American Chesapeake Club
National Show Specialty
October 11-16, 2005

On The Road

Each year Fred Feines travels with his pal Barbara to attend the ACC Show Specialty and the ACC Field Trial Specialty.  He puts into writing his trials and tribulations of the trip and his take on everything! We share it here with you...


Oct 10 - Monday.. The Prelude
Packing! How hard should it really be? We've been traveling for years.  Decades. We should have it down to a science. How come every single time is like reinventing the wheel? I've been saying for years I'm gonna' write down what we took and what we used or didn't. Never have. Probably wouldn't matter.

How come we pack lean and come home with so many things that were never worn? And we went to the laundromat midweek? I don't understand. We go away overnight, it takes hours to pack and 2 bags. Huh? Who are these guys running through the airport with a briefcase and a cinnamon bun or whatever it is. Bose earphones maybe. Road warriors? On the road for 3 weeks with a briefcase and a danish? Don't they bathe? Do they put their headphones in water and they turn into a new suit? What is it they really do on the road
anyway? Doesn't anyone care what they smell like?

Our poor Suburban. Two people and one dog. How much can we need for 10 days?  Need. Oh boy.

One weather website says it's pretty much gonna' continue raining all up and down the East coast for the next week. Another says only 30% chance of rain most of the time. While neither is a pretty picture ... guess which one we favor? We had 6 inches or rain last Saturday. That's more rain that we had in August and September! Together. And it's still raining.

Ask us how much fun we had watching UCONN cream Syracuse in football last Friday IN THE RAIN? Ask Barbara how much she'd have bet you there was no way -NADA- chance she'd ever sit in the rain to watch college football. That was then. This is now. She's hooked. She comes home hoarse from games. Sometimes
I make her sit in a different row. People buy her more beers that she could drink. Ever. And women's college basketball season starts soon. Don't get her started.

Powerball is supposed to be $250 MILLION Wednesday night! That's alot of money. ALOT OF MONEY. That's like as much as the Adelphia guys made the year before they went to jail.

Do you think a dealer would deliver one of those big RV's to us at the Specialty if we win? Hmmmm. What color? Brown? Sedge? Such a dilemma. Ah, one of each. Of course.

We've been so busy worrying about what not to bring we never got around to looking what there might be to do in or around Frederick, Maryland. I printed directions but never looked at a map to see WHERE Frederick, MD really is. It could be in Ohio for all I know. Isn't that what navigators are for? In case I can connect from somewhere, any special attractions, exhibits or restaurants near the Specialty?

We pretty much know what's in store for us at the Field Specialty. How many ways can you serve cranberries? Pine barrens. Or is it barren pines? And I grew up in NJ. They say you can't walk 100 feet in the pine barrens without tripping over someone. Buried.

The western and southern areas of New Jersey are really very nice. Nary a refinery in sight. Most people drive through New Jersey and only see the Garden State Parkway or the New Jersey Turnpike and it ain't pretty. Off those main roads there are some absolutely lovely areas. Gosh. Even Route 78 or 287 go through some beautiful country. Densest population in the country though. Happy to be living in the country now; as much country as Connecticut can have. Wyoming it's not.

We are soooo pumped. We know we're going to get to see so many people we haven't seen for years, some more than others (years, that is.)

Carole and Jim. The Stewarts. The Steinhoffs. Lynda and the other Lynda. Heidi and Gary, Bruce and Marlene. Oh so many people. We're disappointed already that it looks like the Rollins Clan is not making the trip. Paula Elmes is home rebuilding her home STILL. Tom Cox didn't enter a dog (that we saw.) It won't seem like a Field Specialty if Tom and Parker aren't there. Doc Miller? We miss Les. And Nancy. Alex is staying home this year. Warren Price is at the Master Nationals. So much to look forward to. So many stories. So little sleep. We want Benedetta to start traveling again! We miss her sooo. Midnight already. Happy Trails.
                        Fred and Barbara On The Road  (in a coupla' hours.)
Oct 11 - Tuesday - Day 1 Starting Out.. Whew. Done packing. No need to explain what the Suburban looks like. Suffice it to say there's not much extra room. Air could be a problem; we drove with a window open to be safe.  We set Noon as a target time to leave and almost made it; 12:30 PM is almost right on the money. Then we stopped for lunch before we made it all the way to the highway! Don't ask, there's no logic. We had warm fruit and cold water that warmed rapidly. We had to stop for real food!  We made a whole 200 miles today. 200 miles. That's not even half-way across a lot of states. We crossed three. Oh well. East Coast states are little, what can I say. We each took naps; I got a longer one than Barbara 'cause I didn't sleep at all last night. Worry? Nah. Heartburn.

New Jersey. If you've never lived her or visited you can't understand diner culture or really, extreme junk food. Oh and New York Style deli. Kosher deli. Unless you've experienced it words cannot describe it. We go to this place in Woodbridge, regular sandwiches are 8" - 12" tall. YES. They serve the sandwich with a side plate of extra bread. Two BIG eaters would be sated
with a single sandwich. Jumbo sandwiches are family fare. Eclairs the size of footballs. I am not kidding. Footballs. Seven layer cake; 18" tall.  Pancakes are the size of serving platters. Who cares about size -yeah- the food is the best. Ok, on to diners.

For unknown reasons New Jersey diners have traditionally been operated by persons of Greek origin. There must be a reason; it's lost in some continuum somewhere. More than half the pizza places are run by Greek families; the other half by Italians. And pizza originated in China. Go figure. New York and New Jersey are home to thin crust pizza. Thin. Like paper. Thick, crisp crust. Alot of people like those deep dish, Chicago style pies but I figure it's just because they never had a good pizza. So there.

New Jersey diners have rather extensive menus, like 25 pages. No, I'm not kidding. They have tons of stainless steel and are lit so brightly you could; I don't know but they're really bright. The food. Usually good.  Varied. I'd never order chicken florentine but breakfasts and burgers and such are usually good. Chopped steak (think big burger) with mashed potatoes, onions and brown gravy is a staple. Sorta' the chicken fried steak of the Mid-Atlantic region. (I would vote for Chicken Fried Steak but if you
ask for that in New Jersey you'll get fried chicken.)

Leaving diners, ... second only to Philly (as in Philadelphia) Cheese Steaks are White Castle burgers -and the word is used rather loosely- and Jimmy Buffs, Italian hot dog (or sausage) sandwiches. Big round, flat loaves of bread, slit open and stuffed with hot dogs or sausage, fried potatoes, onions, peppers, some mustard. Ooooh. Junk food heaven. White Castle burgers are little squares of "meat" with holes punched in them (they're really about 1 oz. by the time all the wholes are drilled) covered in onions and served on cute, miniature buns. Each "burger" is a bite. ONE BITE. But oh so good. The french fries and onion rings are insults; stick with the burgers.

Anywho, it's still raining. It drizzled all the way today, lightly, but wet.  Roads were slick. I was tired from missing my regular (EARLY) bed time.  The Field Trial raffle is still running. Envelopes arrived today from Wisconsin and Tennessee. Those people know a good thing when they see it.

I'm told I misread some tea leaves and the Rollins Clan WILL be in Maryland.  Good. It'll be nice to see Shannon and her family.

I heard a rumbling today that Julie Cole is enroute to New Jersey as I type. Nita Schaeffer and Marilyn Williams leave the Pacific Northwest tomorrow morning. Nita was one of my *Stellar Sellers*; she moved alot of Field Trial Raffle Tickets for THE CLUB. Thanks, Nita.

Oh, I almost forgot. On the topic of New Jersey junk food, Tastycake Bakeries. Some regions have this thing for Little Debby or Moon Pies or those little (scrumptious) pecan pies. In New Jersey (and Pennsylvania, but NOT Connecticut) it's Tastycakes. Little chocolate covered, golden cakes with peanut butter (Tandy Cakes) or without the peanut butter and with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate (Kandy Cakes) or butterscotch trumpets or whatever they are. They're like butterscotch lady fingers. Arteries wince when you turn down the Tastycake aisle!   Is anyone surprised I've gained 100 pounds in the last 20 years? Is anyone surprised I enjoyed gaining each and every one of those pounds. I MISS the 35 pounds I lost this last year. (I've got to miss another 65 if I want to keep going with the On The Road series!) I can dream, can't I?

Tomorrow morning it's on to Frederick, Maryland and the start of the Show Specialty (for us.) Can't wait to try to unpack the car!       Happy Trails. Fred and Barbara (On the Road to the 2005 Show Specialty) 


The Show!!!!!!     OK, let's see. It's a little cool and overcast but ... it hasn't rained since we arrived (~1:30 pm.) That's a very good thing. A little windy on the hilltop, but that's OK too.

Obedience is always fun to watch but Teams ... What a hoot. Actually this year the teams actually looked like teams. Some years it's been more like organized chaos, or random acts in a group setting. This year was different, they looked like they may have actually met prior to entering the ring and even practiced. There was one group, ... Well, never mind. It was fun and entertaining to watch.

We got to chat with Jana Hope. She did VERY well in obedience, but to listen to her she has two left feet. She doesn't! She trains like crazy and it shows!  Knock me over, is that Mary Ellen Mazzola? Mary Ellen at a Show Specialty?  It is. She wants to see how the other half lives. Right on. She's also transporting a sweet little CBR to be rehomed.  Peggi Johnson is here. We only get to see Peggi every coupla' years and it's always nice. She's gonna' take some photos of our beloved Basherta for us; every photo we take seems to HIGHLIGHT red eyes. They're like laser pointers staring at you. If we knew how to do it we couldn't!

The host hotel is very nice. The Show Committee and the hotel are taking a real hard line on littering and not picking up after one's dogs. BRAVO! Like they said, why let some slob ruin it for everybody else, turn them in. Bench hearings! Serious stuff (but so it not cleaning up after one's dogs.)  The hotel staff has been agreeable and there's alot of them around. Good so far. This is not a new hotel property but, hey, it's a DOG SHOW.

Sandy Pappa has a lovely tent chock full of CBR clothing, accessories, etc. supporting her pet charity, New York Chessie Rescue. It you're coming to the show, stop by to visit. (We haven't seen any of the other vendors yet. We will, don't worry.)

Gotta' get a little rest before the evening activities. More in a coupla' hours, before bedtime.  Fred


ghis morning is cool, 55 with a light breeze. Feels cooler but what the heck.  We didn't see anyone else that we knew. Agility people are here in a big RV pulling an equipment trailer. Must be a local club or even an event management company.

Tons of non-descript restaurant chains around. Bob Evans sufficed for us. A nearby Walmart and CVS got a coupla' our bucks. Frederick, MD is pretty densely populated, or so it seems. Lots of highways, more so than local streets is our preliminary observation.

It's easy to get lost. Mary Ellen Mazzola bought a Garmin GPS. Cool, right? It took her to Philadelphia. PHILADELPHIA. She said, I don't want to go to Philadelphia. Hmmmm. I very gently suggested there may have been operator error -you know, Mary Ellen, you screwed it up- but she didn't seem the least bit interested in even considering that possibilty. Oh well. The GPS' in Hertz cars have always gotten us where we wanted to go.

Joanne Silver is here but Stan is not. She's in the doghouse for going to the Show Specialty instead of staying home with him for the Jewish holidays. I feel the same, well, not exactly. I'm at the Show Specialty (but otherwise I'd be at my mother's for dinner.)

Some guy was in the lobby complaining about not getting a TV channel in his room that the bar was showing. He won't stay here again if it's not fixed. The manager was tooooo polite. I'd have asked him where he wanted his bed ... in the BAR. Gotta' go. Crusin' for some poop for tomorrow morning's report and some quality sleep time. Cheers. Fred and Barbara, Fred and Barbara (On the Road at the 2005 Show Specialty)
PS; Hey Jane? Where are you? I'm the fat guy with the curly hair, formerly brown.    Fred


You know what they say about a bad day fishing being better that a good day at work? Only sometimes.  I work in a moderate temperature, it's dry with little wind. Not so in Frederick, MD today. Unfortunately.

Toward the end of the day, the judge had to move to a small portion of the main ring, the part that got a little, spillover light from the parking lots! Honestly, in the shadows you couldn't see the dogs! .

I used to comment about judges, judging, even competitors from time to time. I decided a while back color commentary had best leave those topics alone. Color commentary is lighthearted observations of the goings on. Emphasis on lighthearted.

Dr. Jim Stewart has a dog named Cal. Cal's 11 years young and made it into the final Sweeps ring yesterday. He took his class, probably 10-12 Veterans. What a boy (Cal, not Jim.) When we first encountered Cal ~5 years ago he was so skittish he wouldn't stand for an examination. He urinated nervously, he shied away from people. I don't remember the story of how Jim came to be owned by Cal but there is a very strong bond between them.

Jim loves Cal and has worked with him tirelessly, turning around a dog that most -well many- would have given up on and he now has a wonderful companion and all 'round sweet boy. BRAVO to Jim Stewart for working with Cal so long and so hard to turn him around.

The inimitable Miss M -as in Meghan, daughter of lovely Madeline- is here. Jane found me. Janet Hart and Polly traveled from Massachusetts; we're neighbors and only see them a coupla' times a year. (Somebody on TV news just blamed Paris Hilton for the rain! Huh? Maybe the collapse of decency and good taste, but the rain?) Shame on me.

We were invited to join the Bombergers, Rich and Rachel Young and the Young'uns, Melissa and some others for dinner but couldn't find May's Restaurant. We found it on our way back to the hotel! Boy, this mall that
the host hotel and the Express hotel are in is GIGANTIC. The Francis Scott Key mall is a small city! (Without street signs!) Whatever.

The rain yesterday was a PAIN. Drizzle all day long. The whole east coast is under water. The TV is on, some idiot commentator just had a panel of people on asking if this was because G-d is angry. (Color commentary better avoid religious and political themes! That was just over the top.)

Sandy Pappa has HOT coffee, tea and donuts at her New York Chessie Rescue booth. Man is she popular with the WET CBR people. She's selling sweatshirts like hotcakes. Nice sweatshirts, Pidney renderings at bargain prices. And they're warm, trust me.

The Specialty logo merchandise was put out yesterday. BEAUTIFUL stuff. I snuck a brief peak but frankly, the table was too crowded to really browse and BUY. (Even if they have 3X!) Cool tote bags in a coupla' designs along with all the usual. I think I saw a stadium blanket that packed into it's own bag. Very cool indeed.

There was the usual grumbling about judging. You know, the regular: Winners are happy, losers are unhappy. What's new? The judge was methodical, she gave every dog a thorough going over. With darkness threatening she kept at it. Good for her (but if she had only shaved a coupla' seconds off each dog
we could have finished in daylight!) Again, whatever.

We breezed through and by the lobby vendors. Art, crafts and massage. There was a bunch of locals and traveling salesmen at the massage vendor. I didn't see any of them with dogs. Who knows.
Karen and Ron Anderson and their daughter (who's name keeps eluding me) are here, but I think they live around the corner, so to speak. We've seen both Lynda's. How about LindaAZ and LindaAK? There's a large European contingent; Germans, Danes and England. How many CBR's are there in Europe? Anybody sorta' track this stuff by country? Just curious.
The Annual Meeting is tonight. I probably won't but want to ask about a new, different model to fund National Specialties. It seems like the committees have to spend more time on fund raising than on planning and organizing the Specialties. I don't know the finances or the financial models of Specialties but there has to be a better way to put them on than to throw a Specialty Committee to the wolves and say, go forth and raise tons of money to put on this event. Oh yeah, then plan and orchestrate it. And oh yeah, send us the extra money! EXTRA? I dunno, seems like there has to be a different -if not better- funding model.

The silent auction preview is tonight; the live auction and final bidding in the silent auction is tomorrow. We've seen the list of items and they are HOT. A lot of very collectible books and unusual CBR items. Old magazines, decorations, picture frames. And STATE BASKETS. The New Jersey basket -thanks to the Silver's for spearheading the effort- arrived by MOVING VAN. It is joined by baskets from Oregon and Florida. Dog vest, framed prints, framed posters, original ceramics. Boy am I upset we forgot our checkbooks at home. Darn.

Gotta' go. More later. Cheers. Fred and Barbara on the road from the 2005 National Show Specialty.
PS: Oh yeah. We missed ALL of agility. Sorry. We got caught up in other things. A glimpse, enough to feel bad about missing more!     Fred


Whew. Connected @ 26.4 k in The Blueberry Capitol of The World, Hammonton, NJ.  I'm hangin' my head -not in shame- but I know some people are disappointed; some are no doubt relieved! We've just gotten caught up in things and our On The Road responsibilities were neglected.  Let's see. Should we try to make up for days lost? Just move on, put it behind us? Compromise!

The banquet went off smoothly. Wait a minute. Back up. CONGRATULATIONS to Mitchel and Diane Horowitz. A well deserved win. One of the first Field Trialers we ran into this afternoon said her dog was acting a little antsy Saturday and stopped in Maryland to air him. Looked around and said, we're probably not too far from the Show Specialty. She called the hotel, she wasn't and ran by. She got there in time to see Breed and she said she thought it was a good pick. Crossing lines. Good dogs show (and hunt!)

Back to the banquet. Smooth. Gettin' in was a little slow at times. How come everyone shows up at the designated starting time? Doesn't anyone remember, fashionably late? Well. We were working the table with 2 other people. There were some delays. Live with it.  The food was good and plentiful. Service was attentive. THE AUCTIONS!

The Silent Auction had ~150 items donated. The state baskets deserve SPECIAL MENTION. (We bought Oregon, which btw, is pronounced OreGUN in case you didn't realize.) It cost them more to put together than we had to pay for it! (Shame.) 2 bottles of wine, some beer, 2 commemorative coins, a Pendelton blouse, T shirt and turtlenecks, OreGUN foodstuffs including smoked salmon, candies, ea rings, tourist info (HINT, HINT, HINT) and a ton more stuff all packed in a Vari-Kennel decorated like a covered wagon. West ho!

Virginia's basket was sooooo big it had to be split into 2; NJ was delivered by a small moving van. What a grand idea. We promise to organize a Connecticut basket next year! Florida's basket had a farmer handing out
cartons of juice. (Married.) Alaska presented a beautiful basket as they do every year.

Dr. Jim Stewart acted as Master of Ceremonies and did a commendable job. He wisely limited the live auction to only a handful of items. They sold well but bidding could've been a little energetic. Bidders got too good deals!
The Silent Auction had among tons of other stuff, a BEAUTIFUL collection of books. I must confess we overpaid for a few of them to add to our Chesapeake bookshelf. We got a handmade napkin and place mat with a beautifully embroidered CBR. A lovely pillow hand embroidered. Some very nice pen and inks, photographs, decoys and primitive decoys, magazines. My mind is blanking. Is that a word? I better rest. More later. 26.4 kbps. Weird. Back after dinner. Promise.

      Fred and Barbara, On the Road, at the 2005 ACC Field Specialty.


 We did not make it to the WD, unfortunately.  We had directions and a well intending person went over them with us. He "added" oh yeah, it's 355 NORTH (the directions didn't specify.) Well. It was SOUTH. We know because we went ~20 miles NORTH. It was definitely south.  By the time that was straightened out it was kinda' late. We headed for NJ.

Shannon Rollins -from OreGUN- accompanied us to my mom's for dinner and spent the night. She went to New Haven today and will be down to the Field Specialty in a day or two.

 Fred and Barbara, On the Road, now in NJ for the ACC Field Trial Specialty.....