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 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 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!!!

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.


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
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
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

President’s Message – January 2019

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and joyous holiday. It’s time to start making those
New Year’s resolutions and thinking about some of the things we hope to accomplish during 2019.

The CFMC wrapped up 2018 with an enjoyable December walk around Greenfield Lake hosted by
Paul and Rebecca Reinmann, followed by a great lunch at the Harp Irish Pub. The CFMC begins the
New Year with our annual meeting and Holiday Party on January 6 at the Circa 1922 Restaurant in
Wilmington. Our thanks go to Leon and Beth Rooks for their work in coordinating our annual
meeting and Holiday party. It will be an evening of fun and fellowship along with a little business
“stuff”. Secretary Tom Pane sent out the agenda and previous meeting minutes by email on
December 18. Please bring those items with you to the meeting on January 6. In addition to the
standard agenda items, we will be selecting a Vice President and Secretary for our Club; two very
important positions. As you will recall, the Club bylaws were revised in 2017 to alternate election
years for President/Treasurer and Vice President/Secretary. Tom Pane is “retiring” after serving
four years as Secretary. In addition to serving and doing an outstanding job as Secretary, Tom and
Nancy, have been involved and committed members of the CFMC for many years, hosting several
events and activities. Rick Judson has served as Vice President for three years. He and Judy have
done an outstanding job in promoting and supporting the CFMC, often behind the scenes. As long-time club members, they have also hosted numerous events and activities. Rick and Judy initiated
our Bitty and Beaus first Saturday socials which have been instrumental in generating interest and
new members for our Club. Through their service Tom, Nancy, Rick and Judy have set excellent
examples of leadership, commitment and dedication that make our club successful. As a result of
their efforts, they have contributed to the fun, friendship and fellowship that are the hallmarks of
the CFMC. So please join me in thanking Tom, Nancy, Rick and Judy for their many years of service,
hard work and devotion to our Club. Service, commitment and dedication by our members are
the attributes that will ensure the CFMC’s continued success for many years to come. As we start
a new year, I am excited about what our CFMC can accomplish in 2019. I hope to see you on
Sunday January 6 so we can start a new year on this journey together. Zoom-Zoom!

Ron Carmichael

Highland Games

Saturday, October 6th began with a good layer of fog and mist but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the occupants of 8 Miatas making our way to Laurinburg to attend the 10th annual Highland Games. After parking we boarded a shuttle to the grounds of the John Blue House where the games were in full swing. The opening ceremony was led by two colorful drum majors in resplendent costume and a procession of several pipe and drum corps. There was much to see – highland dance, harp and piping competitions, sheepdog herding demonstrations and the various games. It was obvious after watching the competitors in the sheaf toss, hammer throw, caber toss and other games that the skills
needed to excel were very specialized. There were clan tents and vendors selling all things Scottish and a wide variety of food to be sampled from Scotch eggs to hot dogs and ice cream churned on site.

After enjoying the flavors of the games, we reassembled and drove to Whiteville, NC for dinner at The Chef & The Frog restaurant. We had an enjoyable meal and social time to catch up with members new and old alike. After dinner we said our farewells and made way for home with the sounds of bagpipes echoing in our thoughts.

We enjoyed being your hosts and look forward to the next opportunity to
spend time together in our cars.

Ron and Judy Carmichael


President’s Message – November 2018

As I write this, fall is finally making its appearance. Although summer is nice, it seemed as though it didn’t want to leave! The crisp, cool mornings are a welcome respite from the lingering humidity we experienced in
September and most of October. We started October off with a fun trip to the Highland Games in Laurinburg and a relaxing dinner at the Chef and the Frog restaurant in Whiteville. We had 19 CFMC members for the Games and 20 members join us for dinner. The Games had musical entertainment by a number of “piper” bands along with the traditional Scottish games. The rain held off but the cloudy days kept the temperatures comfortable.

As I mentioned in last month’s column, our quarterly meeting, normally held in October, was postponed due to the
impacts of Hurricane Florence and the availability of suitable meeting venues. As noted in the RTT Extra of October 22, we will have our quarterly meeting on Saturday November 10 at Carrabbas Italian Grill in Wilmington. We will assemble at Carrabbas at 11:00 AM, followed by our meeting and lunch. I encourage all CFMC members to attend this meeting to find out about upcoming events and activities of your Club. A meeting agenda will be sent out prior to the meeting.

In last month’s column, I mentioned the great trip to Bird Island hosted by Bill and Marty Fay on September 8. One aspect of that trip was the round trip taxi ride from the Sunset Beach pier to Bird Island. Unknown at the time, Bill and Marty paid for the taxi service for all attendees. Bill and Marty were willing to cover the cost themselves. But after much pressure from me and a lot of reluctance and resistance from Bill, I found out that the cost of the taxi
service was approximately $5 per person. So if you attended the Bird Island outing and you’re so inclined, let’s reimburse Bill and Marty for the taxi portion of what was an outstanding outing.

I hope to see everyone at our quarterly meeting on November 10. And, we are looking for an event and host for December.

Zoom zoom!

Ron Carmichael, President

President’s Message – September 2018

With the approach of Labor Day, we realize that the waning days of summer
are here. But for those of us familiar with the significance of the
June- November period in this area, we realize that we are in the midst of our
most active time for the potential for hazardous weather. Now is the time for
all of us to make sure that our hurricane preparedness plans are complete
and in place; just in case. We don’t have to cringe in fear, but we do need to
be aware, vigilant and prepared. At the same time, we begin to anticipate the
crisp fall mornings that lie ahead; a perfect time for enjoying top- down
weather in our Miatas. And we have upcoming CFMC events that will allow
us to do just that, including a much anticipated trip this month to the Bird
Island Preserve, October’s trip to the Highland Games in Laurinburg, a
possible CFMC rally-type event in November and our annual holiday party.
Specifics on the upcoming trips to the Bird Island Preserve and the Highland
games are included in this issue of the Ragtop Tales. Early indications are
that we will have great participation in these events. We continue to grow
our club with addition of new members. Please make sure that you welcome
our new members and I encourage you to share ideas and information about
what makes our club great; our members and the fun, friendship and
fellowship that we enjoy. I hope everyone makes the most of the remaining
days of summer, and that you take advantage of the opportunities to enjoy
the many fall events and festivals that our beautiful area has to offer.


Ron Carmichael

President’s Message – August 2018

We’ve reached the peak of summer and we’re beginning to think about the rapidly approaching dog days of August. On Saturday July 21, we had a we ll-attended quarterly meeting. Over two dozen CFMC members were present including two of our newest. Our thanks go to Patty and Ken Badoian who were our hosts and arranged for a wonderful lunch in a spacious and relaxing venue for our meeting.

In addition to the traditional “boiler plate” agenda items, we discussed upcoming events including: a trip to Lake Waccamaw for an August rodeo hosted by Rick and Judy Judson, our September outing to Bird Island preserve hosted by Martha and Bill Fay and our October 6 trip to Laurinburg, NC for the Highland Games, hosted by Judy and Ron Carmichael. As a part of the trip to the Highland Games, we are considering dinner at the Chef and the Frog restaurant in Whiteville, which was featured in the August issue of Our State magazine.
We need a minimum number for dinner in order to reserve a private room so a blast email was sent out on July 24 soliciting RSVPs by potential attendees for the October outing so we can determine if arrangements can be made with the restaurant for dinner. In the fall, Patty and Ken Badoian are considering a November CFMC event involving a car rally/run format. However additional volunteers are needed to make this trip a reality. Please contact Ken if you’re willing to help with this event.

At the meeting, Paul Reinmann, Rick Judson, and Leon Rooks reported on their committee’s efforts in the search for a venue for our annual holiday party. Paul reported that after much research and consideration, their recommendation was the Circa 1922 restaurant in Wilmington. This recommendation was approved by the membership. Leon Rooks volunteered to take the lead on coordinating this year’s event. My thanks go to Paul, Rick, and Leon for their hard work in finding, evaluating, and recommending suitable locations for our rapidly growing club.

As we celebrate the arrival of new CFMC members, we also are sad to report that Cathy and Tim Tarlton, long time active members and supporters of our club, will be re locating from Leland to Banner Elk, NC. In October 2016, Cathy and Tim hosted an outstanding multi-day CFMC outing to the Woolly Worm festival in Banner Elk. Their warmth, generosity and friendliness exemplify what being a CFMC member is all about. We wish Cathy and Tim and their family our best wishes as they make this move and we thank them for their many years of support of our club. We hope to see them on our next CFMC trip to Banner Elk!

Enjoy the waning summer weeks, and please plan to participate in the great events we have planned for the remainder of 2018. Zoom-zoom!

Ron Carmichael


President’s Message – July 2018

We’ re half way! Through 2018 that is, as hard as it is to believe. While this year is flying by, the CFMC continues to plan for interesting and fun events for the remaining six months of the year. Our thanks go to Gina and Ken Schiess for hosting our “Sippin Saturday” event on June 8 and providing us with warm hospitality and delicious desserts! Even though we didn’t have the numbers of new members attend that we’d hoped for, our discussions centered on how to encourage involvement by all members in our club’s activities. As I’ve said before, events and activities are the lifeblood of the CFMC. We need members to be actively involved in order to make these club events possible. Activities are not limited to hosting trips. We can always use members’ help in many club functions such as maintaining our website, contributing articles for the monthly Ragtop Tales, helping to coordinate special events such as our upcoming holiday party and volunteers to perform outreach to some of our less active members to encourage their participation and involvement. Our more “experienced” members are willing to mentor newer members on how to become involved in club events and activities. The bottom line is that our membership includes a wide range of talents and experience that could be very useful to our CFMC.

Our upcoming quarterly business meeting on July 21 will be hosted by Patty and Ken Badoian. Please see the details in this month’s Ragtop Tales. This meeting is an important opportunity to engage in discussions about participation and involvement in CFMC efforts. A blast email will distribute the agenda about a week prior to the meeting. Finally, I’d like to wish all of our CFMC members and their families a safe and happy July 4th as we celebrate our Nation’s birthday and the many freedoms we have in the USA! Please remember the men and women, and their families, whom have made the sacrifices to make our freedoms possible. Thanks and I hope to see everyone on July 21.

Ron Carmichael