Raining on their parade

Downpour fails to stop Shades of the Past Friday Night Cruise

Photo by Angela Gonzalez Drivers wait near Runnings for storm clouds to leave to start the Shades of the Past Friday Night Cruise.

MARSHALL — Dark storm clouds could be seen rolling in from both left and right. Participants of the Shades of the Past cruise still had their cars positioned and ready to go in four lanes.

Some drivers waited patiently in their vehicles, while others walked around, mingling with friends and family.

“Normally we have 200 plus vehicles in the cruise,” Rod Wilikison, a driver riding a bright red 2003 Ford Thunderbird, said. “I don’t know if the weather is going to damper that.”

The Shades of the Past cruise is an event done every summer. It’s an opportunity open to anyone who has a sweet ride and wants to share it with the town.

Butch Buchanan, from Wood Lake, came over riding a red 1961 Studebaker Hawk. This special car was made to look just like the one Buchanan owned back when he got out of high school.

“This is exactly like I had it,” Buchanan said, “The engine is the same, the transmission is the same, but the interior was red.”

Darrell Mercie came rolling in a shimmery ruby red 2004 Mustang, 40th anniversary editon. Mercie has been a fan of cars ever since he can remember. At the age of 13 he bought himself a 1947 Chevy for only $75. Having the Shades of the Past has given him and his wife a great community.

“It’s been good, welcoming and friendly,” Mercie’s wife said. “We’ve got a lot of friends and we’re always here for each other.”

The babble of talk and laughter continued to fill the air. Children weaved around trying to take in all the vintage cars, yet as time passed, the clouds got closer and closer. Just 10 minutes before the cruise was to start, thunder roared, lighting flashed and a large curtain of rain came pounding down.

Everyone was in a frenzy trying to get somewhere dry. Drivers dashed back to their vehicles, windows were quickly rolled up and viewers ran down the road to shelter. The rain continued to pour, but this didn’t put an end to the cruise.

As the cars and trucks sailed through Marshall, townspeople watched in the safety of their own vehicles parked in grass and parking lots. Some parts of Marshall stayed dry, giving some watchers the freedom to watch the cruise in lawn chairs. Many children took cover under trees, giving signals to the vehicles, hoping that each passing car and truck would give them a honk hello.


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