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Cruise-In Fun

Cruise-In Fun

June 13th, 2018 by Neil Abeles in Texarkana Region

Oh, sure, Butch Reed of Benton, La., claims his car entry is a 1923 Model T Ford. Perhaps somewhere, some metal piece is from the Model T days. But would anyone back then have recognized this car?

Photo by Neil Abeles /Texarkana Gazette.

This year's annual Steven Smith Memorial Cruise-In was as much about the homemade ice cream contest as the showing of automobiles. Credit the hot weather for the emphasis.

Gallery: Cruise-In Fun

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Any spot that had shade and was close to the line of tables with people happily giving out homemade ice cream was highly sought.

Still, the event to remember Steven Smith drew unique and striking cars for other owners to envy and the public to admire.

Smith, who died in March 2016, was a leader in the Atlanta community as well as having many hobbies including drag racing, boat racing and amateur radio.

He was a member of Racers for Christ organization, and was a founding member of the Atlanta City Development Corporation.

He filled several roles with the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Atlanta Education Foundation and Methodist Church. He was named Man of the Year for the city of Atlanta in 1989.

The Atlanta District Texas Department of Public Transportation team won the commercial entry for best homemade ice cream.

 

Ole Yeller

Luana Taylor of Atlanta had the overall brightest entry in Atlanta's Steven Smith Memorial Cruise-In car show Friday night.

Her 1967 yellow Ford pickup with the name "Ole Yeller" had the right stuff. It wasn't the oldest or most elegant, but it had style and a history.

First, the truck had belonged to Luana's grandparents, Gib and Maxine Morgan of Atlanta, since being purchased at the Leon Blakey Motor Company 51 years ago. It had always been yellow. For this, its only second public show, Luana wore a yellow T-shirt and passed out the ever-popular Juicy Fruit gum, which comes in yellow packaging.

Luana was not a usual car-show participant, but she is now because she's proud to have the grandparents' truck back out on the road. It hadn't needed much. Just a paint job and some mechanical work.

"When we were getting that done, the mechanic had me help him work on Ole Yeller because he wanted me to know how. He probably knew that I would appreciate it even more," she said.

The truck sat for a yew years, but it always ran and had never been too far.

"My grandparents would just put a boat in the back and drive off to some lake here or in Texarkana or maybe even Doddridge, Arkansas. They'd just toss in some cane poles in the back and go fishing."

If it goes again now, one hopes the fish like yellow up there on the bank.

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