

Hi All,

This has been a fun month.  The hurricane scare aside, it has been a little cooler and better weather for top down driving.  I was sorry that the Purple Feet Festival had to be postponed but I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at the Balsam Mountain Inn. This should be a great trip. I understand that there will be 15 Miata’s on this trip.  Gina and I will be meeting up with you at the Balsam Mountain Inn since we can’t leave as early on Tuesday. I also understand that the Purple Feet Festival has been rescheduled for November, so check out the website and watch for emails to provide info.

Kudos to my wife and co-pilot, Gina, who has taken over the tasks of updating the activities and info on our website. Everything is now up-to-date and she will continue to add things as they are scheduled/happen. For the sake of everyone’s sanity, please flow all info through the club Secretary (Tom Pane) and the Events Committee (Ron Carmichael). They will be the clearing house for what gets into the web site and under what heading. Thanks for your co-operation on this.

We will have our General Membership Meeting later this month (I’m thinking at the Black Finn Restaurant or Pilot House in Wilmington) with the exact date, time and place to be determined and sent out in a separate email. This will be an important meeting because we will discuss some additional changes to the By-laws.  The executive committee met and talked about the length of service and the order in which elective offices would expire. For the sake of continuity, we were thinking that the President and Secretary should be elected in different years so that they would not be new at the same time. The same approach with Treasurer and Vice President. That would necessitate each office to be elected for two years so that they could be staggered. We were thinking that would help with continuity on the one hand and minimize the risk of one person being stuck in a job forever. The Committee chairs would be for a fixed period as well with term limits all around. I also want to remind everyone that these office positions are not gender specific.

I will appoint a nominating committee to seek people to fill offices that may be vacant in 2018 based on whatever you all decide at the meeting. Elections will be held, as tradition has been, in January at our Annual Holiday Celebration/General Membership Meeting (celebrating the Club’s 24th year).

I look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming events and at the January Holiday Party and Annual Membership Meeting.

We continue our first Saturday of the month morning gathering at Bitty and Beau’s and I look forward to seeing you there.

Safe driving,

Ken Schiess

CFMC President’s Message – August 2017

Hi All,

Well, another summer is pretty much gone, and schools are starting to reopen which means that school buses will be out in the mornings and afternoons. School activity buses will be out in the late afternoon as well. Please be extra careful.

In July we conducted the quarterly general membership meeting combined with the July event sponsored by the Badoians. For those who missed it, it was a barbecue, Armenian style. It was well attended. There were Miatas of each and every body style: NA, NB, NC, NCHT, ND, and NDRF parked out front. I think this is a first. I wish we could have gotten a picture of all of them together. I’m sure Stevenson Mazda would have liked a copy.

We will also appoint a nominating committee at the Fall meeting since our next general membership meeting will be at the holiday gathering and will include the election of officers for next year.

The next event will be the solar eclipse event sponsored by Paul and Rebecca Reinmann. It promises to be interesting, and you can learn all about it in Ron Carmichael’s column of upcoming activities.


CFMC President’s Message – July 2017

Happy 4th of July!

Wow, June is over and July is here. The summer is moving along pretty fast. The Club has been active which is great and many thanks to all who have made that happen.

This month we will have our quarterly General Membership Meeting at which we discuss any business that needs to be presented to the group for input and voting. That meeting will be held in conjunction with the July event which will be a Bar-B-Q at Ken and Patty Badoian’s home. (Details can be found under Upcoming Events of this edition). I will publish the Quarterly General Meeting agenda in advance via email.

This Club is active and successful because we have people who are willing to step up and host an event. If you have done so, thank you! If you have not yet done so, consider it. Many hands make like work and with about 30 members and only 12 months we should be able to have one event each month with no stress or strain on any one member. Remember that events can be as simple as an afternoon drive to a favorite destination to as complex as a multiday event. The objective is to get together and have fun. So please support the events as best you can and consider hosting an event that you’d enjoy.

Take a look at the calendar of upcoming events and make your best effort to attend them.

Well, that’s my two cents for this month. I hope to see you all at the next meeting & Bar-B-Q.

Ken Schiess

The Secret to a Successful Life

The secret to a successful life is to recognize that there is only one person in the entire world that can make that happen. AND THAT IS YOU AND YOU ONLY.

If you want to be financially independent you must save and invest wisely.

If you want a good education you must go down that road. Then use the education to help yourself.

If you want to be healthy you should exercise and eat right. YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.

Why I am telling you about how you should look at being successful? The answer is simple. We need more people in the club to step forward and be a part of the club. Please think about attending our four general membership meetings each year, and consider planning a trip while enjoying the social relationship with other members. You could be missing the fun we have going places.

WHAT are some of our needs?

  1. We need an activities director,
  2. We need more people to plan outings,
  3. We need people to write articles to put in our Ragtop Tales newsletter,
  4. We want more people to attend meetings,
  5. We need more people to tell us what they want out of the club.

These are a few things we are looking for from our membership.

Please get involved and enjoy your Miata car with club members.

In the spirit of life, ZOOM ZOOM. Don

Why have a fire extinguisher in your car?

There is only one answer to that question:

When a fire erupts in your Miata you will have an opportunity to extinguish and save your car. (That is the one answer.)

Here is what you need to consider when purchasing a fire extinguisher:

  1. What size: It should be at least a two and a half pound unit. I prefer a five pound but space could be an issue.
  2. What agent: I like an ABC dry chemical. However, it leaves a dust type residue. The agent that does not leave a residue is called Halotron, a clean agent. If you will recall the term Halon; Halotron has replaced Halon.
  3. Painted or Chrome shell: A classic or Miata would host a nice chrome unit, however, cost is a factor.
  4. Quality of unit: I would select an industrial unit. It has metal handles and a better mounting bracket, to mention just two reasons.
  5. Mounting bracket: The industrial unit has a MUCH stronger bracket to hold the unit.

Now that you have an idea of the type of extinguisher you might consider, you must know how to use it on a fire. A car fire in the engine area could be very difficult to extinguish. A fire there tends to move under the engine and to the other side of the engine compartment. You could end up chasing it around.

Bottom line, I recommend not only having a fire extinguisher in your Miata but also buying the best you can find and then know how to use it correctly.


A partnership for excellence

I was reading the annual report from ExxonMobil and noticed an article in the report titled,” A Partnership for Excellence”.

The article was about the partnership ExxonMobil and Porsche have created working together to find the best motor oil for high performance racing cars as well as your every day car use. Porsche feels that Mobil 1 motor oil meets those needs. During our club meeting on January 5th I saw members that have built a group of people that have come together to enjoy their Miata cars sharing time together on outings and other events. It sure seems we have a great partnership among the participating members of our Cape Fear Miata Club.

I am proud to part of an excellent team.

Don with his True Red PRHT