Weather puts a damper on Cruise

SALEM-Umbrellas seemed nearly as numerous as classic cars on day two of the Salem Super Cruise as wet weather left its mark on Friday evening’s festivities.

The crowd for the antique car show at Centennial Park was down noticeably from last near with most cars confined to paved parking spaces.

“You saw row after row of cars lined up in the grass last year, this year it’s down,” said Cindy Mitchell of Hanoverton, who is a part of the Salem Visiting Nurses which helps organize the event.

A few adventurous souls tried to park in the grass only to be ensnared by the muddy ground. Periodic calls were put out over the loudspeaker for volunteers to help push out those who were stuck.

Mitchell’s 11-year-old son Cody was eager to help. Cody Mitchell sat behind the wheel and revved the engine of the Dodge Custom 880 owned by Mike Huzicko of Struthers which was lodged deep in the mud. After several attempts he-with the help of four people pushing-was able to get out, leaving a spray of mud for those behind the car.

“Make sure he doesn’t drive off with it,” Cindy Mitchell yelled good-naturedly.

“We live on a farm, so I’ve driven my dads truck on the trails we have,” Cody Mitchell said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Though rain held off through the first half of the car show, those who were parked safely in the parking lot were still a little wary of what the impending wet weather might mean.

Bryan Sevenich of Columbiana was worried about the paint on his 1958 Ford Skyline.

“One thing we really worry about with this car is getting it wet,” Sevenich said. “The paint tends to flake off, we’ve had to touch it up a little over the years. I won’t drive it if the roads are wet. I don’t even wash it. I usually just use wax.”

Bob Murray of Lisbon was driving in a classic car tour in Kentucky two years ago when a downpour opened up on his 1932 DeSoto.

“We discovered then that the roof leaked,” Murray said. “We got it fixed, but we still don’t like to go out in the rain if we can help it.”

Shortly after 7 p.m., what had been intermittent sprinkles turned into a steady rain, soaking those who were enjoying food and live music downtown and clearing all but a few die-hards from Centennial Park.

“The last time I brought my car out in the rain it took forever to dry,” said Connie Cranmer of Salem, who brought her 1931 Ford Model A. “I don’t really want that to happen again.”