Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't Worry, Be Happy

This past weekend was one of a trilogy of events that bring my old buddy and I together to enjoy what has become a tradition.  In this case, the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.  It was hard for me to believe, as I strolled amongst some of the most rare and expensive automobiles on earth, that the event is in its 16th year.  I attended the first one and haven't missed many in-between.  It's that fine a show.  So fine, in fact, that my buddy Punch has made the trip from south Florida to join me for the past 10 or 12 years running.

The event is held on the 18th green of the Ritz Carlton and I can't help it that my skin crawls a bit as I, one who has to think about the price of a ticket as opposed to what else that money might buy, rubs elbows with people discussing the similarities or differences between their Ferraris and the one on display.  In this single event is displayed the gauchest of the gauchely wealthy, and the most beautiful machines of mankind's creative imagination.  In any case, it's an automobile lovers paradise and a target-rich environment that no photographer can resist.

Our weekend began on Saturday with a discussion over coffee of what we might do with the day and it was decided that a visit to St. Augustine was in order as we hadn't been there in a while.  A quick trip down ever-more-crowded US1 and we arrived in St. A.  As we drove along the waterfront we noticed a gathering crowd lining the street and decided something was happening and that we had better duck for cover to avoid the traffic.  Using my superb driving skills and local knowledge, I managed to duck directly onto the parade route for the local St. Patrick's Day celebration.  All the exits were blocked and we were heading directly towards the oncoming parade.  Fortunately there was an open alley and we took it, ending up in the front yard of my old friend Isabel who was happy to see us and joined us watching the parade.

There's nothing quite like a small-town parade.  They're so hokey they're camp.

This crew looks like they've been hitting the Guinness before the parade began.  Probably started the night before.  Check out the pooper scooper.
Even though they brought up the political "rear", the Tea Party seemed to be having the most fun of the lot.
St. Augustine truly is one the most charming cities in America.  Even though it's become so overly commercialized that it is no longer the cultural refuge it once was, it is still always worth a visit.

There are so many architectural details to catch the eye you could spend a lifetime photographing them.  Come to think of it, that's pretty much what I've done.

No photo journey to St. A would be complete without at least one shot of the fabulous Hotel Ponce de Leon, now the home of Flagler College.
Sunday dawned cool, bright, and clear.  The perfect day for a drive up the coast to the Concours d'Elegant.  A few photos that caught my eye.  They need no caption.  They speak for themselves.  I'll have to do another post on the event for you gearheads among us, or perhaps Punch will over at A Theatre of the Absurd.  


The Ferrari Daytona that Dan Gurney and Brock Yates drove to victory in the original Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Rally.  Not the movie:  for those interested, here's the Brock Yates article that made the whole thing famous.


  1. Looks like you had a blast.
    You're right about St. Augustine

  2. I have a lot of great memories of St. Augustine from my childhood. Keep meaning to spend a few days there while on family vacation but we always seem in a rush to get some other place. Great pictures!

  3. Trish and BB... Yes, yes, me too, thanks. St. Augustine has certainly been "rediscovered" but it still beats Orlando.

  4. Hell son for thrills and chills Iowa beets Orlando, nice cars. I wonder of $200 an hour to fix 'em would be to much?

  5. WM... Dang boy, it costs nearly that much just to look at them.

  6. I've been to St. Augustine, about 25 years ago. I don't have any photos, but I remember enjoying soaking up the history and the feel of it.

    Nice shots, Mr. C. Selective color is one of my specialties :-)

  7. 1) I loved the simple picture of the white gate in the lemon wall.

    2) That first car? What the almighty hell IS that thing! It looks like it needs a condom. Quick.

  8. Doug... about 25 years ago St. Augustine was in an economic slump, and that's when it was at it's best. I love the selective color this as well, especially when trying to separate something from it's background like here.

    Nance... Danke... that first car is from a custom shop in California, Kurtis. In fact, the 2nd and 6th cars are as well.

  9. I am still digesting, the rich, moveable feast of last weekend.
    I actually find it refreshing that, due to the new Gov. who mearly paid $80 million for the gig, the Duval School system has removed sports from the curriculum.
    Got to keep these cars rollin'. Bring it!
    These fat cats now give money to retired cops and Navy. Don't worry about the dying in Hospice, hey, that was 5 years ago, they are all gone, and we will still be standing.
    I could be wrong.
    The Cars are beautiful, BUT: "don't stand too close, get that camera away from the finish, boy! step back! sir! could you please git out of the way."

    I will be back next year to spend money on the rich.
    God, I love this country!

  10. Punch my friend, you are part of what makes it all worthwhile.

  11. Maybe it's just me, but number 5 looks more like it should be at the Elizabethton, TN cruise-in, not the Concours.


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