The August tour was hosted by HRR board member Rick Jones. We started out on a beautiful morning from club President Tom Collins’ private getaway, Loafer’s Glory. We then set out on a carefully crafted route that was road tested several times by HRR board member Russ Barnes. After a gas stop along the route we arrived at our first destination in Manchester where we were amazed at a vast array of collectibles including movie memorabilia, autographed guitars, and many unique collectibles. There were several buildings containing these collections and it was truly an amazing private collection.
We then continued the tour and arrived at our lunch stop, Damron’s in Tullahoma. We were treated to a wonderful lunch filled with engaging conversation between club members.
We then moved on to our final stop: the Beechcraft Heritage Museum. This museum is dedicated to preserving the history of all Beechcraft airplanes. We were split into two tour groups and the expert guides walked us through the aircraft on display and answered all of our questions. At the conclusion of the tour we did experience some moderate rain, which proves that Butch Roth must be present for the entire tour in order for his statement to be true: “It never rains on an HRR event!”
From event host Rick Jones:
I just wanted to share a quick note to wrap up our great day last Saturday. Not counting a little rain shower while we were in the Beechcraft Heritage Museum, it was a beautiful day. We found most of our route back pretty much dry by the time we left.
As usual, our day started at Tom & Barbara’s Loafer’s Cabin, with coffee & donuts, and after we resuscitated Tom when he realized we were leaving a few minutes late, we hit the road with 21 cars & 51 friends.
Russ & Pat Barnes put together another awesome route for the day, with our first destination in Manchester at the home of Mr. David Pennington. Mr. Pennington is a past two term Coffee County Mayor and also has been the owner of the Jiffy Burger restaurant in Manchester for the past fifty years. His son; some other family members plus a couple of friends were on hand to be our hosts; with each having stories to tell about all the collectables he’s found. It would be easier to tell you what he doesn’t collect, than what he does, but then I can’t think of anything that wasn’t there. His collection of Bonnaroo music festival guitars given to him each year by the headline act and other festival memorabilia was unbelievable. His son told the story that it all started in the early ‘90’s, when his dad retired with no hobbies and the family was worried about him and what would he do. His brother gave him a cap gun and told him he should maybe start collecting them. A month later he had two hundred toy guns, and he hasn’t stopped since! Thanks to Vicki Qualls, one of our members in Manchester for the initial contact with Mr. Pennington; we were able to visit and allowed to see an amazing collection, that may not be seen by many.
Next we didn’t have to travel far to our lunch stop at Damron’s Restaurant in Tullahoma, where Ms. Gloria Damron and her staff stayed open past their 1:00 closing time on Saturday, to serve us some wonderful food, both from the buffet line and off the menu. Cindy & I thought our lunch was great, and I didn’t hear any complaints from any others.
After leaving Damron’s, we were back on the road and didn’t have to travel far to get to the Beechcraft Heritage Museum, also in Tullahoma, adjacent to the Tullahoma Municipal Airport. It is an aviation museum; committed to promoting aviation education, plus preserving the heritage of Beechcraft airplanes from 1932 through the present. We were greeted by the staff and divided into two groups because I had arranged to have tour guides to walk us thru and tell us about the museum. We learned one building was undergoing renovation, so some planes were out of view, but we were still able to see about twenty absolutely beautifully restored vintage airplanes. The museum is a true treasure to the city of Tullahoma and if you weren’t able to be with us, add it to your travel plans.
I don’t know what you did for dinner that night, but on our way home, we stopped at the Lascassas Volunteer Fire Department fish fry, held every second Saturday of each month and as usual it was awesome! We met some cousins there, but we also had the pleasure of eating with HR&R members, Dick & Katrina Fleener, who live close by. It is another place you should put on your list to visit.
That’s about all I have to tell. If you joined us, thank you for coming and if you didn’t, you missed another great HR&R Tour day!