Anyone who has known me for very long has probably heard me say I believe God puts you where you need to be when you need to be there. I’m not trying to preach or push my religion. I just happen to believe that because I’ve seen evidence in my life that seems irrefutable.
For instance, what are the odds that a chance stop at a closed dealership on a Sunday afternoon would lead me to being president of an organization I didn’t even know existed at the time? But on that Sunday afternoon in 2006, we happened to find an SL on the lot that wasn’t locked, and as we checked it out, one of the dealership staff just happened to drive by and see us. Coincidences? You can believe that if you want, but I don’t. She stopped, determined that we were honest-looking people, and asked if we’d like to take it for a drive. Well, within two blocks I knew I was hooked and had to have one, even though I knew nothing about Mercedes-Benz and had no plans to buy a car at the time.
Two years after I bought my 2003 SL500 I heard about the MBCA and joined, becoming section president five years later and joining the National Board three years after that. Along the way, I have met people who will be my friends forever. I look back to when I met them and connect them all back to that one place on that one day.
I spent this Memorial Day weekend at the Sandhills Motoring Festival again. Arriving and greeting some of those friends that I hadn’t seen in a while was such a wonderful feeling. But at each event, I meet someone new. Listening to their stories and hearing about how they got that particular car (because everyone loves to tell that story), I’m amazed anew that one organization can bring together so many people from so many different walks of life and with so many different histories, and we can all find common ground and have fun together.
This year I met a young couple from the Triangle Section. They won the Sandhills rally the year before. Returning this year to defend their title, Nick Grdina and his wife Gillian, along with their baby boy Thomas, ended up coming in second. Their 1982 300CD also took home the second place award for their class at the Sunday car show. I spent quite a bit of time talking to Nick after the final banquet and he told me he wants to get more involved. I hope he does. The future of the club should be in the hands of young people like this. I think he’s right where he needs to be.