Blackstone Rallye

The stars (or should I write, "the clouds"?) aligned to provide beautiful weather for the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Rallye and Repast on Sunday, October 14th. Various other schedules (or "stars") also aligned, allowing us to meet up with other Alfisti from Connecticut for lunch and, together, enjoy a wonderful presentation provided by Mike Donnelly, Peter Lombardo, and Jay Hoyt on "everything Alfa Romeo".

The day began early, with ten AONE rallye teams meeting up at Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, MA, for the start of a rollicking gimmick rallye planned and staged by the incomparable Tom Letourneau. Each team got a rallye packet comprising the rallye route, gimmick question answer sheet, hermetically sealed answers, and even some tourist brochures. The Alfas were sent off at two-minute intervals, and were soon all crisscrossing the countryside, searching out the answers to the riddles while enjoying some fabulous back roads and fall foliage.

After a couple of hours of scenic mayhem, the rallye weaved through the Blackstone Valley and eventually into Connecticut, where it made its way to the homestead of Jim and Patti DeWaele. Our close friends from AROC-CT also joined us as they completed their tour of the local "Last Green Valley" area in eastern CT. After touring the historic and scenic Route 169, the group stopped by the local art festival in Woodstock, another beautiful annual tour tradition.

Once everyone found the house, lunch consisted of an all-Italian menu that seemed perfect for the weather and casual atmosphere. We started with an assortment of hors d'oeuvres, and then moved on to pasta e fagioli, meatballs, and olive bread, finished with cannoli and various desserts brought by members.

After our lunch, the Gimmick Rallye trophy was presented to winners (by one point!) Deb and Dan Donovan. They received a really nice wooden touring car model with a brass plaque commemorating the rallye contributed by Tom Letourneau. Congratulations to Dan and Deb ... again!

Following the "ceremony", we gathered and listened to (and watched) an exciting presentation by Mike Donnelly and Jay Hoyt as they discussed the art of restoration, giving us some great advice on the levels of restoration as well as developing a plan for one's car to go through the process. Mike and Jay proudly run The Paddock Classic Car Restorations, newly opened in New Britain, CT!

Michael was then joined by Peter Lombardo and they gave us a fun and informative look at sports car racing. Michael and Peter race Alfas and each has won a championship in the past two years! Well done, guys!

The event was characterized by meeting several new members, a few of them looking to take advantage of the break in the rainy weather. Unfortunately, sleepy car batteries made it impossible for two members. Also notable was the number of new Giulias. I could not help but overhear the mutual respect and admiration owners of all years have for the marque itself, no matter what vintage.

All the stars aligned, and we had a great day. It seemed that the weather was the most perfect when we finally served lunch! All "strategery"! Patti and I are looking forward to next year, perhaps in warmer weather. As I wrote and was hoping for in the original announcement, "We can all have lunch under white tents in perfect weather ..."Tiny Quadrifoglio

Participants (in no particular order):

Meg Anderson and Peter Walker - 1977 Spider
Robert Rook and Adrien Sipos - 2017 Giulia TI
Greg and Andrea Stidsen - 1974 GTV
Gene and Judy Durso - 2017 Giulia Quadrifoglio 
John and Lauren DeWaele - 1972 GTV
Nando and Antoinette Loredana Pellegrino - 2018 Giulia TI
Andy Amatruda -1964 Giulia Spider
Jim and Patti DeWaele - 1973 GTV
Dan and Deb Donovan - 1988 Spider
Steve and Nancy Perry - 1978 Spider
Frank La Sala and Mary Demers - 2018 Stelvio
Bob Rupp and Barbara Smith - 1984 Spider
Roger Carlson and Robin Meyers - 1959 2000 Touring
Dave and Vi Pratt - 2017 Giulia TI
Mike and Pat Donnelly - 2018 Giulia
Jay Hoyt and Friend - 1949 MG TC
Peter Lombardo - 2015 4C
Joe and Jessy Palumbo - 1987 Spider
Kathy and Mike Davias - 1985 Callaway GTV6
Dee and Marc Palmieri - 1984 Spider
Gary and Cynthia Levesque - 1971 Junior Zagato
Fred Frey and Bev Fisher - 1973 Junior Zagato
John Della Torre and Tammy Waleszczyk - 2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe

Blackstone Tour Group Photo

Everyone posing for a group shot on Jim & Patti DeWaele's grounds

(Click on the thumbnails below for a larger view, and then
swipe, scroll, or use the arrow buttons to navigate)

Meeting Up at Purgatory Chasm

Crisscrossing the Countryside

Our Cars at Château DeWaele

The people at Château DeWaele

Ahhh, the Food

The Award Ceremony

After-Dinner Entertainment


See the original event announcement

Blackstone Rallye