On Friday, 100 guests attended Harford County Public Library’s Foundation annual A Night Out @ the Library, featuring five-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and Fulbright Fellow Earl Swift. Swift discussed his latest book, The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways, a New York Times editors’ choice. His witty presentation, which focused on the “unsung” heroes and patriarchs of our modern highway system, prompted a lively discussion about Baltimore’s historical tenacity. The city’s successful protest of I-70 in 1982 is featured in several chapters of his book.
The week’s events climaxed on Jarrett’s Field on Saturday when more than 1,000 spectators turned out for the Romancing the Chrome Car Show to benefit Harford County Public Library and the Jarrettsville Lions Club. Car fans and onlookers alike enjoyed live music by Almost Certain, pit beef and concessions by Rick Smithson and Jarrettsville Creamery and Deli, a beer garden, and a variety of exhibits from vendors including the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company, Jarrettsville Veterinary Clinic, Akers Financial, the Jarrettsville PTA, and several of the event’s sponsors: Keene Dodge, Mr. Tire, Harford Sanitation/Waste Industries, Mark Welsh/BB&T Bank, Two Brothers Moving, Hall’s Septic, WXCY, Nature Unlimited, Rock Solid Hardscaping, Aberdeen Proving Ground Federal Credit Union, Jarrettsville Creamery and Deli, Lombardo’s Market, Bill Schilling/Long & Foster Real Estate, Jarrettsville Federal Savings and Loan, Jarrettsville Pharmacy, the Jarrettsville Friends of Harford County Public Library, and Fast Frame of Bel Air.
Nearly 250 cars registered to compete for the $500 Best in Show Prize, and ten $75 Best in Class prizes, and visitors enjoyed the more than 300 vehicles on display.
“We are thrilled with the response from the community,” said Amber C. Shrodes, Foundation Director for Harford County Public Library, and an organizer for the event. “This was the Library’s first car show and our first event held in partnership with the Jarrettsville Lions Club. We were elated with the support we received from our sponsors and vendors, and astounded by the number of registrations!” Shrodes added that the Foundation is always looking for new and exciting opportunities to promote the library, find new partners, and obtain outstanding return on investment for their contributors.
Proceeds from the Car Show were approximately $10,000, and will be divided between the Library and the Jarrettsville Lions. “Members of the Jarrettsville Lions Club are very pleased and proud to have partnered with the Library Foundation in such a successful event,” said Linda Lupro of the Jarrettsville Lions Club. “The motto of Lions is ‘We Serve,’ and most funds we raise through events such as this car show and the annual carnival held in June are used to help in our community — providing eyeglasses and hearing aids for those in need, enabling youth to attend diabetes camp, awarding academic scholarships, supplying food for distribution by Mason Dixon Community Services. The Jarrettsville Lions Club plans to make the car show an annual event,” she added.
“We are so appreciative of the support and generosity of the Harford County community in making the Romancing the Chrome Car Show and the celebration of National Library Week truly outstanding,” stated Mary Hastler, Director, Harford County Public Library. “It was an unforgettable week, culminating in a fabulous community event. Funds raised will enable the library to continue supporting activities like the Journey Stories exhibitions, our summer reading program, early literacy initiatives, and other special library activities.”
Support from the community was outstanding with a long list of sponsors. “Between the Harford County Public Library Staff and the Jarrettsville Lions Club members, the first annual Romancing the Chrome Car show was an absolute success!” stated Mike Baldwin, General Manager, Keene Dodge and Headlining Sponsor. “We are always looking for ways to give back to a community that has been so good to us over the years and we feel like our newly found partnership with the Library has proven to be a great way to do so. We look forward to the continuation of the Journey Stories program as well as future partnerships with the Jarrettsville Lions and Harford County Public Library.”
“Romancing the Chrome was the best sponsorship Mr. Tire has ever done. What a turn out with over 300 cars and 1000 spectators!” stated Lee Slenbaker, Regional Manager for Mr. Tire. “Mr. Tire appreciates being asked to be a sponsor; it was simply Tire-riffic. See you next year!” further exclaimed Slenbaker.
And the winners are…
Best in Show. . . . . . .Walt Howard – 1933 Ford Coupe
Exotic/European. . . .George Hubbard – 1959 Mercedes 190SL
Sports. . . . . . . . . . . . .Ralph & Keitha Hatton – 2006 Cadillac XLR
Classic. . . . . . . . . . . . .Stan Rosinsky – 1966 Chevrolet Stingray
Antique. . . . . . . . . . . John Maners – 1957 Chevrolet Belair
Truck/SUV. . . . . . . . .Ross Gilbert – 1964 Chevrolet Pick Up Truck
Muscle. . . . . . . . . . . .Steve Golden – 1955 Chevrolet Belair
Hot Rod. . . . . . . . . . .Todd & Kim DeFrain – 1967 Chevrolet Camaro
Jeep. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Steve Swann – 2012 Jeep
Journey Stories. . . . .Arvin & Judy Sadler – 2007 Mustang Shelby GT.
“This was one of the finest car shows I have ever been to and I have been doing this for over 25 years. The people, cars, spacing, judges, music, all magnificent!” said Tim Keck, owner of several entries and winner of a Top 25 award in the Antique category.
A special Journey Stories category was added to the car show in honor of the Smithsonian Exhibition, Journey Stories, opening at the Abingdon Library on May 19th. The Sadlers had documented the entire history of their Mustang, from its birth in Detroit to its trip to Las Vegas to be “Shelby-ized” and their cross country adventure to bring it home that included travel on Route 66.
A thank you goes out to Mark Welsh, Amber Shrodes, Mike Baldwin, Jim Welch, Jim Butcher, Dave Endres, James Dark, Nina Fahimi, Kathy Etzel, Linda Lupro, and Bethany Hacker for serving on the Car Show committee.
Journey Stories is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Maryland Humanities Council and is presented in Harford County by Harford County Public Library and Harford County Department of Community Services.
Photo caption #1: Earl Swift, author of “The Big Roads,” spoke at the Jarrettsville Library on April 13th at the Library’s annual A Night Out @ the Library. Photo credit J. Thomas Photography
Photo caption #2: Walt Howard accepts the Best in Show award for his 1933 Ford Coupe at the first annual Romancing the Chrome Car Show presented by Harford County Public Library and the Jarrettsville Lion’s Club. Photo credit J. Thomas Photography
Photo caption #3: First annual Romancing the Chrome Car Show at Jarrett’s Field.