I’ve been on a writing hiatus for the last six months or so due to some big-time career and living upheavals. Things finally began to settle down after the New Year—in a new city, with a new place to live, a new preschool for the kids, and new jobs for both myself and my better half. The writing comes only in fits and starts, and I’ve been sitting on an article or two that I just don’t like enough to publish. Now, finally, I’ve a reason to buckle down and produce some more material. And that reason is the Schonesland Region of the Porsche Club of America.
Since purchasing my Porsche in late 2010, I’ve done many entertaining things with it. Of course, the trip from Vegas through Yosemite to Monterey for Rennsport Reunion IV takes top honors, but I’ve carved up some mountain roads and explored some gypsum-sand deserts in New Mexico, I’ve driven cross-Texas and cross-country for F1 and relocations, and I’ve experienced the car at the limit on the track at Inde Motorsports Ranch in Arizona. But due to where I was (geographically, financially, and with two small children), I never had the strongest local community to share my enthusiasm with—meeting with fellow enthusiasts or sharing in the car-loving experience nearly always seemed to entail a large amount of effort, travel, and/or inconvenience on my part.
So it was an absolute pleasure last Saturday night to arrive in the opulent lobby of the Embassy Suites Des Moines—only minutes from my new home—and find 68 total strangers who were glad to have myself and my lovely wife in attendance. With voices slightly raised over the sound of the hotel waterfall(!) and the clinking of cocktail glasses, I re-introduced myself to El Presidente, Jeff David (who I’d met very briefly once before), and addressed to him my most pressing of concerns: does Schonesland DE at Road America? Every year without fail, he replied, and my personal pollsters saw the club’s approval rating shoot up by a statistically significant margin. With Jeff was Kim Fritze, the PCA Zone 10 rep—so we met some PCA royalty almost immediately upon arrival! Within minutes we had also encountered Mary Alice Hill and her husband Dave, with whom I’d corresponded in the form of some pre-party e-mails. MA, Dave, and I had been eager to discuss a shared interest in aviation, which always makes for entertaining stories. They were also kind enough to introduce us to Don Worrell, whose striking maroon-on-sand-beige 996 I’d seen around my workplace and thus knew I must have at least two things in common with. What a delight to be welcomed so eagerly into such an enthusiastic fold, where 70 of 100 registered members were in attendance!
At the appointed dinner hour, we all made our way to a ballroom adjacent to the lobby, where the décor was outstanding (a massive ice sculpture featuring the Porsche badge) and the fare was positively delectable. The desserts could have been considered controlled substances, as dangerously appealing to the senses as they were. Mitch Schneringer, Andy Hipwell, and Brian Weisenberg made it in from Porsche of Omaha, and were only too happy to speak to the marque’s latest highlights. Of course the Macan was mentioned, but the most interesting news was that the new 991 Targa would bring back the old-school roll hoop! I think we were some of the first PCA members to hear this bit of information, as the public unveil at the Detroit Auto Show did not come until a few days later.
Alas, our sitter turned into a pumpkin around 9pm, so we couldn’t stay too late. Hopefully next year we can arrange for a longer-term solution and stay the night, meet more folks, and have an even better time. Thanks for the welcome, Schonesland, and here’s to all of the things to come.