Sunday, October 10, 2010


THE FIRST FULL-DAY OF FALL PRODUCED A TANTALIZING temperature of 89 degrees! Reality set in very soon thereafter, dashing any hopes for the 80's.

The CTCC Calendar provides a realistic view, as we prepare for the last road-trip of the year. Len and Mary Keil have planned a tour to Cedarburg, Wl on Sunday, Oct. 17m. [See Schedule on page 3.]

Early reports on the Fall Tour indicate that good weather prevailed! Look for the story by Karen Kelly in the November issue.

A delegation of CTCC members greeted the members of the Puget Sound Early Birds upon their arrival here on September 23rd. Coverage of the event appears on page 9, the highlight being our dinner at the fabled Del Rhea's Chicken Basket on the old Rte. 66!

Liz Werth has recently encountered the dreaded computer CRASH, so she is in urgent need of any photos you have from 2010 Club events/Tours, etc. These form the year-in-Review Program content for the Nov. meeting. Contact Liz at:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Ode to Joe...

My Ode to Joe...I reminisce about friend, you will be missed!

Joe and Madeline Zambon joined our Regional V-8 Club in the early 1990's. At that time Joe's V-8 was a 1947 Deluxe Coupe and it was his driver. As they became more active in the club...Joe was elected the club treasurer, and on to the V-8 Club President. Funny thing about seemed that there was a good woman, Madeline (his Gracie), behind him for everything. Madeline would pre-write receipts for yearly dues and other club activities when he was the treas­urer; when he was the President, Madeline wrote out the agenda for each monthly meeting. What a lucky guy, she was always "working" for Joe.
Photo Caption: Joe's Crestliner on the left and Joe and Madeline on the right.

In 1993, after a club drive out we were invited to the Zambon's for lunch and a tour of Joe's collections. Wow, what a basement, the train collection and die-cast cars, in the garage: 2 award winning T-Birds, the V-8 and a Galaxie...At that time, I asked Madeline what Joe did for a living and she calmly answered, " He bags groceries at Jewel's." Another wow...maybe that's what I should be doing.. ..hmmmm.

Back to the V-8 Club...after Joe's years as the V-8 Club President, they hosted trips to Starved Rock State Park; in Dubuque, Iowa to a Basilica and the "Field of Dreams" to mention a few. On every trip there was a memorable moment. On the trip to Iowa we stopped at the Ertl Toy Outlet Store; Joe bought 43 model cars, so many that he told Madeline she would have to put her clothes and luggage in the back seat on the way home. Only Madeline could say "Oh Joe" in a cer­tain tone of voice. A day when Joe was not told "Oh Joe" must have been rare. They hosted the main course of the progressive dinner, the club auction and other activities. They were always willing to help; and Madeline was the catalyst for Joe.

Oh my goodness, the funny stories. From his early years, when his mother asked him to get the yeast starter dough from the bakery on his way home from school. Well, I'm sure many of you know that Joe was going to save some time and got the dough at lunch time and put it in his locker, then it started to rise and dough was coming out of the vents of his locker by the end of the day. Just his descriptions made all of us laugh. He was mischievous also; his Dad told him he could not buy a motorcycle; well, he bought a Cushman. Dad found out and Joe never saw the bike again; he told us he thought it went into the Chicago River. Just part of growing up as a 'Southsider.'

The acquisition of a Crestliner took years. Joe looked at Crestliners at the meet in Omaha over 10 years ago. A group of us went to an Eastern National Meet in Vernon, New York. Joe was showerd and all 'cleaned' up for the evening after a hot day touring in his 47' Coupe. We could see him from the window in the hotel room sliding underneath a green Crestliner that was for sale. Of course, Madeline was not happy and when she was really upset "Oh, Joe" was not what was any true Catholic girl then it is the full name with a certain inflection "Oh Joseph you got grease all over your good shorts and why are you looking at an ugly car anyway."

When Joe found the "51 Crestliner (2 tone brown) I rode with him to pick it up in Grand Rapids, MI. I asked him what Madeline thought about him buying what she called an 'ugly 'car. Joe said "she is still in Arizona visiting with her girlfriend and I haven't told her yet". I told him he shouldn't go home. That old car ended up being his last old car pride and joy.

Joe loved food and desserts, particularly chocolate. There was always room for ice cream. Back in the days of monthly board meetings; I loved going to Joe and Madeline's. The Schwann man route included a stop at the Zambon's and oh the delectable items we had for 'coffee' and refreshments.
Speaking of food, we had the privilege one year of going to the Zambon's during the holidays and having some of the homemade family tradition ravioli made by Madeline et al with loving care. His family was important,;they went on extended family vacations every year; Madeline prepared 'caper' charts so she did not become the family maid, only Joe's; whether it was to a cottage, their place at Lake of the Ozarks or snowmobiling. Family was always included. The more the merrier.

Joe did not let minor things bother him; we were in downtown Rochester, NY (a cul­turally diverse area) after touring George Eastman's Mansion (Eastman Kodak); it was 95 plus degrees and Joe's horn started blowing non-stop on the '51 Crestliner. When he got a red light he hopped out and disconnected the horn. He drew a number of stares from the other autos. We laughed again but to Joe it was just another day.

Joe had always told us for years that if it weren't for Madeline he would not be here. She raised his kids, since he worked so many hours in the early years. She woke him up mul­tiple times; since he was so tired he would fall back asleep she made coffee in the middle of the night for Joe, his brother Dave and Dad to have before they went to work. She was always there to help. The last couple of years, she was the rock, encouragement, help, nutritional and every other need that a person could have. Madeline was loved by Joe unconditionally and it was reciprocated.

So "oh Joe' my story has come to an end, I will miss you, Joe my friend, as you have left us to join some of the other V-8 board members such as Art Pennington, Leonard Sizemore, Rich Isaacson , Bob Ensign and Cliff Guernsey. A group of guys where the story never ends.
Jim Brown
For Presidents Corner
August, 2010
This article is reprinted from The Northwest Indiana V-8 Times.