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IPMS Niagara Frontier Radar Gun Tour '99 :: by Steve-O

The Radar Gun tour began earlier this year with a road trip to Pittsburgh for the Region 4 convention. That trip saw a bevy of bloopers and antics beyond compare. Things that come to mind include; "Just follow me...", miming messages to the girls on the second floor through the hotel's glass elevator and "I shook Shep's hand...". Also, sporting the "devil's horns", the Goon (pilot/air drums), Mongoose (nav/air harness)and yours truly (tail gunner/air of apprehension) doing our best to frighten fellow freeway flyers while air jamming under a map-lite light show to Skynyrd, The Hip and the Bottlerockets, among others.

The R.G.T. continued with the migration to Rochester for Rocon '99. While the original Radar Gun crew was split up on this sortie, and Dave didn't have the chance to scare the hell out of Rick with a remote vehicle start-up, the day was far from uneventful. After an early morning assemblage and a short briefing (let's eat!) at Wayne's place, we headed to the final assembly point, Bob Evans, to meet with Paul Hines, Tony G., and our breakfast. After this massing at the border (that is, we consumed mass quantities) our four-ship left the PL for the final push into Rochester. G-man and Paul led, number two was Mike Miodonski, number three was Rick Ellis & Jim Hanna with Dave S., Wayne & myself covering everone's tail. The Mongoose and Doc soon dropped back into number four position with a vehicle that "didn't wanna go". Around the IP they eventually dropped off radar and we called No Joy but they arrived over the target soon after we did. At this point we were already ahead of the game as nobody locked their keys inside of their car while it was still running.

Once we got inside the 40&8 and walked through the dealer, raffle and bar areas we finally came to the admission/registration table and within minutes were registered. We also ran into more of our guys and exchanged pleasantries. Back-tracking to the dealers we scoped out what was there and at several points during the day stopped at the bar to rest. A feeding frenzy occurred at Crazy-Eddie's table once it was revealed that his prices were, indeed, insane. This guy couldn't say no, even to ridiculous offers. The intensity of the dealer rooms was such that some of us were forced outside at times. It was here that a few of us witnessed an outstanding example of the do's and don'ts of parking lot navigation. After a few more hopeful trips through the dealer area and then through the display room to admire our models, a large crowd of boys from Buffalo gathered at the bar, apparently due to exhaustion. The Bills game was on and it was a tough choice between watching the tube and the dealers but in the end the TV won.

About the time the judging started, Ray Weick, Dick Schulenberg, Marty McGuire and yours truly headed out for to find some eatage. Plan A was to hit a deli recommended by Blinky the bartender. After it was determined that the directions to the place were bogus (either that or we had no clue...) we resorted to Plan B which was to drive in a straight line until we saw something desirable, okay until we saw SOMETHING. (Simplicity is a plus with this crowd.) Well we saw something alright. We pulled into the PL of KFC. (No, not the K of C.) On the ouside it looked like a regular KFC. On the inside it was like Fort Knox. Almost the entire counter area was shielded by glass that looked like it could stand up to a GAU-8. Upon ordering, we found out real quick that KFC menu boards confuse ex-USAF personnel quite easily. Anyhoo, we departed the KFC and found ourselves at a most confusing intersection, feeling as though we were diagonally parked in a parallel universe, what with traffic coming directly at the passenger side of the vehicle and all...

After making it back, unscathed, to the 40&8 we again resisted all temptation and stayed away from the dealers, parking ourselves in the bar. TIME FOR THE AWARDS! I don't recall exactly who won what, but almost everyone from the club that entered got sumthin'. There were some interesting picks for some of the special awards, namely the best USAF a/c (that's UNITED STATES Air Force) being won by a Dutch F-16. Oh yeah, there was also a best TBM Avenger award won by none other than Marty "I just want a drink with my meal" McGuire. I thought there was a rule about ex-USAF personnel who are confused by KFC menu boards not being eligible for such awards but... After a photo session on and around the local Loco Locomotive we headed out to investigate the effects that high-speed transit over sunken railroad tracks would have on built-up models, then on to our customary road trip dinner. This being a minor miracle as yours truly actually ate at a Chinese restaurant. No further comment as this is a family rag. Chow.

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