Lone Star Section

Lone Star Section

2018 Starfest

2018 Starfest

Lone Star
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 3:30pm to Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 3:30pm

Five couples from the Lone Star Section in five beautiful Mercedes-Benzes left Georgetown, Texas on Sunday, May 13 to caravan to StarFest in Alabama.  The first day was great.  We stopped for lunch at Woody’s Smokehouse in Centerville, TX before making our way to the Cypress Bend Resort just over the border in Louisiana and overlooking the Toledo Bend Reservoir.  Rick and Debbie Everett, Rob and Jill Brown, Pat and Barbara Lawson, Arno and Ginny Pitzen and Ed and Peggy Hoag enjoyed showing off their cars before gathering for dinner.

The next day we all started out together for Jackson, Mississippi.  Around 11:00, as we were driving through the Kisatchie National Forest, the Everett’s had a major problem with their ’92 500SL.  The two cars in front were not immediately aware there was a problem and drove on into Winnfield, LA.  When they found out, they pulled over to wait at a McDonald’s rather than the “Smoker’s Paradise Cafe” across the road.  We were joined there by Erroll and Regina Hines from the Houston Section.  Rick managed to restart his car and made it to our meeting place but he decided the 500SL needed Dealer attention.  After lunch, while most of us traveled on, the Everetts, accompanied by the Lawsons, had their car transported to the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Alexandria, LA.

Upon arrival in Jackson, Mississippi, we were advised not to walk around at night as we were right in the middle of downtown near the capitol.  So, we all enjoyed dinner in the bar at the Hilton Garden Inn.  The hotel, the food, and the service was very nice.

In the meantime, Walker Mercedes-Benz in Alexandria worked on the Everetts’ car and thought it was ready to go.  However, the next morning about an hour out of town, the engine stopped again.  It was towed back to Walker’s M-B.  Upon further investigation, it was determined an engine control module was needed and had to be ordered from Germany.  The dealership loaned the Everetts a new E400 for their travel on to Birmingham, a day late.

All but the two couples and a single member finally made it to the Hilton Birmingham Perimeter Park Hotel on May 15th.  After dinner, we enjoyed drinks out on the hotel patio joined by Dr. Robert Stelfox and Jane Ridge, also from the Lone Star Section.  At some point, Sak and BeBe Reeves arrived to be our seventh couple!

Wednesday morning after breakfast several cars went on the Rally drives.  Back at the hotel, lots of folks were arriving and it was great to see old friends again!  We were happy to greet Gene Jurick, our new MBCA National President and former South-Central Regional Director, Dr. Jim Roberts who always knows how to put on a great Birmingham event, and Steve Ross, our National Vice President.  Most of the day was spent catching up.  Our Lone Star members plus Doug deBoard met across the street at Perry’s Steakhouse for dinner.

On Thursday many of us joined the bus tour of Birmingham driving through Mountain Brook en route to the Arlington Antebellum House & Gardens from the mid-1800s.  After a very nice tour, while enjoying lunch in the Garden Room, we were entertained by Miss Alabama 2017, Jessica Procter.  We were also treated to a tour of the Birmingham Museum of Art.  After cocktail hour at the hotel, we drove out to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum for a Welcome Reception including talks by the Daimler and Alabama teams.

By Friday morning the last member from our Lone Star Section, Frank Irwin, had arrived making our total participation fifteen.  Frank joined in the morning seminar with several other Lone Star members before touring the Mercedes-Benz factory at Vance.  In the evening most of our members attended the reception at the new Mercedes-Benz of Birmingham dealership.

The MBCA judged Concours was held back at the Mercedes-Benz Museum and Factory on Saturday.  The winners and Silver Star recipients were presented at the banquet that evening at the hotel.  Rob Brown won first place and Sak Reeves h won second place in their respective classes.

On Sunday and Monday, Frank Irwin and Arno Pitzen participated in the driving experiences at the Talladega Race Track and the Barber Raceway while the rest of us left for home.  Frank Irwin and Arno Pitzen won 1st and 2nd in Acceleration in their respective classes at Talladega.  The Lawsons went to visit their family in Georgia before heading west.  The Everett’s returned to Alexandria to retrieve their car.  Their 500SL is now good as new – thanks to Walker Mercedes-Benz!

And thanks to Dr. Jim Roberts and the Alabama Section for hosting StarFest 2018!