V-Dubs draw smiles from those attending area show
MEDICINE PARK - This weekend, folks of all ages crowded the streets of Medicine Park for the Park Stomp Bluegrass Musical Festival and V-Dubs in the Park, featuring primitive camping, food vendors and a car show.
On Saturday, Volkswagens of different colors and models, including Beetle Ragtops, Vanagons and Karmann Convertibles, lined the parking lot adjacent to The Ole Plantation Restaurant.
Former Mayor Dwight Cope and Larry Wolcott first organized V-Dubs in the Park four years ago, and the initial gathering of VW enthusiasts has grown to include fans who venture out to the cobblestone community every year.
This year, over 60 VW owners registered free of charge, then decided whether to compete in the optional contest portion of the show.
Jason Mathies of Wichita, Kan., received first place in the category "Bus, 1968-1979" for his 1971 Campmobile.
Mathies said when he purchased his Campmobile in Nebraska, it needed a substantial amount of maintenance.
"My whole family helped out with it, so I named it 'Cecil' after my grandfather," Mathies said. "My son painted it. Ö My wife Jill made the curtains, so it's a real family affair."
After spending six months refurnishing the Campmobile, he and his family hit the road.
"We've driven it all over the country. We drove 7,500 miles last summer," he said. "We took it up to Mount Rushmore and then to Colorado and all over Nebraska and Missouri and down into Oklahoma."
While traveling, Mathies enjoys witnessing both adults' and children's reactions to his Campmobile.
"You're driving down the road, and they're (children are) pointing a finger and tugging on their moms' pant legs. People love it," Mathies said. "Everybody's got a story about a Volkswagen."
Christian Bills of Lawton showcased his yellow, peace sign-styled Volkswagen, which he refurnished after purchasing it in Montgomery, Texas.
"One of our friends actually painted it for us," Bills said, "but the rest of the work, we did ourselves."
Bills developed a passion for Volkswagens when he was about 16 years old, and he finds joy in looking at other people's VWs.
"We've been here all four years," he said. "We want to see more of them (VWs) out here next year. We want to keep the V-Dub alive."
Shailah Redelk of Lawton, owner of The Native Hippy, sold her merchandise out of a Volkswagen at the event.
"I started this (business) out of my house about three-and-a-half years ago. Now I have a store in Lawton," Redelk said. "Whenever I do go to festivals, I pull this wagon along with me."
Larry Wolcott, coordinator of V-Dubs in the Park, said the atmosphere of the car show and Park Stomp Bluegrass Musical Festival was "laid-back, relaxed and friendly."
"You get a lot of smiles from people looking at Volkwagens for some reason. You look at the headlights and the bumper, and it looks just like the car's smiling," he said. "Of course, Park Stomp is a huge part of it, with all the live bluegrass music all weekend long."