2019 National Litestar & Pulse Convention

Marion, Indiana

The 21st. Annual

10 Pulses were in attendance this year and the host were Cindy Acker and Royce Ann Martin.


By Royce Ann Martin

On Friday, August 30th of 2019, attendees began arriving to the Comfort Inn and Suites of Marion, Indiana for the 21st annual Litestar/Pulse Owners Group rally. After checking in and receiving their “goodies bag” at the hotel from Cindy Acker and Royce Ann Martin, they moved onto dinner at the Sirloin Stockade, sharing stories with each other about what had happened since the last rally. Later, the hospitality room of the hotel was open for members to enjoy the snacks and beverages that awaited their return and exciting plans for the weekend were discussed.

Saturday morning started out cool and brisk but the early morning turnout for the Fly/In Cruise/In at the Marion airport was no disappointment. In addition to the 11 Pulses on static display at the airport, there were hundreds of other vehicles sharing the spotlight. There were vintage tractors, cars, planes, motorcycles, autocycles, powered paragliders, and helicopters and a people mover to help transport attendees from one exhibit area to another.

The Grant County Rescue Mission served up a fantastic all-you-can-eat breakfast of pancakes and sausage with orange juice, milk, and coffee. The Mission kept busy serving the meal and beverages until the event ended at 2:00 pm. Our Pulse members purchased tickets in advance for the breakfast and sauntered in for the great meal and coffee in between talking with the continuing groups of attendees who visited the Pulse static display.

Our Pulse rally attendees once again enjoyed Ray and Judy Johnson’s “lunch at the hangar” that included grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and a plethora of outstanding homemade salads, vegetables, and homemade desserts that were mouthwatering. Later that afternoon, our group took an enjoyable ride to Converse and delighted in the various flavors of ice cream at the shop there.

The annual Saturday Awards Dinner was celebrated at the Thompson-Ray House in Gas City. A warm and delicious meal was prepared and served by the incredible Peace and Plenty staff. During dinner, we had the annual raffle. A total of $130.00 was collected and Mike Lechlitner was the lucky winner of half the proceeds. He generously donated the money back to the group to be used for the 2020 rally. Ten baskets and individual door prizes valued at over $1200.00 were also given out.

Recognition during the Awards Dinner include the following:

First person to register:
Ken Weger (received a red micro car bank)

New Members:
Tom and Karen Woodward (Pulse key chain)
Richard and Zelda Schippers (Pulse key chain)
Kerris Larabee (Pulse key chain)
Glenn Hershey (Pulse key chain)

Support Awards:
Steve Schmidt (Rally book and light bar)
Ray Johnson (Antique green truck birdfeeder)
Gary Bussis (Photo album)

Pulse Facelift Awards:
Doug Minert (Customized set of bar glasses)
Walt Miller (Patriotic mug)
Phil Martin (Patriotic mug)

Pulse that Drove Farthest:
Phil Martin (Monclova, OH)

Pulse Trailered Farthest:
Dave Bauer (Chesapeake, VA)

Person That Came Farthest:
Kerris Larabee (Onalaska, TX)

After the presentation of the annual awards, the Litestar/Pulse Owners Group surprised Cindy and Dan Acker with a big basket of goodies and provided Cindy a clock with an engraved plate that expressed the group’s appreciation for her continued support and contributions to the Litestar/Pulse Owners Group as co-coordinator for the past seven years.

After the formal festivities ended at the Thompson-Ray house, the group returned to the hospitality room at the Comfort Inn and Suites for some more storytelling, snacking, and refreshing beverages.

Driving through the beautiful countryside southwest of Marion, the Sunday ride was a trip back in time. The tour took us to a 1950’s themed town complete with barbershop, diner, movie theatre, and a non-working gas station. The business owner, Jim Richardson, was a local celebrity as a one-hit wonder for the song, “You’re Just Teasin’ Me” in 1966. Later, he built “A Summer Place” to remind people of the good old days and fashioned the gas station after a real gas station he recalled from his childhood. Our members were in awe at the old gas pumps and other vintage items at the gas station. Of course, not to pass up a good photo opportunity, we decided that a gas station looks a bit lonely without vehicles, so we posed the Pulses there near the pumps for some good old fashioned photos.

Inside the theatre was absolutely fascinating with the Purple cinema style seats and all the shelves, walls and ceiling filled with period memorabilia. The real plus was the delectable meal served in the old time diner and getting to meet Jim Richardson and his staff. The nostalgic setting with the black and white checkered floors and the old time soda fountain, definitely helped us relive the good old days while savoring our hamburger, fries, and banana split that they served us.

Many events are scheduled at Summer Place each year from high school reunions, to car club parties, to bus tours of elderly people, etc. The magic of Summer Place is that it is more than just a museum; it is fun, nostalgic, a deeply personal and private experience and hope for children waiting to be adopted. Proceeds from the tours go to a charity titled “A Home for Every Child” that supports the adoption of children in the local area. You can visit Jim’s website at www.asummerplace.org The website for the charity that he supports can be found at www.ahomeforeverychild.org

After the sentimental journey to Sharpsville, we drove to the Elwood Haynes Museum in Kokomo, Indiana. Born in 1857, Elwood Haynes was an inventor credited with being the first to produce cars commercially in 1894. Our group gathered around the 1905 Haynes Model “L” gas-powered horseless carriage on display inside the museum and viewed his famous 1894 Pioneer depicted on the main wall in the center of the museum. In the museum garage, our members were able to also check out the 1923 Haynes Speedster and the 1923 Apperson Jackrabbit Sedan available there.

From the Museum, the Pulse Group took the 45 minutes back to the Comfort Inn and Suites to enjoy the wonderful Friendship Dinner of Swiss Steak and Chicken Marsala provided by Peace and Plenty Catering. Door prizes were again handed out and as it was our last full day to be with each other, most of our members stayed in the hospitality room till the wee hours trying to make the most of our time together. Monday morning and farewells came all too soon but the wonderful weekend had now come to an end and we were all saying our “goodbyes” till next year. Cindy and Royce Ann reminded everyone to be sure to reserve their room for next year and wished everyone a safe journey home.

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