October 2017 Newsletter

Director’s Thoughts, October 2017

Why Is Autumn the Only Season with Two Names?

It’s the 1st week of fall—or perhaps I should say “autumn”. How did autumn become the only season with two names?  Before it was autumn & fall, it was harvest. While the modern names of winter & summer have been around for more than 1,000 years, the names of fall & spring are more recent & less constant. This is partly because the 2 seasons were long viewed as secondary to summer & winter. As late as the 18th century, English speakers were less likely to think of the year as having 4 seasons, focusing instead on the coldest & warmest portions of the year. Even when they spoke of fall, they couldn’t agree when, exactly, it took place. In the 17th & 18th centuries, dictionaries by both Thomas Blount & Samuel Johnson noted that some thought that fall began in August & ended in November, while others contested that it began in September (at the equinox) & ended in December (with the solstice).

Both spring & autumn used to go by different names. In the 12th & 13th centuries, spring was called lent or lenten, while fall was called harvest. In the 14th century things got a little chaotic. Lenten disappeared around the beginning of the 1300s, & the later lent similarly vanished only a few decades later. (It survives, of course, as the name for a religious observance.) By the end of the 14th century there was no firm word for springtime: People referred to it as part of summer, they used Latin (ver) or French (primetemps), or they just made up new phrases. Harvest as a word to mean not just “a time of reaping” but also, even for city folk, “the 3rd season of the year” lasted longer. But it was joined by autumn—a word borrowed from the French—by the 16th century.

Spring & fall likely gained popularity in conjunction w/ each other. They each initially appeared in the 16th century as spring of the leaf & fall of the leaf, respectively. The 2 complemented each other nicely & were soon shortened to the more succinct fall & spring, w/ the longer phrases disappearing over the next few 100 years.

It’s a bit of a mystery why the superfluous autumn persists while analogous words like primetemps & ver have fallen out of use, but it may have something to do w/ the Atlantic Ocean. The rise of autumn & the appearance of fall happened around the same time as the British arrival on the American continent, & it’s there that the latter really caught on. In fact 1 of the Oxford English Dictionary’s first citations of fall comes from Sir Walter Raleigh, 1 of the first English explorers of North America: In his poem “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd,” he uses the word to contrast w/ spring. Fall hasn’t ever had quite as much currency in the United Kingdom as it has stateside—even though Brits concede that North Americans have the superior term. In The King’s English, the Fowler brothers counseled against Americanisms, but expressed envy over fall:
“Fall is better on the merits than autumn, in every way: it is short, Saxon (like the other three season names), picturesque; it reveals its derivation to everyone who uses it, not to the scholar only, like autumn.”

However, in the end the Fowlers warned that it was too late. “We once
had as good a right to it as the Americans,” they wrote, “but we have chosen to let the right lapse, & to use the word now is no better than larceny.”

As fall/autumn comes upon us this month, we see the many changes:  the leaves turn an array of many colors, only then to be raked; the flowers begin to wilt, the grass does not need to be manicured anymore; the cool/cold mornings remind us that winter is on its way; the lawn ornaments get stored away; the snow blower/plow gets a once over for proper working order when needed; the house windows get closed & the door screens get put away for yet another year; & the many different ways of heating start to begin their long winters trek to keep everyone warm & toasty!  Last but not least, the Buicks look forward to a long winters nap once the Kempton show has passed!

How many of you enjoy this time of year?  HAPPY AUTUMN!
Your elected Director, Sally Getz

“Free Spirit” Chapter Meeting Minutes, September 5, 2017

Director Sally Getz called the meeting to order @ 7:32 pm.  There were 17 members & 1 guest present.  Everyone was “Welcomed” back from their summer hiatus.  It was so nice to see Martha/Howard Kriebel.  Haven’t seen them July 2016!  Also, Suzanne/Allan Robertson, newest members, attended.  They received a warm “Welcome”.
Treasurer’s report –August report given by Clarence Getz.  Motion to accept by Don Atwood, seconded by Rita Atwood, so carried.

A. Historian – no report
B. Kempton – flyers are available to members to be handed out.  A sign-up board was passed around for members to volunteer their time for the many duties to host this show.  To date: 46 cars, 2 car corral, 1 indoor, 7 outdoor. Contract has been received.
C. Membership – 2 members forgot their badges.  The chapter lost 8 members but gained 3, for a total of 5 who did not renew. Received an e-mail from the Sterner’s saying,” Keep in touch, &, Hello to everyone”.
D. Newsletter – “Thanks” to Leah/Wayne Kieffer for submitting their article in last month’s newsletter on the Buick National held in Wisconsin.
E. Programs – Sally will be planning and organizing guest speakers for 2018
September 29-October1 = Buick Regional, Clifton Park, NY.  2 couples are attending.
October 5-7 = Fall Meet, Hershey, Pa
10 = NOTE DAY CHANGE for this month’s chapter meeting.
29 = Old Car Show, Kempton, Pa
F. Publicity – Kempton show has been placed on many web sites.
G. Technical – Dave Brady gave a presentation on
H. Ways and Means – items were sold during DAF.
Received “Thank You” notes from “Animals In Distress”, through Ray Shefly Musical Memories tour, & from “Through These Hands” for our donations to them.
“HAPPY BITHDAY” Free Spirit Chapter!  The lucky balloon winners were: Marion Straub (Sally’s) mother, Kathleen Duckett, Martha Kriebel, Dolores Kennedy.
Sally received an e-mail from a NJ Buick chapter member asking how many Buicks attended DAF on Sunday, & how many chapters were represented.  Sally answered:  51 Buicks, 4 chapters: us, NJ, CT, LI.
2018 Buick National = Denver, Colorado, June 10-23.  There will be an increase in the registration due to the general National membership in decline.  Presently there are 7028 National members, down 230 from 2016.
2019 Buick National = Midwest City Oklahoma, June 12-15
2020 Buick National = Northeast Ohio
Reatta Division: Amy Gibson asked National BOD to consider avoiding National meets around Holidays.
2 new chapters formed: Chiwaukee Border, Illinois, Spokane, Washington.
Motion to adjourn, Dolores Kennedy, seconded, Kathleen Duckett, so carried @ 8:52pm.

Respectfully submitted, Thomas Duckett, secretary

Chapter Badges
Please remember to wear your chapter badge that has your name on it.  Wearing it to the monthly chapter meetings is a must, or you will owe $1.00 to Dolores Kennedy.  Also, please wear it to the periodic chapter events.  Thus everyone can get to meet/greet you if you are a new member.  If you do not have a badge w/ your name on it, please contact Dolores Kennedy & she’ll be more than happy to see you receive a badge!

41st Annual Old Car Show, Kempton, Pa, October 29, 2017

Hopefully, as you are or should be aware of, this month is the chapters’ annual car show event.  It is held on the grounds of the Kempton Community Recreation Center.  It is appreciative of you, the membership, if you could find it in your hearts & souls to volunteer your time to this show.  Yes, I know everyone likes to sleep in on a fall October Sunday morning, but this is only held once a year.  So maybe you could forfeit 1 early Sunday morning to volunteer & to help out in 1 of the many duties it takes to host a show.  Part of a success on a show is YOU to help to run this show.

If you can find it in your hearts to come out very early to help, please notify the following BEFORE OCTOBER 27th:  Clarence/Sally Getz, 610-377-6130, csgetz@ptd.net.  Areas of which members to volunteer in:
Flea Market registering spaces, Outdoor (early)
Flea Market registering spaces, Indoor (early)
Parking of show cars in their appropriate classes
Day of show registering cars
Spectator parking (early)
50/50 Raffle (mid-morning)
Pre-Registration packets handout (early)

Yes, if you are there very early, (dark out yet), you might think it could be a long day.  But, we do really have a lot of fun during the day & it goes quickly.  Guaranteed you will sleep good Sunday night!  So mark the date & let Clarence/Sally know of your good intentions!  Join in on the fun of a Great BUICK “Free Spirit” Chapter Day event!

Clarence/Sally Getz

Northeast PA All Buick Regional, September 20-22, 2018, Lehighton, Pa

A Northeast PA All Buick Regional will be held @ Lehighton, Pa @ Phifer’s Ice Dams, September 20-22, 2018. This is a community park with pavilions, ball field, grass, macadam, playground, & plenty of space for a nice show! There are 2 local hotels, 1 within 0.5 miles & 1 just 1 mile away.  There are fine dining restaurants as well as fast food restaurants.  The PA turnpike is only 1 mile away for those who travel!  Please keep abreast of the newsletters to be kept in the loop about this exciting event!  Watch for flyers about this show.
Five Forgotten ’80s Classics

Automotive-speaking, the 1980s were certainly better than the mid-1970s in terms of quality & innovation. Still, few cars from the era have emerged as true collectibles. Here are 5 favorites that deserve more attention:

1988 Pontiac Fiero:

The Fiero may have been 1 of the few instances in the 1980s when the product guys at Pontiac truly stuck it to the man. Hemmed in by bean counters, unimaginative Roger B. Smith-era GM brass & militantly pro-Corvette Chevy partisans who wanted to maintain their division’s monopoly on 2-seater sports cars (the stillborn Pontiac Banshee sports car was still a recent memory), Pontiac got the Fiero produced not as a sports car but as a mid-engine, 2-seater “commuter car.”  Sadly, with that designation came brake & suspension parts from GM underachievers like the Chevy Citation & Chevette. But like many of the other cars on the list, the last model year was what the designers wanted all along. 1988 Fieros are notoriously good sports cars with upgraded suspension to go with the good looks.

1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe:

After an abysmal 1980-82 T-Bird that came off as a fancy Ford Fairmont, Ford once again got serious about its off-and-on halo car. Still based on the otherwise good Fox platform (like the Mustang), Ford came up w/ a sleek 2+2 coupe body that even the Japanese stole cues from.  From a performance standpoint, the Turbo coupe was the one to have, particularly from the last production year of 1987 when it gained an intercooler that boosted horsepower to 190. Coupled with a 5-speed, the ’87 T-Bird Turbo Coupe was a sensational big GT that almost nobody remembers.

1986 Mercury Capri:

Fewer people remember the Mustang’s near-identical twin the Mercury Capri. Those who do often argue that it was actually the better looking of the 2, particularly in the last model years when the car gained a new & unique hatch design with a large glass window. Engine options largely followed those of the Mustang. ASC/McLaren Capri coupes & convertibles are rare & quite special.

1982-85 Buick Riviera Convertible:

The Buick Riviera & Cadillac Eldorado from this period were actually very nice. Not quite fully downsized, they had great presence & finally became the size that they probably should have been all along. GM famously got out of the convertible business in 1976 w/ the Eldorado. Much to the chagrin of ’76 Eldo owners (some of whom resorted to legal action), these cars marked GM’s return to some semblance of top-down glamour.  While not a powerhouse, the V-8-powered Riviera convertible still looks great — on the odd occasion when you actually see one — and deserves far greater attention from the classic car world than it gets.

1988-91 Buick Reatta:

The Reatta was the product of an era when Buick was actually making a play for people not in the market for their last car (see the Regal Grand National).  This thinking was quickly nipped in the bud, but the Reatta was too far along to kill when the wind changed at Buick. As a result, though, the Reatta never really realized its potential as a sporty car. Still, it was a bold move for Buick & was a clean & handsome design that came with some interesting technology for the time in the form an electronic dash with touchscreens. Convertibles are particularly rare.

Buick Tail Fins

The Buick was an American automobile first produced by David Dunbar Buick starting in 1899. The first Buick Company was called The Buick Auto-Vim & Power Co. of Detroit, MI. In 1902 The Buick Manufacturing Company was organized lasting only into 1903. Then David Buick renamed his company once again to The Buick Motor Car Company. General Motors acquired The Buick Motor Car Company in 1908 & has been part of GM ever since.

Buick Tail Fins
The first sign of a tail fin on a Buick occurred in 1952 in the form of a tiny chrome fins across the back half of the rear quarter panel. Other than revised side trim for 1952 little changed from the 1951 Buick’s.


1953 Buick Tail Fins
Buicks received a number of changes for 1953 to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Fresh styling included twin bullet tail lights to give emphasis on the tail fins. The big Buicks got the new 322 cubic inch V-8 making 188 horsepower. This was also the last year for the woody wagons.

1954 Buick Tail Fins
All Buicks got larger square bodies for 1954. The tail fins had a slight hump on the top of the rear quarter panel & retained the twin bullet tail lights first seen in 1953. The Roadmaster Riviera hardtop coupe was the top of the line at $3,373 but the Skylark convertible cost more at $4,260.

1955 Buick Tail Fins
The 1955 Buicks were redesigned & wore their revised lines very well. The front end had a massive chrome grille & bullets on the front bumper. Outback was another new tail fin & large chrome tail lights. The division’s 1955 production was nearly 800,000 units thanks to these new tail fins & all that chrome.

1956 Buick Tail Fins
Buicks got minor front & rear styling revisions for 1956. The tail fin was about the same but the chrome tail light housing slightly smaller than the one on the 1955 Buicks. The top of the line Buick Roadmaster was listed at $3500 with these new features.

1957 Buick Tail Fins
The 1957 Buick’s looked longer, lower & glassier. Even the tail fins and tail light housings was dashing & fairly large. 1957 was a decent year for Buick.

1958 Buick Tail Fins
Buick went very ornate in 1958 with a grille housing of 160 shiny squares, along with pointed tail fins over gaudy chrome side panels. It was a bit too much even for the flashy 50s.

1959 Buick Tail Fins
In a stunning beautiful reversal, Buick peeled most of the chrome from it completely restyled 1959 rear end. The huge canted wing tail fins were still there & mirrored the front. Minor changes can be seen on the 1960 Buick shown below. Nice job Buick.

1960 Buick Tail Fins





Calendar of Events

OCTOBER 2017         Happy Halloween!
5-7 – Hershey AACA Fall Meet, Hershey, Pa
10 – Monthly Chapter meeting, Star Lite Diner & Lounge, Allentown, Pa.  Dinner @ 6 pm, business meeting @ 7:30 pm.  Nominations to be taken for Officers & 2 BOD’s.  You, as a member have a voice in these nominations.
29 – 41st Annual Old Car Show, Kempton, Pa.

NOVEMBER 2017         Happy Thanksgiving!
7 – Monthly chapter meeting, Starlite Diner & Lounge, Allentown, Pa.  Dinner@ 6:00 pm, business meeting @ 7:30 pm.  Nominations of officers & 2 BOD’s to be voted upon.  Guest speaker: Martha Kriebel

DECEMBER 2017            “Happy Holidays!”
5 – Annual “Holiday Gathering,” Starlite Diner & Lounge, Allentown, Pa.  Social hour = 5 pm, dinner @ 6 pm.  Besides “Crazy Bingo,” there will also be an” Ugly Sweater” contest.


  • 1939 Buick Special (41) 4-DR Trunk back Sedan, unrestored original car, Straight 8, manual transmission.  Runs well!  Rebuilt engine & components, brake system, drive train, transmission.  Upgraded carb, electronic ignition, oil filter, NEW exhaust system.  WW tires.  Pics available.  $16,500/negotiable.  Ken Davis, 610-489-1649. kwmcdavis@verizon.net.
  • 1951-52 Buick Mustache Bar to be rechromed, very hard to find!  $400.00.  William, 610-970-7183, 484-948-6213.
  • 1958 Super/Limited Chrome & stainless trim, rear Ltd. Bumper end.  610-509-2061.
  • 1962 Buick Skylark Conv. Overall GOOD condition.  Various NOS chrome installed.  Runs/drives nice!
  • Transmission, rear, top & rear window good.  Dave’s Int. restorations, 525 Chestnut St., Emmaus, Pa 18049
  • 1964 Buick 300 V-8 w/ factory aluminum heads, complete w/ fan, carb, air cleaner, etc.  TH 400 auto trans #BU-64-23582. Eng. #4K5029219, $700.00.  610-509-2061.
  • 1966 Buick Skylark GS 2 dr HDT, red/white top.  $16,500.00.  610-582-3758
  • 1979 Buick Riviera 32,000 miles call Michael Spitzer at 215-255-5768
  • 1981 Buick Regal 4 DR dark green, garage kept.  75K mi. 717-576-7588
  • 1987 Buick GN, T-Top blk w/ grey/blk int., orig parts, EXCELLENT condition, 3200 ORIGINAL miles.  Stored in heat controlled garage.  $28,500 (OBO), gbrentano@verizon.net
  • BUICK BUGLES – 30 years of “Buick Bugles” FREE for the taking.  Must take ALL!  610-248-1638.

In Search Of

  • OPEL Manual, 717-201-1660.
  • 1948 Buick Special 2 door back chrome.  Doug @ 570-573-0948.
  • 1951-52 Buick Roadmaster RH grille bar extension.  C. Wenger, 433-710-6624, crewzn@broadstripe.net
  • 1967 Buick Electra Conv. 610-730-4599, dwebster80@gmail.com

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