AACA Ocala Region
Kingdom of the Sun (KOTS)
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On Friday February 16, 2024 three couples met at John's garage at 7am for a drive to North Florida T&A Tour February 17-21 in Moultrie, Georgia.  To our surprise our car club came to wish us well on our tip.  Such a nice surprise.

We stopped to take a photo of us crossing the state line into Georgia.  

On Saturday we had 26 cars drive to Nashville Georgia to take a 2 1/2 hour train ride on The Azala Sprinter.  We stopped at the Framers Market where we purchased lunch to eat on the train.  Unfortunately the 50's Music & Dance at the Nashville Community Center was cancelled because of rain.

On Sunday we drove to Cairo Georgia & Quincy Florida.  We stopped in Cairo Georgia for a much needed stretch & refreshments.  Then we drove to Quincy Florida to N&E Machine (Owner Neal Davis) where we saw his machine shop where he can make almost anything and the cars he is restoring.

On Monday we left for Thronateeska Discovery Heritage Center, Museum, Aquarium & Planetarium in Albany Georgia. We ate lunch at The Cookie Shoppe.

On Tuesday we drove to Cairo Georgia to watch a movie at the Zebuion Movie Theatre.  This was opened in 1936.  We watched Movie Genevieve which is a British Comedy. (Funny movie)  Next to Mr. Chick for lunch.  Next to visit Wayne Hadden's extensive Antique Car & Memorabilia collection.  Next to Grady Country Museum & History center.  Then we went to Ed & Pam Prince Car Collection in Cairo Georgia.  What a day!!!

On Wednesday we went to Maule Air (Spence Field) where Maule Air has been building STOL (short take off & landing) airplanes since 1941.  Then we drove our cars to Robert Hutson Ford to display our cars.  After an hour we went to Moultrie Convention & Visitor Bureau  where the press will photo our cars.

Thursday we drove home.  Total trip 821 miles.
2/11/24 Some pics of the AACA Ocala club members enjoying our time together at lunch today. Good food- good times.  Thanks to Jill Walker and Laura Bender for the pictures.
Antique Automobile Club Ocala FL
3/14/24  Thank you Jill Ellis for the pictures and comments 
A fabulous sunny day for our AACA Ocala Kingdom of the Sun outing to the Ocala International Airport. We had almost 40 people and 10 antique cars participate. We also added 2 new members to our roster today! Welcome Michelle and Joe.  

Matthew Grow, Airport Director spoke to us for almost an hour taking us back to the airport’s beginnings here in Ocala up to the present day and shared a wealth of information about the airport.  

The history of aviation in the Ocala area began in 1927 when Rupert Caviness persuaded Jim Taylor to donate land to the City of Ocala for development of an airport. By 1928, Jim Taylor Field had been constructed. In early 1941, Mr. Frank Hanley came to Ocala and established a contract pilot school for the Army/Air Force. The school had originally been designated for Greenville, Mississippi, but due to Ocala's desire to have an airbase, it was located in Ocala. The school began training pilots in late 1941 under the name Greenville Aviation. Greenville Aviation operated until 1944, when it closed due to an overabundance of pilots and the impending end of World War II.

In 1947, Eastern Airlines began servicing Ocala through this airport using Douglas DC-3 aircraft and continued service at this location through 1967. In 1962, the Federal Aviation Administration (then the Federal Aviation Agency) believed that a new airport should be constructed in Ocala. The city was growing around the airport, and airport expansion was needed to accommodate larger general aviation and commercial aircraft. The city issued bonds to finance construction of the airport, which included a 5,006-foot runway, parallel taxiway, terminal building, runway and taxiway lighting, and a weather reporting facility. The airport became operational, and Eastern Airlines began service at the new facility from 1968 to 1972.  

There have been additional changes and upgrades over the years with additional runways added and extended and more hangers added. The airport is owned and operated by the City of Ocala and serves general aviation, corporate aviation and the air cargo industry. Air taxi and charter flights are the only air service available. There is a very nice terminal area and Elevation 89 restaurant. Hopefully in a few years they will have the capacity to again have commercial flights at the Ocala International Airport.  

It was a monumental day at the airport today for our AACA Ocala member Lisa Bloch. Her great grandson Christopher Gonzalez was flying in a Cessna 172 L to the Ocala Airport as part of his flight training at Embry Riddle University and to see his great grandmother. We were escorted out to the runway and watched him land and taxi in. Proud moment.

We all enjoyed a yummy lunch at Elevation 89 Restaurant and enjoyed our time together.  

4/18/24  Thank you Jill Ellis for the pictures and comments.  Our monthly outing took us to Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens in Willisont FL,
This 110 year old former limestone quarry was purchased by Dr. Ray Webber in 1991.  He literally transformed the old quarry rock by rock, creating walkways, pools, waterfalls, gazebos, and bridges made of Brazillan walnut.  In over 32 years, Ray transformed the old quary into the beautiful 20 acre botanical garden enjoyed by many.  There are hundreds of species of plants and flowers.
We all had a wonderful time n the marvelous venue.  A beautiful Florida day in a beautiful setting.
Then we went to Melaine Restaurant in Williston FL
5/9/24 Thank you Laura Bender for the pictures and comments.  Our AACA crowd was sparse today but it was incredibly beneficial for those of us who took advantage of the tour led by Sue, the lead caretaker of these animals, and with embellishments from her 2 assistants. James, who knows this county like the back of his hand, once again led us through beautiful Marion County countryside to our destination.
These rescued animals are living twice the life span than if they were in the wild. They have ‘bedrooms’ that are heated and cooled. They have their individual playgrounds called ‘turn outs’—-they live a very good life!!! They’ve been acquired from people who had them as pets and needed to find them a forever home or they were rescued from abusive situations. The site covers 30 acres and is home to cougars, leopards, ligers (offspring of a tiger and lion), lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, and a few miscellaneous—-dogs, tortoises, etc. 
EARS is an acronym for Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary and these are a collection of very lucky creatures. This was the brain child of Gail, the woman who founded it but has since passed away. She intended to give a home to abused, neglected, or abandoned animals who had no where else to go. The bottom line is that Sue and her volunteers love animals and want to right the wrongs done to these innocent creatures by giving them a safe and loving forever home.
This is an amazing refuge and you owe it to yourself to visit. Where are the pictures, you ask? Photography wasn’t allowed.
Thanks to Gary and Brenda, we had lunch at Sam’s St Johns Seafood Restaurant. The meal was great and our server was as cute as he could be. He’s Brian who’ll graduate tomorrow with his second baccalaureate degree. His mom is also a server and manages the restaurant and today someone called in so she recruited Brian to pitch in. He was adorable and so personable. Not only was our food good but the time between ordering and being served was quite expeditious.
Everyone had a great time and we missed those of you who were in absentia. We even had the privilege of having a guest—Michele drove her silver Buick and brought her friend, Paula. “A good time was had by all!
5/29/24 We had 4 Model A's and a 28 Chevy drive to Dudley's Farm in Newberry FL.  We then drove over to Bronson to have lunch at Julie's.  Great meals. Most of the trip was done on back roads that I don't think even have a name thanks to our tour leader James.  Was a great day with a great bunch of guys.