The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Rods and Reels draws hot rods to Skamokawa


Diana Zimmerman

At the Rods & Reels Car Show: It's a joy ride: Novella Hokkanen and friends go for an imaginary spin in a 1934 Ford Roadster with a rumble seat.

After last year's scorcher, the weather in Skamokawa was much kinder for the crowd on Saturday at the 2017 Rods & Reels Rod Run. While the sky was mostly overcast and the temperature comfortable, one couple with a car in the show joked about building a small fire to keep warm.

The only really disagreeable thing about the weather was the early morning rain in Longview and Long Beach that kept some of the usual participants away.

"After all the work I do to get my car ready for an event," said one man, "if there is even a little rain, I'm not taking it out of the garage."

By noon on Saturday, 260 vehicles were registered for the event put on to raise money for Dollars for Scholars. Kitsap Street Rods had the biggest club turnout with 17 cars.

Diana Zimmerman

Right: Future fireman Aiden Fletcher got behind the wheel of Puget Island resident Mike Beutler's restored 1965 fire truck.

This year's winners of the John Luthi Memorial trophy were Brian and Bobbie Wilson of Longview for their 1927 Ford pickup. Dennis Asleson of Silverdale won the Rods & Reels Favorite for his 1953 GMC pickup. The Dollars for Scholars Choice went to Joseph Natoli of Oysterville for his 1938 LaSalle coupe, and a 1941 Willys Roadster belonging to Chip Chipman of Salem, Ore., won 2017 Best in Show.

This was the penultimate Rods and Reels Rod Run. Lee Tischer announced that next year will be his last as event coordinator.

"The Rods & Reels Rod Run name will be retired," Tischer said in an e-mail. "Our Dollars for Scholars group will be working on a less labor intensive event for future fundraising."

"We are going to have a big celebration next year, and I hope we have a record turnout," Tischer added.


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