On an old-fashioned summer night, there wasn’t an empty seat on Main Street.
People sat in lawn chairs or on blankets outside Dairy Queen. Some piled into pickups with coolers and had tailgate parties. Others walked along the sidewalk, sipping on a milk shake or munching a burger.
And amid the bustle was a long line of colorful vintage cars — howling engines, smelly exhaust and all.
“Just like the good ol’ days,” Judy Pashon of Camas said with a smile, sitting next to her 1955 hot pink Ford Crown Victoria, parked in the Dairy Queen parking lot. “If you look at the age group here, they’re all reminiscing.”
Saturday was the night to step back in time as the second annual Gut Cruise took over Main Street between 28th and Eighth streets. And many patrons were dressed for the occasion, with some ladies wearing poodle skirts and men donning leather jackets.
Pashon came wearing a white scarf in her ponytail. It seemed fitting if she was going to drive a car with the nickname “Passion.” (Her license plate is her last name, Pashon.)
“Passion” appeared to be a crowd favorite.
“Everybody was stopping and pointing,” she said of the moment when she and her husband, Hal, first pulled up to the Cruise. “They said, ‘We like yours the best.’”
It was far from the only eye-catching set of wheels there. Michael West of Portland came in his purple 1950 Chevrolet Panel, “Crankenstein.” The best part? Either the picture of Frankenstein’s monster on the side panel or the fact that the car can reach 112 mph in less than 12 seconds.
But he didn’t come to race. He took shelter beneath a tree, watching people wander by. “It’s peaceful here,” West said. “Very relaxing.”
Many, like West, sat back in chairs, waving at friends driving by or discussing which type of car is the best: Ford or Chevrolet.
Brad Ingebretson of Vancouver said he’s partial to Chevys. But he came Saturday to see all the cars. He grew up cruising Main Street and Broadway every Friday and Saturday night in the 1980s, and came with his family to reminisce and see friends in their vintage wheels.
To ensure a front-row seat, he parked his pickup across from Dairy Queen a couple hours before the Cruise started. He wasn’t the first one.
“There were people here before I even got here.”
Laura McVicker: 360-735-4516 or email@example.com.