A Chapter of Vintage
Thunderbird Club International, Inc. (VTCI)
issue dedicated to Kress Fall & Mildred Cotton
Vintage Thunderbird Club Loses A Mainstay!
On Wednesday, October 19
William Kress Fall passed away at his residence from complications of cancer.
Diagnosed with cancer in 2006, Kress put up a courageous battle for
about 5 years.
Kress and Klyda Fall joined
the Mid-Kansas Vintage Thunderbird Club in the late ‘90’s with a 1967 Thunderbird
Four-door Landau. Soon after that they acquired a Brittany Blue 1965
Kress became Vice-President
of the club with Matt Macy president, then Kress
became President and served until 2004. During Kress’ reign our club
instigated the Dream Car
with the Wichita Classic Thunderbirds. This open car show,
sponsored by the two Thunderbird clubs, raised just over
$106,000 for Make-A-Wish by 2010.
Kress was proficient
in soliciting contributions from local businesses
and was often top producer of trophy sales. Above all,
he kept the rest of us motivated!
to Make-A-Wish was further confirmed by his choosing
MAW to be the beneficiary of his memorials.
Kress and Klyda were always
supportive of our Regional events. They were part of the group which
Hannibal, Missouri in 2004,
and to Indianapolis and drove around the race track in 2005.
Our club participated in
the North Central Regional at Overland Park, Kansas in 2006 but Kress was
confined to the hospital
in KC at that time and could not be with us. Kress’s illness held
back from some of the activities
after that but he served as overall Concierge at the North Central Regional
in 2008 in Wichita, participated
in local events, and in the Dream Car Show every year.
Visitation on Friday, October
21 was well attended by Thunderbird club members and other friends and
included a display
of photographs of Kress’s favorite Thunderbird
events, car shows, posters, models,
and automobile memorabilia.
Kress was laid
to rest wearing his white blazer with
the VTCI emblem on its pocket, and his
Kress’s funeral on Saturday,
October 22 at College Hill United Methodist Church was more
in the current
Life” format featuring music (CD selections) chosen
by Kress including “Silver Thunderbird.”
That song had been selected
a few years ago by our club as its official club song, and Kress was very
fond of it.
Kress’s casket was about
as close to Brittany Blue as one could ask for, and included a porcelain
logo and sign affixed, and
three of Kress’s favorite Stetson hats rested on top. Readings from
Mark Twain writings, and
personal and amusing accounts of individuals’ recollections of life with
shared with us by long time
friends Paul Saas, Steve DeVore, John Ruhl, Jerry Young and John “Hooter”
Pallbearers and Honorary
Pallbearers included Mid-Kansas Vintage Club members Richard Carlisle,
Taylor, Rod Wake, Tedd Roe,
John Moler, and friends from other Wichita car clubs.
Current and former
Vintage Club and Classic Club members
seated in the reserved Thunderbird
Darryle and Kaye Barth, Richard and Susan
Carlisle, Sal DeLucia, Steve and
Caryn DeVore, Larry and
Lynda Fichter, Lee and Rosemary Hufford, Jeral and Elaine Lipps, Carl Marts,
April Marts, Mike Mawhirter,
Henry and Anita Messerschmidt, John Moler, Tedd Roe, Tom Sloan,
Royce Taylor, Cheryl Thomas,
Steve and Angela Trotter, Jack Wake, and Rod and Beverly Wake.
Wichita Classic Club members
included Donnie Edwards, Norma Hein, Daryl and Janet Standifer,
Jim Winter and Sue Benish
The escorted funeral procession from 1st and Erie out to 13th & Greenwich
was a long one, but filled
with Thunderbird colors!
Immediately following the
family cars, was Kress’s 1965 Brittany Blue Hardtop now owned and driven
by John Moler
with other Vintage Birds, Classic Birds, and Retro
The order was; 1965
Thunderbird, 1962 Thunderbird, 1963 Thunderbird, 1959 Thunderbird,
1970 Thunderbird 4-dr Landau,
1977 Thunderbird, 1957 Thunderbird, 1955 Thunderbird, 2004, 2005,
2003, 2002 Retro Thunderbirds
and finally a ’56 Ford Crown Victoria.
Following the Victoria were
vintage and show cars of
other manufacture driven by Kress’s friends from other
course, other cars followed, but when is the last time
you saw bystanders go for
their phones to take pictures of a funeral possession?
The gravesite services included
the Masonic ritual.
After those services,
our Thunderbirds returned to the church for a
delicious dinner of salad,
Lasagna, Neopolitan Ice Cream and other goodies.
Some time ago, a radio personality
remarked that at every funeral, something
We can only imagine that Kress
was looking down on the chaotic show with
amusing is bound to happen.
Our club will take that
dubious honor this time, in connection with our Thunderbird
request was that a good showing of Thunderbirds would
accompany him to his final
resting place, and Klyda’s request was that their
1965 Brittany Blue hardtop
could be first in line after the family car.
Following would be the rest
of the Vintage Club’s Big Birds, then the Classic Birds,
then the Retro Birds with
other rods, customs, and regular cars from other clubs and
friends. Our carefully laid
plans were to meet at a lot at Douglas and Hillside,
line the cars up and drive
the few blocks over to the church where club member
and funeral director Darryle
Barth waited with the hearse and an armful of traffic
cones. We met, we
lined up, and the blue ’65 led us there, except nobody told
driver John Moler to line
up behind the hearse; and John did what we had
previously planned to do;
park in the north parking lot.
There our ‘Birds dropped
into place just like a precision squadron.
Word got back that we were
supposed to be lined up out on First Street, and
with no clear plan of egress,
our activities then resembled a combination of the
Keystone Kops, the Joey
Chitwood Thrill Show, and a Goat Rope.
his booming laugh echoing
through College Hill.
Our Thunderbirds eventually
found their way back into a lineup behind the
hearse with the leftovers
over on a vacant parking lot to be joined up with
the procession after the
service. Even then, there was no way to predict or
to prevent, a budget priced
red Chevy four door compact from darting into
from an adjacent parking lot and driving
procession completely oblivious
to the cars around her/him. Ah, well.
One final event that we
found worthy of discussion after the service, was
that in the middle of the
gravesite ceremony, a low flying Air Force jet flew
over and brought the ceremony
to a halt for a few seconds. We joked later
that somehow, Kress had
planned that also, or as we so often say in the
I don’t THINK so!
Matt Macy could not attend
the service, and wrote to the Newsletter, “I
have just returned to town….I
wish I could have been in the lineup with
the Thunderbirds to honor
Kress. He was a great friend to the club and to
our family. We still
have a little Thunderbird key chain he gave to Joel
when Joel was around 5 years
old, (he is 12 now)! I am so thankful…the
club rallied around the
funeral…hope it all went great.” Matt
Vintage Club Loses A Charter Member:
The club was also saddened
to hear that Mildred L. Cotton, 81,
passed away Saturday, October
22, 2011 at Clearwater, Kansas.
her husband of 64 years, Leon Cotton, were part
of the gathering of Thunderbird
owners who met at Potbelly’s
Restaurant in 1992, and
those present agreed to form a
Leon Cotton and Harry Mankin
formed the club, named it
the Mid-Kansas Vintage Thunderbird
Club; named officers
and petitioned Heartland
Vintage Thunderbird Club for
From that date forward,
Mildred was present at probably
every club meeting held,
was an officer in the club, and
helped keep the club progressing
during the 90’s.
Leon and Mildred and their
’65 Hardtop were present at the
joint Heartland/ VTCI
International Convention at Hannibal,
Missouri in 2004, and helped
us make the transition to VTCI
in late 2004.
Leon and Mildred’s six children, only their son Phillip preceded
Mildred in death a few years
Even as Mildred’s health
deteriorated and Leon devoted more
and more time to her care,
the couple and their cherished Patrician
Yellow 1965 Thunderbird
with less than 50,000 miles on it, were part
of almost all our major
Mildred was especially fond
of the Lake Afton show and All Ford Day and was a familiar sight
with her folding chair near
At last report, their award
winning ’65 is being acquired by Leon and Mildred’s daughter
Dana and son-in-law Robert
Fitzsimmons of Winfield, MO.
Mildred passed away the same
day as Kress Fall’s funeral. Both individuals had
been involved in club meetings
and events through the years.
Mildred’s request was that
any memorials be directed for the church bell tower,
First Baptist Church
at Clearwater where her services were held on
ednesday, October 26, 2011
|All Ford Day
Featured A Thunderbird Display:
2 opened as a beautiful early autumn day with temperatures in the 50’s
slowly building to a high in the 80’s with no Kansas wind to speak of.
This made a wonderful setting for the stream of fabulous Fords that
converged on the wooded and grassy field of Camp Hiawatha for the annual
All Ford Day, sponsored by the Early
V8 Club of Wichita.
Thunderbird club members arriving for the day eventually afforded the public
a display of the following Thunderbirds:
Thunderbird HT driven by Tedd Roe
Thunderbird Conv, driven by Rod and Bev Wake*
Thunderbird HT, driven by Mike Mawhirter
Thunderbird HT, driven by Joe Gross, who joined our club!
Thunderbird Convertible driven by Todd and LuAnne Duhnke
Thunderbird driven by Wil and Shirley Banman
4-Dr Landau driven by Henry Messerschmidt
Thunderbird HT driven by Sal DeLucia
Thunderbird Coupe; Roush Racing, driven by Walter Day
driven by Darryle and Kaye Barth
Thunderbird driven by Larry and Lynda Fichter
Thunderbird driven by Lee and Rosemary Hufford *
Club member Mike Thomas was also present
with his Mustang Convertible, and Carl Marts with April, Austin
and Alec were on hand with a Mustang. They were instrumental
persuading Joe Gross
to join the Vintage Club at this gathering. Thanks,
Wichita Classic Thunderbirds also made a great howing.
Those Classic Thunderbirds, (* some also belonging to the Vintage Club)
Thunderbird driven by Darryl Standifer
Thunderbird driven by Richard and Susan Carlisle*
Thunderbird driven by Lauren Worley
Thunderbird driven by Wendell Jack
Thunderbird driven by Royce Taylor*
Thunderbird driven by Allen Hale
Thunderbird driven by Ed Martin
Thunderbird driven by Jim and Norma Hein
Wichita Classic Thunderbirds members on hand, but with cars other than
Thunderbirds, included Jim Winter with a ’56 Mercury and a 1955 Fairlane
Price is working with a ’34 Ford, Doug and Carolyn Keener brought one of
their 1940 Fords, Dean and Adrienne Hurley brought their 1936 Ford Roadster
and Fred Silver drove
’54 Merc Tudor.
was a fun time for all as we gathered at round tables in the dining hall.
Delicious barbeque brisket sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, cookies and drinks
were available for purchase
we had a good lunch together along with other Ford exhibitors.
present was Royce Taylor’s faithful four-legged companion, MacGregor!
told, the Vintage Thunderbird Club and Wichita Classic Thunderbird provided
20 Thunderbirds on display.
Prez Rod Wake of the Vintage Club, and Royce Taylor of the Classic Club
expressed their appreciation for a great turnout and support of the show
by the Thunderbirds.
especially appreciated the wire wheels!
Welcomes New Member :
club was happy to receive Joe Gross as a new member at All Ford Day.
brings a beautiful Diamond Blue 1964 Hardtop, mostly original, and still
bearing the Price Motors O.S.T. Dealer’s sticker on the rear bumper.
City Vintage Thunderbird Club Visits TheThe Mid-Kansas Territory:
Some of us witnessed a really
inspiring Club activity the weekend of October 15 and 16. On those
dates, the Kansas City VTCI chapter came to Lindsborg,
Kansas for their annual overnight
excursion. Their turnout
made us envious, as 26 of their members drove 12 cars well over 200
miles round trip,
with the entire trip including meals and stops, planned out in advance
by organizer Gayla Honeycutt.
By early afternoon, their
club was shopping the galleries and shops, museum and scenic areas around
From personal experience,
I can state that at least two of the galleries, as well as the Winery made
a few sales that day also.
Parked at the curb in Lindsborg
were beautiful Thunderbirds; the likes of which had not been seen there
for some time; a ’60 HT, Mike and Ann Mawhirter’s white over Diamond Blue
’63 drew a lot
a ’64 HT, a ’72, several 92-97
LX Birds, four Retro Birds including Rod and Bev’s Vintage Mint ’04
Warren and Jane Hanks’ Lexus
SUV , Larry and Katherine Graham’s Chrysler 300M and a Jaguar roadster
rounded out the KC entourage.
In the peaceful atmosphere
of Lindsborg in late afternoon it was refreshing to see an elderly local
couple, out for a drive around town in their two tone grey 1929 Model A
The KC Club had the Swedish
Inn booked in full and were to spend the night in that quaint
Dinner at the Swedish Crown
Restaurant was very nice with a variety of items on the menu and a private
A fun time was had dining
President Warren Hanks spoke
briefly to the group and Tim Pundt also spoke briefly about the 2012 North
Central Regional which he and Cliff Lieske have formed at Des Moines.
It was a really nice
evening with folks who make you feel like you have known them forever.
Rod and Bev Wake and Mike
and Ann Mawhirter were able to represent our club for this part
of the trip.
On Sunday, the Kansas
City troupe was given a tour of the McPherson College Automobile Restoration
Facility. Mid-Kansas’ Mike Thomas represented our club on that part
of the tour, and is still excited about that experience.
Now, putting aside my Mid-Kansas
hat, and putting on my hat as an officer of the VTCI,
I really wish there was
a way we could clone the Kansas City chapter! I wish there was a
we could “cut and paste”
the Kansas City Chapter onto many other clubs.
Their club retention rate,
the events they sponsor, and the trips they take together are
an inspiration to the rest
We all remember prior visits
their club has made to our state; to our 2008 Regional
Convention in Wichita;
to the Council Grove trip of a few years ago with photo shoot.
That trip is still
fresh in our minds; and a lot of good photos made it into our Scrapbook.
Tim and Laura Pundt with
children Emma and Gregg continue to be one of the driving
forces in that club. Tim
was President of the KC club for several years before yielding to
Warren and Jane Hanks and
the Pundt family is present at all their functions, as well
as almost all VTCI Regionals
and Internationals within reach.
Tim’s parents from Kona,
Hawaii were on the trip as well.
It was my unpleasant duty
at both the North Central Regional Convention
at Fort Wayne,
and again at the International in Portland
Regionals and International, without our
Tim Pundt picked
up the reins at that point, and with Cliff
at Minneapolis took on the difficult task of putting
together a Regional Convention
at the last minute in Des Moines—a city
where neither of them reside.
That takes drive, folks,
and Tim and Cliff have it! Our club is determined to help in
that venture, scheduled
for June 21, 22, and 23 in Des Moines. Watch for
further details in the January-February
issue of THE SCOOP.
the Wichitans owe a nice Thank You
to the KC club for
to join them for shopping, supper,
and for including Mike
Thomas in their McPherson
College Tour next day. Most of our club has
facility but Mike had not, and really
the KC Club comes to our area more often in the future.
wishing to be considered as an officer in our club—notify
Bev today. (316) 722-2028 if you have not already done so. No campaign
and there will be no debates.
will be part of the November meeting at Spears!
Club Plans For 2011—A Definite Maybe
are the events the club voted to support as a group during 2011 plus
additions through the year.
we are still viewing through thewrap around windshield are:
4: This will be an all
new format for the Wichita Classic/Mid-
Vintage Christmas Party.
one will be held in the Tower Room at the
will be dining in a private dining room downstairs at the Hilton.
back up to our Tower Room for final festivities.
a beautiful event that should be!
Rod Wake, Mid-Kansas President
October meeting was devoted more to finances than usual. Principally
because we seem to be reflective of our society and possibly spent more
than we could afford during the last year. We sent checks to three
VTCI Regional and International events; we
and voted to renew our Website; provided monthly Newsletters in accordance
with our By-Laws with associated printing costs
mailing; and had several expenditures from the flower fund.
had an unexpected cost to the Internal Revenue Service to reinstate our
Tax Exempt Status.
voted previously to co-sponsor the Lake Afton All Wheels Rally in 2012.
We also experienced a slight net loss in memberships.
was concluded that in order to stretch our budget until the next dues are
due, we may have to make some cuts.
also discussed a myriad of ideas to bring in more revenue. This included
exploring a new club shirt venture with some profit per unit
the club; assisting in other car shows with a view toward collecting some
funds, and sales of club items.
the meeting, we sold the remaining club coffee cups, for which all expenses
have been recouped and sale proceeds were all profit.
received a generous gift from an appreciative club member, and one new
membership. A motion was made to raise club
in keeping with other clubs. The club voted unanimously to
raise our dues to $25.00 beginning April 1, 2012.
club is determined to continue its current business plan until the next
influx of dues.
we still have sufficient funds in the account to pay expenses through this
we may all need to pay better attention to club finances in the future.
Forget our Parent Club:
If you have not yet
joined VTCI, please take this opportunity to do so.
To those of you who have
not yet joined, you can get your application from www.vintagethunderbirdclub.org
or ask Prez for an application.
We simply cannot afford
to lose our affiliation with VTCI!
forget who helps make all our activities possible;
Thunderbird Club International, Inc.
you do not belong to VTCI, join today!
In All The World:
The Newsletter continues
picturing Thunderbirds seen
around the VTCI Regional and International Circuit
as well as local club events.
With each Thunderbird featured,
you should see why the Vintage Ford Thunderbird is considered to be “Unique
In All The World!”
When did you last see a 1963
Sports Roadster that is not restored, and driven daily?
This blue beauty
appeared at the VTCI International Convention
at Portland in
September, 2011 and was
driven in from northern California.
Bird Watchers Alert!
spotted at this time
Big Bird Bazaar:
Parts and Services
or sources of service for our Birds are free to club members, but business
card size ads run $60 per year.
less than $5 per issue ‘cause we usually run 14 editions per year.
What have you to sell?
& Misc For Sale:
|1962 Thunderbird Hardtop: Jim
Goolsby is selling his ’62 Thunderbird. It has standard 390 with
Power steering, brakes, Cruise-O-matic, skirts. Rust free,
does not leak oil.
Drives great. New radial tires in the last year, new left and right
glass channels by Lewis Street Glass, new exhaust by American Muffler,
complete front end rebuild with shocks by Axle and Wheel Alignment.
Arizona car, shows 58,000
Good straight body, but
needs interior work and paint.
Located in Wichita. Price
for 1964 Thunderbird.
block or whole engine.
of them ranging from swing, big band, to early
70’s music. Drop
Dead Reasonable. You won’t believe how reasonable.
is an elderly gentleman’s collection of cherished tapes.
(No, I am not that
lots of swing, big bands, popular hits of the ‘70’s such as John Denver,
The Bee Gees, and similar.
Also one 8 track
Call Prez for details.
Larry also saw this one in Wichita. Gold in color, Asking
$7,000. Call David at 833-1024
of 1961-62 Wheel Covers
Used, Dusty covers, but
the inside is perfect.
|1966 Thunderbird Landau: 390,
4V, PS, PB. Air, Light blue original paint,
tone blue interior, nice original exhaust system (cracked exhaust manifold,
with replacement included) very little rust, needs vinyl top, good tires,
runs rough and last licensed August 1971. 56,000 original miles…recent
Mike Poston at 816-898-1067
Lees Summit area
from the Water Wonderland Thunderbird Club:
For sale; 1964-66
Upper Back Panel Limit Switch, rebuilt
by Certified Rebuilders
Pat Wilson’s TBird parts. It was never installed since being rebuilt.
Release Vacuum Cannister, new, $30
Cowl to Fender
reinforcement tubes for 1964-66 convertible $25.00
from Water Wonderlands.
|2004 Retro Thunderbird:
Larry Fichter saw this one
in Winfield, Kansas.
Red body and Hard Top, Sand
interior and soft top. 23,000 miles and asking
(3) 1964 Thunderbird Wheel Covers
each, or $60 for all three.
Moler 316-942-7842, or 316-204-4514
we eat, then we meet!
And Election Site
meeting will include Elections for 2012!
be on hand to vote for who you want to run your club!