After living in their house in Union County for 53 years, John and Gayle Boles moved to Windsor Run, an Erickson Senior Living community in Matthews, N.C., in 2020.
"It was important to us to stay in the Charlotte area," says Gayle. "We did not want to leave our precious memories, groups, and friends."
One of those groups, the Hornets Nest Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America, is especially near and dear to the couple's heart.
"We received our 20-year membership pin this summer," says John. "It's a wonderful club representing our region of the largest car club in the country--probably the world. And our region is one of the largest in the U.S., drawing members from three states. The general purpose of our club is to promote interest in antique cars, [25 years or older], all over the U.S."
A mutual appreciation for antique cars was apparent from the moment the couple first met.
"When John and I met, we both owned brand-new 1965 blue Mustangs," says Gayle. "And we each kept those cars until it got to the point where we needed a bigger car for our three daughters."
As the Boles raised their family, they continued to cultivate their love for cars, purchasing a 1964 Chevy Corvair, followed by a 1965 Mustang Convertible. Their involvement with the auto club grew as well.
"The other members of the Hornets Nest are our closest friends," says John. "We like getting together and showing our cars to other people. For Gayle and me, it's something we've always enjoyed."
Achieving national status
While both are certified car show judges, Gayle reached senior master national status. "She definitely knows what she's doing when it comes to antique cars!" says John.
This past spring, Becky Dinello, Windsor Run's community resource coordinator, approached the Boles in hopes of bringing an antique car show to campus.
"We thought it was a wonderful idea," says John. "It's not only a fun thing to do, but it brings back good memories. Most everyone has memories of a car, one way or another. We put our experience and friendships together, and with the help of Becky, we came up with a really nice event."
Selecting the parking area in front of Piedmont Overlook, the Boles invited fellow Hornets Nest members to campus to showcase their beloved automobiles.
"Getting members to share their cars was easy!" says John. "A show like this is a continuation of our activities. The Hornets Nest Region is a very agreeable group of people more than willing to share their experiences and enjoyment of cars."
The Boles, who brought their treasured 1965 Mustang Convertible to the event, also invited their Windsor Run neighbors and their antique cars to join the show.
"We wanted to give everyone an opportunity to participate," says John. "One of our neighbors owns a 1956 T-Bird that he was eager to share. Unfortunately, it had a flat tire the morning of the show. That's the thing about antique cars," he jokes, "you never know if your car is going to start!"
The show goes on
On the morning of the show, 19 cars arrived and proceeded to the Piedmont Overlook parking area.
"It was the perfect location," says John. "It gave us space to spread out the cars so people could really appreciate and observe them, and in many cases, sit inside. It worked out better than we had hoped."
Guests at the show enjoyed talking with the car owners, sharing stories and memories of their favorite cars. Snacks and boxed lunches were provided for all in attendance.
"It was a really nice event," says Gayle. "It was apparent that everyone was enjoying themselves. And since our show was at Piedmont Overlook, residents living at the continuing care neighborhood were able to participate as well."
In fact, the antique car show was so well received that plans are currently in the works for a second car show in the spring.
"It was a successful event all around," says John. "Our neighbors shared that they thought the cars were impressive. Everyone pulled out their phones to take pictures, and one of our neighbors put together a terrific video of the show that's set to music."
"Our Hornets Nest friends were impressed with the organization of the show and, as always, loved the opportunity to share their cars!" says Gayle.
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