Bluebonnet Miata Club – Our Story
Set your way back machine to the summer of love (1994)…
Greg & Fran attended the Miata’s at Indy II National Event. It was our first ever “car club” event and we immediately fell in love with the lifestyle. By the time the event ended, Fran & Greg had decided that they wanted to form a local chapter of the Miata Club of America.
During this time, Greg was an avid member of the Miataville forum on Compuserve computer service. A lively discussion started around getting together to meet other Miataville forum members. Since he was centrally located, Greg opened his home to a group gathering and the first (and only) Miataville meet-up occurred in November of 1994. We had folks from San Diego, Houston and Missouri and New York attend this impromptu event. Greg & Fran lead runs through the Hill Country, dinner at Wurstfest and a tour of the Riverwalk.
Several of the attendees were members of the San Diego Miata Club. When Greg & Fran heard about all the events in the San Diego club they got the idea that a local chapter could be fun.
A year or so later, Greg & Fran attended the National event in Indianapolis (Miata’s at Indy II, summer 1994). We had such a great time that we decided to start a local chapter as soon as we got back.
Greg ran into Rohm Thompson @ a San Antonio Wheelmen bicycle club ride. Rhom came up to ask about the bike rack on Greg’s Miata and mentioned that he had a Miata as well. They got to talking and Greg mentioned that he was interested in setting up a local chapter of the Miata Club of America. Rohm said that he was thinking about this as well. Together, they agreed to meet up and discuss it some more Greg & Fran met with Rohm and Barbara at the Thompson house to discuss ideas for the club, and fill out the appropriate paperwork. A couple of weeks later, the Bluebonnet Chapter was born. We created some flyers and started handing them out to any Miata we found, and leaving stacks of them at all the local Mazda Dealerships.
Greg was the 1st president & newsletter editor, Rohm was VP, Fran was membership chair. Somewhere along the line we picked up Art & Sharon Nisenfeld and Art became our treasurer.
Our initial meeting place was the Selma City Hall Bar & Grill. We thought that was appropriate as it was an infamous speed trap during the ’70s.
Our first run was on May 13 1995. Greg had just traded his 1992 Red base model on a 1995 Red base model and showed up with the new ride for the innaugural run. We didn’t know what sort of turnout we would have for the 1st run, so we invited the Houston & Dallas chapters to join us in the fun. As we ended up with 13 cars at the start of our run from the Bluebonnet chapter alone! When we arrived in Marble Falls, the Dallas & Houston Chapter rolled. By the time everyone was fed and shopped out, we rolled out with 36 cars and close to 70 people! We rolled on through Llanno, Willow City and Luckenbach. We were quite a sight!
One of the original members, John “JT” Turner lead the club’s second run, (June 1995)another 13 cars headed to the Salt Lick for BBQ. This trip travelled over Canyon Dam, across Devil’s Backbone, Wimberly, Bulverde, Fischer, Kendalia & Bergheim, ending up at Spechts Store.
Our third event was a personal favorite. Peach Pickin’ in Fredricksburg! (July 1995). Once again, 13 cars showed up for the run up to F’burg with a lunch stop at the Plateau Café. Then on to Marberger Orchards for Pick Your Own Peaches. Then a quick blast down through the hill country and back home.
Run #4 was a dinner trip to PoPo’s.
In October 1995, we took a very long club trip to Laredo to visit our Rio Grande River members Jim & Linda Thompson
November 1995 found use freezing cold, headed to Leakey to check out the fall color, and a visit from the Dallas chapter for our monthly meeting at the Selma City Hall Bar Grill
December 1995, Rohm & Barb Thompson hosted the 1st annual Bluebonnet Chapter Christmas Party. There was lots of food and fun, and R/C Miata races.
Feb 1996, George & JT put on the 1st Road Rally in chapter history. The “Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Rally”. We spent all day driving, answering 170 questions and keeping an eye out for the Big W’s
March 96 we joined the Dallas chapter for their annual March Miata Madness regional event, and another great run through Willow City.
April 1996 found us headed to Messina-Hoff Winery for the Grape Stomping Run. This was the first public showing of our new Miata Club logo & t-shirts designed by Leann Thomas. And showing another huge talent, Rhom & Barb, son & daughter in law WON the grape stomping contest!
Inaugural Events in 1995
Here’s the group photo from Friday,
April 24th, 2009 at Biff Buzby’s
Burgers car cruise night.
Some of the founding Bluebonnet Miata Club members (founded Spring 1995), from left to right:
John “J.T.” Turner (3rd club Pres, w/ his almost 6 year old son Michael & just turned 8 year old daughter Sarah), Greg & Fran Bassett (Club founders and 1st Pres) and George Briscoe, the 3rd club “President of Vice” as I was called. J.T. & I did the newsletter for a couple of years, too. J.T. had to move to a more spacious car, a MINI Cooper ‘S’ when the 2nd kiddo was born. The Bassetts have lived about 45 miles west of NYC for the last eleven years.
The Bassetts and Turners send their greetings to all their old friends!