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The event at Allenberry Resort, details from its originator

Behind this sign is a dwelling unit at Allenberry Resort. Herein Mickey Shemin, Mac McMahon, and yours truly rested from reconnoitering our fall event and plotted its schedule. I had been with Mac on the RM Club Irish Tour and he came to our club event in Indianapolis. But I only knew Mickey as a New Jersey accented voice, quite distinctive, by telephone. So we had catching up to do when he picked me up in his white GMC van at Harrisburg International Airport. He was a little flustered because he had temporarily lost touch with his wallet, and he operates strictly on a cash basis. I climbed into the shotgun seat and he closed the door, which only he could reopen. There were no working handles on my side. Clearly, this was a New Jersey sort of vehicle, perfect for one-way rides. The back was stacked with items I assume were from the used merchandise trade. We drove to Allenberry and joined Mac in Cottage 3, also known as Irving, our three night home away from home.

I first learned of Mickey Shemin as he purchased Derek Wadman’s saloon car, which he learned about by reading this website. Derek described him to me as a colorful character. That was classic British understatement. Mickey is a born showman. A self-taught scholar of circus history, he once tried to promote a circus in Chicago. He was once a sandwich board wearing street busker in Aspen. He has long supported himself as a dealer in antiques, coins and stamps. He publishes the outspokenly personal weekly Evening Star Telegram in his native Bayonne, New Jersey. Rather than take to the air, he prefers more traditional forms of transportation. He sailed on the Queen Mary to attend Riley events in the U.K and on the continent last year, and he loves railroads. He has purchased a second Riley saloon and is halfway through buying a drophead from a longtime member. He is enamored of a flower of Southern womanhood, charmingly younger than himself, called Mandy, who accompanied him on his European expedition. No two Riley owners are alike. Mickey, the dreamer behind this fall’s Riley event in Pennsylvania, is unique. Taken from the letter sent to members and friends of Riley earlier in the year, I will let Mickey explain his conception of the event in his unique voice, which he would call his spiel.

My name is Mickey Shemin from Bayonne, N.J.. I’m a Riley owner and I have good news for all our fellow Riley owners and friends!

The Riley Motor Club Of North America announces that on Sept. 24th, 25th and 26th a gathering of the faithful will take place at Allenberry Resort in the bucolic town of Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania.

I’d like to tell you how this came about. A group of Riley owners meet in the New York City area every six weeks; we gather in Staten Island (a suburban borough of N.Y.C.) where one of us keeps his 2 1/2 liter RMB. After fiddling with it for an hour or two, we decamp to a local eatery to talk Riley. It was at such a gathering that we bemoaned the fact that there hadn’t been a Riley gathering in our area for four years, and wasn’t it about time. A call to John Riley in California president of the Riley Motor Club of North America, was undertaken, and our idea was met with enthusiasm.

He led me to Doug Campbell of Virginia, who told me about British car shows he had attended at a place called Allenberry Resort. A few coast-to-coast phone calls between John and myself, and the dates aforementioned were set aside for us at the Allenberry.

Doug gave me a list of Riley people contacted for a car show in Lime Rock, Conn. Armed with this and updated lists from John, I started phoning. I contacted about forty of those (many names had addresses but no phone #s), and results were gratifying. In fact, some were joyous at the prospect of a Riley event. “I’m tired of being alone,” said Ron of Nebraska, most humorously. “What a great call to get on a winter afternoon!” said another.

We expect Riley folk from California, the West, the Midwest, the South, and of course a goodly number from New York, New England, and the Mid-Atlantic States. We are also encouraging members to bring Riley memorabilia and photographs for a Club show’n tell. In all, about 30 people said they’d make an effort to attend. And that’s just the start, because, as I said, I didn’t have numbers for everyone. For some of you this is first notice of the event.

Google the name Allenberry Resort and a website will show you the layout. It’s set in rolling hill country of southern Pennsylvania, and has charming historic buildings and houses. Main features are their dinner theatre and restaurant. The Allenberry will be headquarters, and special package rates have been arranged. You don’t have to stay at the Allenberry Resort to participate, but twenty rooms have been set aside with more still available. The hotel has seventy rooms, and there are nearby bed and breakfasts. One is Gelinas Manor (1 mile from Allenberry) a charming Victorian B & B with four rooms. Their rates are $79 to $139, but a club discount would apply, but only if our members book all four rooms: www.geninasmanor.com.

On Friday, throughout the day, Rileys will be arriving. Check in is at 3 P.M., or earlier. they’ll be a cocktail reception for all attendees, whether you’re staying at the Allenberry or not, on site, at 5 P.M. This will follow with a dinner and the show starts at 8. We’re starting this way because it will give everyone a day to get acquainted before our “Club” dinner Saturday. We’ll have the cars on display Saturday and a workshop or discussion group or two.

By the way, you need not bring a Riley to attend; long distances make that quite impractical, except for the most adventurous. So arriving in a “modern” is perfectly acceptable and understandable. That being said, we certainly encourage those with roadworthy cars (or with trailers) to bring a Riley, the more the merrier.

(The spiel from Mickey continues in the posting below For those of you who wish a closer look at the wood grain in the Irving Cottage sign, just click on it and it will enlarge.)

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