by Frank Maldari
Driving home after the party, I reflected on how the core of the Alfa Owners of New England has essentially remained intact from my first days with the club in 1981. I remember meeting Jim Miga, who, back then, had (and still has) a Duetto parked in the garage and a Corvair in the driveway. In my mind, this guy had to be "all right", since my grandfather use to drive a similar Corvair, and I spent winters shoveling it out long after he could legally drive it.
Thanks to Jim, we were able to have as our guest speaker Craig Fitzgerald, automotive columnist for the Boston Globe, President of the New England Motor Press Association, and certified Italian car nut (by virtue of his owning a great example of Italian machinery a Moto Guzzi). Craig talked about influential publications in his career, what the life of an automotive journalist is like, and how the industry approaches marketing their products. His insightful words about Cadillac seemed familiar, and the next day I rummaged through my recycled newspapers and, sure enough, came across his article on the new Cadillac pickup truck.
Fifty of the faithful showed up at the Josiah Smith Tavern Barn in Weston to listen to Craigs informal talk, which included great audience interaction. More than a few people expressed their appreciation to be able to speak with Craig and to hear him expound on his unique insight into the automobile industry and journalism.
A highlight is always the great assortment of terrific homemade Italian dishes that everyone brings. This year, recipes were collected for the upcoming AONE Cookbook. [If you didnt turn in your recipe at the party, please email it to email@example.com or mail it to AONE, 300 Westfield Street, Dedham, MA 02026 Ed.] Enjoying the food, wine and beer gave us a chance to catch up on all things Alfa. It went by all too fast! I was also glad to see that a second generation of Alfa enthusiasts was able to walk away with some great door prizes. Often overlooked, the new generation represents the future of the club and that of Alfa when the cars we love return to the US. Success in the US will be about perception, and right now the club may be the only organization providing an active, positive awareness of the cars and their history to this new generation.
The evening also featured Brian Shorey, who has put in a lot of time in the past couple of years as the point man for tech sessions at Glynn Motorsports. Currently, he is working on putting together the bid for the 2004 AROC National Convention, to be held right here in New England! His presentation got us pumped to show the rest of the country that Alfa Owners of New England remains a hotbed of Alfa enthusiasts. With the reintroduction of Alfa into our market, AONE can show GM what Alfa in the US is all about.
Special awards from the club were presented by AONE President Tom Lesko, MC for the evening, to Craig Fitzgerald for his excellent talk, and by Stephan de Pénasse to Dave Pratt to show our appreciation for being the Kingpin of Communication. [Of course, everyone knows that kingpins are inferior to ball joints. Ed.] Kevin Murphy set up a TV and VCR and played a few racing movies as alternative entertainment. There were also some Alfabilia give-aways set up, and the Club Store was open for business with its assortment of AONE collectibles.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who helped in making this party another success, and I hope to see everyone at the next get-together.
[And we all want to thank Frank for orchestrating the Winter Party again this year. He has a knack for making it run like a freshly-tuned Alfa engine. Ed.]
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|A larger view of the panoramic shot at the top of this page. Use your browser's scroll bar to view the entire image.|
Before sitting down to serious business (the terrific Italian smorgasbord, that is), attendees sip and mingle for a while first
|Master of Ceremonies and AONE President Tom Lesko, despite having to fight off a winter cold, manages to keep us from getting too rowdy|
|Automotive writer Craig Fitzgerald delivered an interesting, low-key address that later opened up into an informal give-and-take forum|
|Craig has everyone's attention as he tells us a few tales from his career as an automotive writer|
|AONE President Tom Lesko presents our guest speaker with a coveted AONE coffee mug and Alfa Romeo calendar in appreciation for his informative and entertaining talk|
|Brian Shorey delivers a presentation to the assembled membership outlining AONEs potential bid to host the 2004 AROC National Convention|
|Brian is captured after the party attempting to break into the back of a locked but running pickup truck. Hey, wait thats his locked but running pickup truck!|
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