Sunday, October 26, 2008

CTCI Convention

Birds and Roses
(the female point-of-view)

The members of the Rose City Thunderbirds hosted a magnificent week long convention in Portland, Oregon this year. Bill and I flew out and attended the entire convention from start to finish. We were joined by Bert Eisenhour and his son, Bert III, who flew in on Wednesday.

Our hotel room on the 4th floor overlooked the Concours d'Elegance parking lot, so we spent much of our down time admiring the cream of the crop as they arrived and were polished up for the judging on Friday.

The Convention's Hospitality Committee outdid themselves everyday feeding hundreds of Thunderbird enthusiasts delicious breakfasts and lunches in the Hospitality Suite. The 'goodie bags' we received were filled with treats for both humans and cars. The predictable raffles exceeded our expectations and, while we bought many tickets, we did not win a thing.

Some of the non-auto highlights of the week included a walking tour of Fort Vancouver Officers Row, a Columbia River Gorge bus tour, a City of Portland bus tour, a bus tour to the Rice Northwest Rock Museum and a driving tour to the Evergreen Flight Museum which is built around the Spruce Goose. We took advantage of all of the offerings. There were also ample opportunities for social interaction with a circus themed welcome party, a Willamette River Dinner Cruise, a wine and beer tasting and, for the ladies, a Dessert Tea Fashion Show. Again, we availed ourselves of everything... well, Bill passed on the Dessert Tea.

While it may appear that our time was completely taken up by the above, there were auto-related events. Monday found Bill at the Tech Session and the "Ask the Experts" session that followed. The Friday evening event was a highlight - the attendees journeyed by car and bus to the nearby Portland International Raceway for a BBQ and drag racing. Quite a few Thunderbird owners tested their cars on the track.

CTCI meetings were scattered throughout the week. These included the General Membership Meeting and the CTCI Board Meeting. Your reporter was persuaded to throw her hat into the ring and run for CTCI Region 2 Director. Apparently, I am running unopposed in this race.
The Awards Banquet on the final night of the Convention was well attended and efficiently run. Bert was honored for having attended every CTCI International Convention and also wished a happy 85th birthday by the entire assemblage. Bert and Bird-News received a Gold Award in the Touring Division of the Newsletter Contest.

Bill and I met many friendly and interesting people during the week. We are happy we attended and encourage you to consider attending a Regional Convention in 2009 or the 2010 International Convention.

-- Liz Werth

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