Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Car stories July 22, 2022

I expect the driver of this 1956 Plymouth Plaza has stories to share about the vintage car he drove to the Faribault car show. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

ATTENDING THE July 15 Downtown Faribault Car Cruise Night prompted the stories I am about to share. Experiences create stories, which help us to understand and connect with one another. What are your car memories?

Mine are of my bachelor Uncle Mike’s blue-green Nash Rambler, a small (for 1960) boxy car. He didn’t need a roomy car. I remember the Rambler for its size, its color and its name. And its novelty among all the Chevys and Fords.

And then there was Grandpa Bode’s salmon-hued car, make and model unknown to me then and now. The color imprints upon my mind as does the rapid blink-blink-blink of the blinker. If I heard the sound now, I would still recognize it. But to describe the distinct blink proves impossible. I remember also the clear plastic that covered the seats and how, on hot summer days, the bumpy plastic stuck to my legs.

Heading north on Central Avenue in Faribault near the end of the July 15 Downtown Car Cruise Night. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

Grandma Kletscher drove a boat of a car. Large, white. Occasionally she threaded a garden hose into the exhaust pipe, started the car and gassed the moles tunneling through her yard. She was stubborn, determined, innovative. I recall, too, riding with her in that car to nearby Belview to shop for fabric at the general store. She would choose yardage for shapeless dresses I stitched for her. Simple. Zipper tracing down the back. Darts at the bustline. Short-sleeves. Basic dresses to cover her stout frame.

I recall, too, my dad’s 1959 black-and-white Chevy Impala, our family car until he sold it to a neighbor boy and later wished he hadn’t.

Dad liked spacious Impalas. I remember his second Impala, blue in color, and how our family of eight, plus Grandpa, piled inside for our once-a-year trip to visit relatives in The Cities. We packed like sardines, shoulder-to-shoulder, hip-to-hip with no wiggle room between kids. If not for the excitement of actually leaving the farm for some distant travel, I doubt we would have managed the miles. But the adventure kept us focused as we watched for the Flying Red Horse and Caterpillar landmarks, our GPS of sorts along with a paper road map pulled from the glove box.

All the vehicles along Central Avenue hold stories. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

And then there was my first car, a 1976 yellow Mercury Comet purchased right after my graduation from college. It soon garnered the nickname, Vomit. Two flat tires on the day I bought the former rental car from Florida should have sent me back to the Minnesota dealer. The car seemed to have endless mechanical and other problems. A door that wouldn’t close all the way in the depths of winter. A black interior that heated like a sauna in the summer. And too many other issues that fit the Vomit moniker.

Yet, my Vomit with the “press” sticker adhered to the windshield got me to where I needed to be during my early days as a newspaper reporter: chasing fire trucks, interviewing sources, attending endless local government and school board meetings, trying to source information about a murder in New Ulm, covering a homecoming celebration in Odin in 1981 for Bruce Laingen, an American diplomat held hostage in Iran for 444 days…

Those are my car stories. We all have them. What are yours?

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Car show perspectives from downtown Faribault July 20, 2022

Randy tells me the unpainted condition is intentional, that this is “a thing.” (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

EVERY TIME I ATTEND a car show, like the Downtown Faribault Car Cruise Night last Friday evening, I discover new details that draw me in for a closer look. Often that means peering inside a vehicle. And often that means asking my automotive machinist husband for information. He’s knowledgeable about anything vehicle-related from under the hood to exterior to interior.

A beautiful vintage car interior. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

Because of Randy, I attended my first car show many years ago. Mostly I tagged along, expecting to be bored. But I wasn’t as I viewed the displayed cars and trucks through a creative, rather than an automotive, lens. That’s still my perspective.

Old and new vehicles parked outside Janna’s Market Grill, formerly Bernie’s Restaurant. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

Randy sees the whole of a vehicle, verbalizing how he wishes he still had his 64 Chevy, his first car. His mind is like a data bank of information on vehicle makes, models, years, original or not. It’s nice to have an automotive tour guide of sorts while meandering at a car show.

Dice are a popular adornment on vintage cars. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
Photographed through a car window, a footprint gas pedal. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
On the hood of a Cobra. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

My enthusiasm heightens when I spot something like a purple die atop a door lock or a footprint-shaped gas pedal. Randy noted some cars also had mini footprint dimmer switches. Who knew? Not me. And when I saw a Cobra emblem, he told me of their rarity.

The car show features a mix of vintage and newer vehicles. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

I appreciate his insights as we wind among the vehicles along three blocks of Faribault’s Central Avenue (we skipped the fourth block) on a lovely mid-July evening in southern Minnesota.

On the former bank building to the left, a ghost sign remains. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

Aged buildings flank the avenue, rising high, shadowing the street. I appreciate the architecture of these mostly well-kept buildings in this Historic District. I spot a ghost sign on the Security Bank building.

In the 300 block of Central Avenue, a sports car parks in front of the Paradise Center for the Arts. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
In the window of Good Day Coffee. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
Amazing how this windshield opens. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

At the Paradise Center for the Arts, marquee lights are visible in the dusk of day. Directly across the street, the neon of a Coffee sign glows in the window of Good Day Coffee. At 210 Central Avenue, two lights hang above double red doors. I notice them when Randy points to the open windshield of a car. Or maybe it was a truck. I don’t recall. But I’ve never seen anything like that—windshield hinging open.

I heeded this message, exercising extra caution while skirting this car. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
A car with a name, Tootie. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
I always spot interesting stickers on vehicle windows. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

Such nuances delight me, hold my interest, draw me to look closely. I notice stickers, license plates, messages to keep my hands off.

A mini model tops a car roof. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
Custom detailing on a Chevy. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
Sports cars join in the Car Cruise. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

Attending a car show is about so much more than looking at and admiring vehicles. It’s about viewing the whole from hood to trunk and everything in between, inside and out. It’s about appreciating those who own these vehicles and are willing to share them with the public. It’s about art and history, memories and stories, and if you have a personal tour guide like me, an opportunity to learn.

Cars evolve. So do communities. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

And it’s about community. A coming together. Appreciating each other and this place, Faribault. Sometimes I don’t think long-time residents value our city enough. We need to pause, look up, look around, reflect. See the beauty in the historic buildings and in the people who live here. Respect and celebrate those who call downtown home. Faribault is evolving, growing, changing. Just like the cars at Car Cruise Night.

FYI: Please click here to read my first post on the July 15 Car Cruise Night in Faribault. And please check back for one final post in this three-part series.

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Cars, community & history come together along Central in downtown Faribault July 19, 2022

A lovely lavender car drew my interest against a backdrop of historic buildings in downtown Faribault. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

ON A JULY EVENING, as the descending sun shone along the tops of historic buildings in downtown Faribault, I paused to take in the scene before me.

Although signage indicated only registered vehicles could park along Central, other vehicles were parked there. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
Checking out the vehicles parked along four blocks of Central Avenue. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo July 2022)

Vehicles outside the Signature Bar & Grill, a popular downtown dining and drinking spot. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

Throngs of folks congregated around vehicles parked along Central Avenue during a monthly Friday Downtown Faribault Car Cruise Night.

Among the street-side food vendors, El Jefe, outside its downtown restaurant. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

Others visited in groups or stopped to purchase food from food trucks or from a downtown restaurant.

Faribault’s Car Cruise Nights continue to draw crowds to Central Avenue. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

I felt the energy, the pulse of people moving, of togetherness. I observed the mingling of cultures, of ages. I sensed a spirit of community which comes in a gathering of people on a lovely summer evening in southern Minnesota. It felt good to be part of this scene.

Vehicles began leaving as the car show wound down. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

I arrived close to 8 pm, nearing the end of an event which began hours earlier with a car cruise around area lakes. Yet, I still found plenty of cars, trucks and motorcycles to appreciate. Some old, others new.

I consider hood ornaments, whether original or added, to be works of art. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

My approach to Car Cruise Night is not defined by my interest in cars. Rather, it’s defined by art, by my photographic perspective. By my creativity.

I always peer inside vehicles to see what unusual things I’ll discover, here a Smurf theme. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
I always see lots of dice dangling inside vehicles. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
A quilt covers a seat in an old truck. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

I focus on details. Dice. Hood ornaments. Stickers. The gleam of wax-shined chrome. A Smurf. A patchwork quilt covering a truck seat. So much to take in.

A bold, jewel-toned truck drew my eye. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
Like a Dreamsicle. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

I appreciate, too, the colors. Some bold. Others as dreamy as a Dreamsicle.

Faribault’s downtown historic district is one of the largest in Minnesota. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
Banners identifying Faribault’s Historic District include a vintage photo. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)
Flashback to yesteryear in this vintage vehicle. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

And then my eyes shift to the setting. Central Avenue, lined with aged buildings of extraordinary architecture, creates an historic feel, adding to the experience of Car Cruise Night. As I watched an open air vintage car head north along the avenue, it was easy to imagine bygone years.

Not all vehicles are old. These sports cars were part of the cruise, parked near Cardboard Vault. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

At street level, I see long-time businesses like the Signature Bar & Grill and Burkhartzmeyer Shoes and many new businesses like Good Day Coffee, El Jefe, Cardboard Vault and more, including the many shops opened by immigrants who now call Faribault home. Today’s diversity of ownership reminds me of yesteryear, when immigrants settled here, opened shoe and furniture factories, brewed beer, ran general stores, set up barber chairs and much more in a town settling and growing.

An historic building is reflected on the shiny chrome of a motorcycle parked along Central for Car Cruise Night. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

Faribault remains a place of settlement and growth. And a place where, on a Friday evening, I glimpse history in buildings and vehicles. I see, too, the essence of community in this cohesive coming together on a lovely summer evening in July.

FYI: Faribault’s next car show is scheduled for 6-9 PM Friday, August 12, during the Blue Collar BBQ Festival at Teepee Tonka Park on the east side along the Straight River.

Please check back for more photos from the July 15 Car Cruise Night I attended in historic downtown Faribault.

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Making American Stories during Faribault Car Cruise Night, Part III June 25, 2020

Closing in on downtown, only blocks from Central Avenue, at the end of the car cruise route.


AS I WATCHED AND PHOTOGRAPHED the June 19 Faribault Car Cruise Night, I considered not only the stories I would tell with my photos, but the stories of those participating in this monthly summer event.


What’s the story behind the TOOTIE license plate on this Ford Fairlane?


And where was this young boy riding prior to the cruise?


What stories have been written, and shared, in this 1956 Chevy station wagon?


What prompted them to join the cruise? What would they see? How would they feel? What memories would they take away from this leisurely Friday evening drive around Faribault area lakes and back into town? Will they, years from now, talk about the summer of 2020 and how, even in the midst of a global pandemic, they went on a car cruise?


What’s the story behind this vintage Pontiac owned by Sharon and Tom?


The back of that beautiful Pontiac.


Life is one long story. With many chapters. And editing along the way. Sometimes by us, sometimes by those who think they can edit our lives or rewrite our stories. They can’t. They are not us. Our stories are ours.


Part of Faribault’s “American Stories” campaign.


“Making American Stories” is among a handful of marketing slogans selected by local tourism folks to promote Faribault. That theme, along with crafting, experiencing, shaping and preserving American stories, is bannered on signs posted throughout my community. I like this campaign. It’s clear, meaningful, uncomplicated and fitting. It defines community strengths—from history to home-grown businesses to things to do.


What’s the story behind “The Rock” shirt?


What leads someone to own a vintage car like this Buick Electra?


What prompts someone to get all creative and build a rat rod?


What’s the full story behind this tattoo?


Where did the owners find this vintage Chrysler convertible and what’s its history?


And on summer evenings in to early autumn, one of those local once-a-month activities is Faribault Car Cruise Night. It brings together the past and the present. Links vintage vehicles and new. Seniors and kids. Car collectors and, new this year, Harley riders.


What’s the story behind the ATV?


Wonder what stories this Pontiac GTO convertible could tell?


So many American stories in the making during the June 19 Faribault Car Cruise Night.


Switched from a Central Avenue-based park-and-look event, this actual driving cruise has added a new dimension in the making of this American story. I wonder about the stories. Those already written. And those being written.

This concludes my three-part photo series on the June 19 Faribault Car Cruise Night.

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Cruisin’ in red, Part II from Faribault Car Cruise Night June 24, 2020

A 1957 Chevrolet.


WHEN I PHOTOGRAPH car shows, I find myself drawn to red vehicles.


A hot rod.


For one, the color red pops in photos.



But, I’m also wondering if red cars are more common? Is that why, when I scroll through frames from the June 19 Faribault Car Cruise Night, that I notice lots of red vehicles in my photos.


Ford Fairlane.


Red cars.

Mid-60s Chevy pick-up truck.


Red trucks.



Even red Harley Davidson motorcycles. Bikes ended the parade.


Ford Mustang.


When I think of a red vehicle, I think of speed. And being a bit show-offy.



Mid 1960s Ford Mustang.



I think of youth. Although that’s not necessarily accurate. How many guys have purchased red cars during the stereotypical mid-life crisis? Maybe you don’t want to answer that question. Red, I suppose, looks good on anyone, no matter their age.


Camaro Super Sport.


Red seems an attention-grabbing hue. A good color choice for on-the-road visibility.



Whether a vehicle is fire-engine red or a shade muting more to maroon, the undertones will always catch my eye. There’s just something about red…


1962 Chevrolet.


TELL ME: Have you ever owned, or do you own, a red vehicle or shade thereof? What’s your color preference in a vehicle? And why?

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Cruisin’ into summer during COVID-19, Part I June 23, 2020

Heading east on Minnesota State Highway 60/Fourth Street past the courthouse and Fareway Foods, Car Cruise Night participants arrive in the downtown Faribault business district Friday evening, June 19.


IN A SUMMER THAT FEELS anything but normal due to COVID-19, I welcome distractions. And a sense of semi-normalcy.


A 1957 Chevrolet.


For awhile Friday evening, during Faribault Car Cruise Night, I could pretend that we are not in the midst of a global pandemic. The event has been revamped this summer from vehicles parked along Central Avenue to an actual cruise. The June 19 evening cruise started at the Faribault Middle School, leading drivers out of town and around area lakes before heading back to Faribault and finishing on the south end of Central Avenue.


I swung my camera lens east and west to take in the cruise coming and going, including this 1969 Chevrolet Camaro.


Watching the parade from the back of a pick-up truck parked in a business parking lot.


My friends Curt and Leann in their 1959 Ford Galaxie.


In deciding where to sit, Randy and I intentionally looked for a spot that would keep us clear of crowds. And we found that in front of the Rice County Government Center. The uncrowded setting also allowed me to roam onto the courthouse lawn to take photos.


Pre-cruise, I photographed this traffic westbound along busy Fourth Street.


We waited for nearly an hour from the 6 pm start time to see the first car rolling toward us on Minnesota State Highway 60/Fourth Street. But it was a lovely summer evening to sit outdoors, so we didn’t mind the wait. I did worry, though, about shooting into the sun while photographing the parade of vehicles. And that did prove to be somewhat problematic.


Waving from a Chervrolet Corvette.



A group of bikers closed out the cruise line.


No matter, I got plenty of photos—images which show a sense of community, of fun, of joy. This cruise felt different. Lots of smiles. Hand waving. Showing off by a few drivers.


A 1955 Chevrolet.



A Ford Falcon.


Many seemed grateful simply to be out on a beautiful Minnesota summer evening.


So enjoyed this bagpipe player and his addition to Faribault Car Cruise Night.


He started playing next to the Rice County Veterans’ Memorial.


Then moved nearer the courthouse.


Adding to the festivities was the music of a lone bagpiper stationed on the courthouse lawn. He stood for awhile next to the Rice County Veterans’ Memorial in a show of respect. I noticed many an appreciative driver and passenger looking his way. The live music definitely added a new dimension to the cruise and I hope will continue.





Mostly, I felt an overwhelming sense of being part of something that was more than a parade of collector, vintage and other vehicles. I felt a sense of togetherness while not together. I felt a spirit of community.



In a summer when nearly every event that brings people together has been canceled, we had this, this escape. For a short time on a Friday evening in June in Faribault.


Please check back for two more posts from the June 18 Faribault Car Cruise Night.

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Cruisin’ around Faribault area lakes, this evening June 19, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

From a past car cruise on Central Avenue. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


BACK IN THE 50s AND 60s, teens idled away time cruisin’ Main Streets. It was a thing then, when life was simpler, much less complicated. No COVID-19 to consider.

Fast forward decades later and cruisin’ is still a thing. Except it’s organized. And the drivers are mostly older and hold a deep appreciation for vehicles of the past, perhaps reliving the days of their youth.


Lovely old buildings in the 300 block of Central Avenue provided the backdrop for a past Faribault Car Cruise Night. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Tonight my southeastern Minnesota community hosts its monthly summertime Faribault Car Cruise Night. Participants will meet at the Faribault Middle School at 6 pm for a cruise which will take them around area lakes and then back to Faribault along Minnesota State Highway 60 and south down Central Avenue.


Cruise participants await the start of the cruise in the Buckham Memorial Library parking lot in May. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo May 2020.


This car cruise, typically a stationery event on Central Avenue where vehicles park and folks mingle, transitioned to an actual on-the-road event in May. That was due to COVID-19. The change proved a hit and drew a high number of participants, including motorcyclists. Even more, maybe double, are expected at this evening’s cruise. I hope organizers have social-distancing plans in place. I didn’t observe those at the May cruise.

Randy and I plan to watch the cruise, although we haven’t yet selected a place that will be aesthetically pleasing and uncrowded. Yes, even outdoors we are cautious about reducing our COVID-19 exposure risk.

To view the June 18 Faribault Car Cruise Night route, click here.

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


From Faribault: Cruisin’ on Central on a glorious May evening May 16, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:51 AM
Tags: , , , , ,

The weather proved perfect for riding in this AMC Ambassador convertible during Faribault’s first 2020 Car Cruise Night.


FOR 25 MINUTES, WE WATCHED the cars and trucks cruise by on Central Avenue. Most vintage. Some not. And, just as the motorcycles roared into line, we picked up our lawn chairs and left. Not because we wanted to, but rather our order of the BBQ special from The Depot Bar & Grill was ready for curbside pick-up. We’d scheduled that just a little too early.


Cruising north along Faribault’s Central Avenue.


Watching the cruise. Central Avenue was not closed to traffic during the event.


Waving an American flag from a Dodge Dart.


Friday evening marked the first actual cruise in Faribault Main Street’s monthly warm weather car cruises. Typically, vehicles park along closed Central Avenue and people mingle, inspecting vehicles close-up, visiting with owners and others. It’s a social event that brings the community together.


An early Nova, also known as a Chevy II.


Filming the cruise…


Riding in the rumble seat of a Ford.


But all that has changed due to COVID-19. And rather than call off the gathering, organizers planned the cruise, first through Faribault’s historic downtown and then around the city. It was the perfect evening. Sunny. Warm. Lovely in every way.


Cruise participants await the start of the cruise in the Buckham Memorial Library parking lot.


A lovely Pontiac Catalina drives down Central Avenue.


We sat an empty parking space away from these cruise watchers, who remained in their car.


As we waited at the Minnesota State Highway 60 and Division Street intersection stoplight, I glanced over at the staging area—the library and community center parking lots. Vehicles packed the lots and nearby street. I noticed a definite lack of social distancing and no masks from afar (their choice), although I saw some drivers with masks during the parade. Randy and I brought ours along, to wear if we felt crowded and needed them. We didn’t.


A hotrod…


Down the block, these folks watched the cruise.


Cruisin’ Central in a Chevelle.


And so we kicked back in our lawn chairs and watched as vehicles rolled by, some roaring their engines and showing off for the crowd. I could have done without that. But, still, I enjoyed the parade and the 25 minutes when it seemed like this was just any other Friday evening in May. Except it wasn’t.



Loved this little Nash Metropolitan.


A Plymouth.


Love the old pick-up trucks.


A 57 Chevy.


A Lincoln Continental.


© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


More than a car show September 20, 2019


CAR CRUISES REPRESENT much more than a bunch of vintage vehicles washed and waxed for prime public viewing.





Car Cruises represent passion, family projects, heritage, stories, history, art…whatever perspective you bring to a car show.





But most of all, they represent community. I’ve attended enough car shows, most in my city of Faribault, to recognize that these events bring folks together. To mingle in the street or on the sidewalk to talk cars. Or family. Or weather. Maybe even politics, but probably not.





While the vehicles take participants and attendees back in time, so does the overall feel of a car show. In this high tech busy world, we need to remember the importance of gathering and of visiting. Face-to-face, cellphones tucked away.




Faribault offers one final opportunity this season to embrace togetherness at the Faribault Car Cruise Night set for 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Friday, September 20, at Faribault Harley-Davidson, a move from the usual Central Avenue location. I prefer the intimate and historic downtown setting. But I also understand the need to change things up a bit.




The Harley dealer is also offering a free showing of the classic movie, American Graffiti, at 6 p.m. (according to promotional info). The event is advertised as family-friendly with offerings of popcorn, s’mores, pop and a bonfire. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets.



This vintage wagon promotes tourism and the Minne-Roadtrip that includes the communities of Faribault, Northfield and Owatonna.



I appreciate the efforts of Faribault Main Street and others who organize Car Cruise Night. They are building community, connecting us with one another. Exactly what we need in an ever-increasingly disconnected world.


All of these photos were taken at the August Faribault Car Cruise Night in historic downtown Faribault.

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Close up at the Faribo Drag-On’s Car Club Show, Part II June 1, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , , ,


CAR SHOWS, at first glance, seem simply an event for car enthusiasts to gather and showcase their vehicles to the public.





But I see more. Much more.



Under the hood of a Mustang.



I see beyond a community of like-minded individuals who admire engines and shiny surfaces. I see the details, too.



On the roof of a vehicle…


A creative foot rest on a motorcycle.


Among all the bright colors, the throngs of people, the draw of trophies, I see humor. Art. History. Personal pride.





And I see dedication in the groups who organize these events. Like the Faribo Drag-On’s Car Club, host of the show photographed here. These club members hold a deep appreciation for motor vehicles, especially vintage.




The best sounding exhaust trophy.


That they share this love with folks like me, who will never own a vintage vehicle, is a gift. I can walk here among these cars and trucks and appreciate, admire, enjoy.





If you’ve never taken in a car show, I’d suggest you do so. You’ll experience a sense of community, an appreciation for classic vehicles and a grassroots connection to simpler times. There’s a lot to be said for that in today’s rat race world.


FYI: Faribault Main Street hosts a monthly (during the summer) Faribault Car Cruise Night. The next car show will be from 6 – 9 p.m. Friday, June 15, along Central Avenue in historic downtown Faribault.

Or, you can take in a car show from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. this Saturday, June 2, at Babe Nordmeier Baseball Field in Morristown during the town’s annual Dam Days celebration.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling