President’s Column Mar-Apr 2017
This month my column is a little different than what I usually write about but I feel I must say something about the failed merger between AACA and the AACA Museum.
It's my understanding that National sent a letter last December to all members explaining what was going on with the museum. Well, I never received my letter (as a general member or as OPW President) so up until a couple of weeks ago, I was totally in the dark on this issue. Ralph Proscia, our Webmaster, notified me a couple of weeks ago via email after his Region in North Carolina had a presentation from a former AACA President who answered many of the members questions about what had happened with the merger.
Needless to say, I was and still am in total shock over what has taken place. The first article I was finally able to read was in an issue of "Old Cars Weekly" that finally caught up with me after being forwarded from Michigan to Florida. Then, eventually, I got my 2017 January-February issue of the AACA Antique Automobile Magazine which explains the issue in much greater detail. So for those of you who were in the dark, like me, this article should really help explain what has happened.
This column is written with good intentions and I am not going to point fingers or lay blame to anyone in the hierarchy of AACA, either board members, Officers or Executive Directors. I have been a member of AACA for 36 years, serving as President of my local region years ago and most recently as President of the Oakland Pontiac Worldwide Region for the last 2 1/2 years, so I thought I had acquired some knowledge of how things were done by AACA with regards to the museum. Now I may be naive, but I always assumed AACA owned the land, the building, and most of the displays and permanent collections in the museum.
I'm sure everyone in the AACA has either directly, or indirectly through their regional clubs donated time, money, or other resources for the development of the museum. Now AACA National is saying that they were always separate entities. The article in the magazine says, and I quote "We have been involved in many joint fund raisers through the years, which now feels misleading to our members."
I would like to get our Oakland Pontiac Worldwide Region's members feedback on how
you feel on this subject either through email or a letter. If you have never been to the museum,
I will tell you, it is fantastic. I would say the Crown jewel of our organization if it was ours.
For those of you who have been there, you know what I mean.
I have no intention on leaving AACA and I hope none of our members will leave either.
AACA National is still a great club as is this region. Most of us would never have made all of
the wonderful friendships we have made over the years if it weren't for meets, tours and many
Regions bringing so many automobile enthusiasts together.
Was the general membership aware of all of the transactions that took place in developing
the museum and all of the hard work it took to get it where it is today? I am thinking that
most, like me, were probably not aware. If I'm wrong, let me know. I'd love to hear from you.
Finally, I want to congratulate our Vintage Voice editor, Fred Lewis, for again winning the
"Master Editor Award" for 2016. As always, Fred, you are doing a wonderful job.