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     Celebrating the original Ford Thunderbird   

      from 1955, 1956, and 1957

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Recent Events                         

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Annual Holiday Party                            – by Laura Cielenski


The Annual Holiday Party was held on December 3rd at the Alpine Haus Banquets in Westchester.  Forty-seven club members came out on a chilly December night to celebrate. The festivities began that evening with hot appetizers and drinks as members were able to mingle before dinner. Once Happy Hour was over a delicious dinner was served. Ken spoke briefly about the upcoming year and Jim Wilson presented Laura Cielenski with a Gold Medal Certificate for the CTCI Newsletter contest which Jim picked up at the Convention in Florida.

 After Ken and Kathy pulled names for the door-prizes. Everyone went home with several gifts.  Many thanks to Ken & Kathy Smizinski for planning the party, obtaining the wine and many of the door prizes. A fun night was had by all.

Those in attendance were: Gina Bakakos, Mike & Laura Cielenski, Gail Hascek & Mike Detty, Peter & Katie Hauser, Bob Hoge, Karen Kelly, Len Keil, Sandy Kraatz, Marylu Kramer, Steve & Alexandra Kramer, Jerry & Dorene Michna, Dan & Melinda Pritchett, Gordon Gluff and Mary Ziemba, Madeline Zambon, Mike Pavlak, Ron Pavlak, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Len & Irene Vinyard, Bob & Sue Wenderski, Liz Werth, Jim & Jane Wilson and Kami Woody.

Turkey Dinner – 2023


The Annual turkey dinner was held on Sunday, November 5th. Len & Mary Keil and Liz Werth brought out their baby birds and Len & Irene Vinyard & Madeline Zambon brought the retro birds. Fourteen of us gathered with numerous other clubs to enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving dinner cooked by the Lions Club. Desserts, contributed by the attendees, were plentiful. As usual, it was a delightful afternoon and we thank Dan and Melinda Pritchett for, once again, inviting our club to participate. In attendance were Gail Hascek and Mike Detty, Bob Hoge, Len and Mary Keil, Karen Kelly, Rose Kovalenko, Dan & Melinda Pritchett, Ken and Kathy Smizinski, Len and Irene Vinyard, and Liz Werth.

Annual Meeting

Our Annual Meeting was held at Alley 64 in Palatine on September 14th. Twenty members came out for delicious food and drinks and great conversation. Ken Smizinski started off the meeting while we waited for our meals. He went over the remaining 2023 calendar of events and had Melinda Pritchett talk about the Turkey Dinner in November. Ken had a mini tech session talking about fuel pumps and the fact that the company he talked about at the May Tech Session for rebuilding fuel pumps is now closed. He said there is another company he found called EGGE Machine Company (#800-866-3443.) He mentioned trying to get a heater control valve and that he found these valves on Ebay. They are listed as NORS 1955-56-57 water heater assembly Dole DW1. Ken continued to talk about the issue of the hood release breaking and the process to release the hood when this happens. He mentioned that a company has come up with a neutral safety switch where now you can start the car in park and not neutral. After Ken finished, Jim Wilson went over the treasurer’s report and then elections were held. All current Officers were voted in for another term. There was no new business and the meeting was adjourned.

Those in attendance: Dan & Karen Anderson, Mike & Laura Cielenski, Skip & Diana Gallagher, Gordon Gluff, Gail Hascek & Mike Detty, Peter Hauser, Karen Kelly, Dan & Melinda Pritchett, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Liz Werth and Jim & Jane Wilson.

Johnsburg Parade                                                    By Liz Werth

The weather this year was much better than last year’s. The day began slightly overcast but cleared up nicely in time for the parade. Ten cars and their occupants gathered at Len and Mary Keil’s for coffee and sweet treats before lining up to be led to the parade staging area. A helpful policeman blocked traffic so the cars could exit the sub-division safely. We lined up in a different place than in previous years and were able to watch other parade entries arrive.

Preceded by the walking color guard, our progress was slower than usual. Just about every resident of Johnsburg and the surrounding towns lined up to enjoy the spectacle. At least one car ran out of candy to throw well before the end of the route.

After leaving our cars on the ball field, we enjoyed a complimentary beverage at the town’s Saufen und Spiel fest grounds. Then it was back to the Keils’ for a delicious lunch of hot dogs, beans, chili, chips and more. A huge thank you to the Keils for their hospitality.

Those who drove were: Dan Anderson, Art Hahl, Len Keil, Karen Kelly, Jerry Michna, Dan Mrozek, Dan Pritchett, Lloyd Schellin, Ken Smizinski and Liz Werth.

Those who watched were: Mary Keil, Rose Kovalenko, Doreen Michna, Melinda Pritchett, Joan Schellin and Kathy Smizinski.