A GREEN RIVER GORGE-US SPRING THING


Cow pies, a pink rabbit on a bike leaning against a mailbox and Malcom Lougheed are the correct answers to three of the 2018 Spring Thing questions. This was at least a SP-30 day with temperature comfortably reaching the mid 60s and no sprinkles until our Jaguars were tucked into their garages for the night. It was ideal weather for the roadster and convertible participants, including Dave Ambur and his navigator in the ex-Danny Lisa black XJS, Ray Papineau and Linda Roberts in a red XJS, Tom Hilton and Margaret Ames in their red XK8, John and Trish Blackburn (right) in their E-Type, Fred Ehret and his navigator in another E-Type and Kurt and Cheryl Jacobson in their XK120. Filling out the field in metal-roof Jags were John and Sondra Mangan, Ehab Sahawneh and his navigator. The eventual first-place winner George Wheeler and Laura made the trip in his new Jeep Wrangler, replacing his recently-totaled XF, reminding is that a Jaguar isn’t required to enjoy the Spring Thing. Not driving either of their Jag-uars were event organizers Bob and Tanya Book, their Spring Thing Royal, granddaughter Reagan, Bob and Ann Alness and Adrian Brennan. The route was an open car dream, leaping over the Green River many times, skirting farms, equestrian estates, parks, historical buildings and driving through the historical coal mining communities of Cumberland, Franklin, Kanaskat, Palmer, Ravensdale and ending at the famous backroads destination, the Black Diamond Bakery. Waiting for participants were Tonya and Bob Book, who checked the sheets for correct answers to questions, such as, “What is on the roof at Green Valley Meats?” (see pic-ture), “How much did a new Jaguar XK120 cost in 1948?” (5,263 Pounds Sterling) and, “What is the ideal gasoline air-fuel ration and what is the term for it?“(14.7 parts air to 1 part fuel; sto-chiometric). Waiting for participants to arrive and collect their question-naires were Spring Thing organizer Bob Book, his co-organizer Tanya Book and co-co-organizer Reagan. (at left, pulling Sondra Mangan’s winning Jaguar watch raffle ticket). Before the first car left at 9:30, participants met at the Auburn School Dis-trict’s Automotive Technology facility where we were hosted by Tanya Book and instructor Kurt Edwards, now in his third year of teaching after a 25-year career as a technician and service manager, the last several with In-finiti. There are two programs: Small Gas Engine and Automotive Ninety, the latter of which has 51 are automotive students. The 8,000 sq. ft. facility has a main shop and areas for parts, tools, wash-up/locker, a classroom, plus a lobby, small gas engine classroom, parts cleaning and inside and outside storage for vehicles not in use. There are 17 training ads (practice cars) donated by manufacturers and private donors, offering a variety of vehicles for automotive career-oriented students, and those who work on cars at home. The program also have the support of an advisory committee drawn from independent shops and dealerships, automotive stores, and other industry professionals that provide advice us on what equipment, techniques, and employee skill sets are needed to keep Auburn’s program up to industry standards. JDRC members purchased $110 in raffle tickets to win a Jaguar watch, won by Sondra Mangan. The money will be used to send student Bryan Pineda and instructor Kurt to the June Skills USA National Leadership and Skills Conference, a showcase of career and technical education students, which attracts more than 16,000students, teachers and business partners. The contributions by JDRC members covered nearly half of Bryan's meals for the 5 day trip. The money collected goes to the Automotive program’s Automotive club. Tanya book says, “To fill our club’s coffers, we do work on student, student's family, and staff vehicles at parts + $15/hour for a shop rate. Sure beats the $90+ on the economy, eh? The funds raised cover extra material or equipment that the District budget does not cover. The main purpose of the club account is to provide support for our contestant's travel, meals, registration, and lodging. Registration is usually $90/contestant/contest so it adds up quickly. I sure appreciate the club pitching in like they did. It's going to cost about $6k for Kurt and Bryan

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