By Christy Strawser
ROYAL OAK (WOMC) Bob Cousineau of Ortonville knows cruising. He’s been burning the Woodward Avenue strip since he was a high schooler in the 1960s — but he saw a first this Saturday.
He had never seen so many people out there this early in the morning.
“Every year, it’s a little different,” he said, perched under a tent with his wife Doreen with a perfect 10 a.m. view of Woodward. “But it’s a lot busier than it usually is at this time of day. It’s getting elaborate out here.”
Elaborate was the name of the day for his family, 25 of whom were on Woodward by 8 a.m, including six brothers and sisters who cruised in their high school heyday, and their kids who had heard all the stories. They had tents, chairs and a banquet spread of food. “We’ve got breakfast, lunch and dinner right here,” Doreen Cousineau said, laughing.
And like many others, they were reliving the cruising days of youth.
“Every weekend my brothers took me to the dragstrip,” said Adele Eicholt, watching the cruisers next to sister Lori Clark. “In the 1960s, it was what everybody did.”
Lots of memories and shiny Detroit steel were on display Saturday along Woodward. Sidewalks were no-passing zones by 11 a.m., lawn chairs were set up 10 deep in some areas, and the mood was high-spirited.
“This is unbelievable,” said Reo John Hugar of Ray Township, enjoying the view from the sidelines. “You couldn’t ask for it to be any better than this.”
Hugar was trying to sell his 1961 cherry red Chevy hardtop, one of only 50 Indy pace cars made that year. Like many other classic car fans out there Saturday, he needs room for more classics.
“I’ve got nine of them right now,” Hugar said. “And even I know that’s too many.”
Sam Lavere of Port Huron was in the sad position of looking at cars he can’t afford to have at home. “But that’s enough,” he said. “New cars all look alike, it’s fun to come out here and remember when cars were unique.”
On the hunt for sightings of his favorite ride — a 1970 Dodge Charger — Mark Keegan was also content just to look at classic beauties on a day when the skies were blue and temperatures hovered near perfect.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say today is a 10,” Keegan said.