By Mick Holien
Vital parts of the Summerfest celebration annually attract a plethora of folks who might not be drawn to downtown Polson streets.
And that is just what some tourists – yes we are a tourist attraction – attempt to do is return to areas where they previously enjoyed themselves or somewhere they are attracted to because they never have visited there.
For me before I moved to this magic place some 13 years ago it was yearly I felt compelled to go to the Black Hills with of course that accompanying trip to Wall Drug.
Then there is a cruise to an exotic trip to warmth and conversely through the inside passage in Alaska.
Now I certainly can understand of the yearly Car Show that allows enthusiasts to drive their ride here from who knows where and while talking to attendees it is just as much about talking to friends on the show circuit or someone with a like vehicle.
I’ve done my share of racing about anything on four wheels – no motorcycle racing just riding for this guy – but one year I decided to run the show circuit and do so in style by trailering in to the shows.
Enter my 1975 Chevrolet Blazer which I’ll bet you have never seen customized to the point I obtained.
Had purchased it new and having some disposable income I just decided to give it a complete makeover, making the vehicle almost unrecognizable.
I don’t even remember how many coats of pearly based and e exotic paint enhanced mural artfully painted on each side but suffice it to say there were numerous.
Each wheel well was enhanced with colorful flares and I vividly remember every time my wife hit something with one it was about a $500 remake.
The show-time wheels and tires barely went into the wheelwell and in fact they were just show and not go as they had to be mounted after the rig was set on site.
We fiberglassed the side windows giving the off-road vehicle a van look which of course during this time frame were quite popular.
The interior as I remember utilized 27 yards of shag carpet and a lounge-like apparatus sat in front of the rear door facing the bar which basically was mounted directly beheld the driver’s seat.
Are you getting the picture?
Of course the sound system blew out your eardrums and probably are more responsible for some of my hearing loss that earphones I wore for more than three decades.
I have only single photo of the finished product which made its Missoula debut at Aber Days 76 and made many subsequent trips to Dan Fix’s Five Valleys Open Bowling Tournament where it sat in prominent view of Don’s restaurant.
The vehicle’s moniker corresponded with my upper frequency CB handle “Baja,” but that trip by Uncle Charley to my door is another story.
So know when you visit downtown streets in advance of the art show on the Courthouse lawn, spend some time talking to those folks who have poured their heart and soul into their vehicles and pass along a high five cuz we’re sure glad they’re here.
Then to the Big Stage at the Regatta Shoreline for the Bop a Dips like you’ve never seen them.