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Saturday, April 19, 2014

First Fridays Cruisin’ Reunion brings memories roaring back

The roaring engines cruising down Main Street in Goshen Friday brought back memories for many spectators.
Posted on July 5, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

Classic car enthusiasts line Main Street

Emily Pfund


GOSHEN — The roaring engines of classic cars cruising Main Street for Friday’s Cruisin’ Reunion brought back memories for Enos Yoder.

Now a resident of Michigan, Yoder grew up in Goshen.

“I used to live here and I used to cruise here when they still cruised,” he said, sitting in a folding chair near the corner of Main and West Pike streets in front of the Elkhart County Courthouse.

“You couldn’t get through here on a Saturday night in the early ’70s,” he said.

Yoder first cruised Main Street in a 1974 Chevy Nova, which he purchased new for $3,800. He later cruised in a 1976 Chevy Impala.

Now he goes to several cruises and car shows in Michigan and returns for the Goshen cruise each year, where he watches for Chevy Chevelles and Corvettes, his favorite cars.

“I’ve got brothers in the area, so we come for the weekend and visit family,” he said.

Classic car enthusiasts lined Main Street Friday evening, July 5, many arriving early to grab the best spots. Yoder said he arrived at 4:30 p.m., half an hour before the cruise.

The July First Fridays festivities also included a performance by Fort Wayne saxophonist Kris Brownlee, who performed two weeks ago at the Elkhart Jazz Festival.

Elkhart-based Mr. Jones and the Groovestones followed Brownlee.

Daryl Yoder and Mark Hay, both of Goshen, remembered pooling their money as teens to buy gas to cruise Main Street.

“Gas was 25 cents a gallon,” Hay said. “We would all throw our quarters together to buy enough gas to cruise for the night. We were just as broke then as kids are today.”

Yoder was on the lookout Friday for a 1968 Coronet like the one he used to cruise in.

“It was a red convertible,” he said. “I saw a ’69 but I haven’t seen a ’68 yet.”

Hay and Yoder said they cruised to meet girls.

“You’d drive down the street and look for the cute girls,” Hay said. “Then you’d holler at them to meet you over at Bower’s Drive-In.”

That line worked for Yoder; he met his wife while cruising.

“And 42 years later, we’re still married,” he said with a smile.

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