Monday, July 15, 2013

Midnight Mass Detroit

This past Saturday, July 13th, after working long days, Greg and I headed out to Hartfield Lanes and Lounge in Berkley, MI to check out Midnight Mas Detroit, a show for "pre-1965 traditional hot rods & customs." I've been to classic car shows before with a friend's family whose father did a lot of restorations while we were growing up. Midnight Mass was not like those shows. It wasn't all together different, either, but it wasn't exactly what I would call family-oriented.

The cover was only $5 per spectator, which is beyond reasonable when you consider it included a game of bowling in addition to a number of live music performances, goofy contests, and all the neat cars. Proceeds also benefited Helping Hannah's Heart, a charitable organization that helps to support families with children with congenital heart diseases.

We arrived before the sun went down, before all of the cars had set up. There were still plenty to look at, however, and it was much easier to see them in the daylight than after the sky had darkened since a row of lights in the covered parking area was out, and there were few spotlights in the uncovered lots. One of the early crowd favorites was a steampunk-looking vehicle that had copper plates riveted all over its body. That had to have been so time-consuming! (Click the pictures to enlarge them.)

There was also a car made out of a coffin, or possibly made to look like a coffin (though I suspect the former), and an old bread truck that had a tiki lounge built inside. It looked like a tiki lounge anyway, with bamboo walls, benches, and a surf board mounted to the ceiling. We all enjoyed it.

While Greg and I were taking a break from the cars inside the bowling alley, watching of the of bands playing, one of our friends from Game Night unexpectedly showed up! The bowling alley is right in her neighborhood, and it turned out we'd followed her down the road for a while as she was headed home. Wondering what would bring us up from Belleville, she investigated online, discovered Midnight Mass and decided to come check it out. She saw the rest of the band with us, followed by the bad tattoo competition.

I really didn't know what to expect from a bad tattoo competition. The prize for worst tattoo was a gift certificate to a local tattoo shop to have the tattoo fixed, and the judges were employees of that shop. A couple stories were quite interesting. One young woman had, at the age of 17, her boyfriend's name tattooed across her back. Six months later, they broke up and now she is married to the guy's best friend. To fix this unfortunate tattoo choice, she had another tattoo done over-top, a red VOID stamp which I thought was rather clever. Another entrant had chunks falling out of his tattoo the day after it was done. (I would have gone to a doctor if I were him. Chunks of tattoo equals chunks of flesh!) The winner was a woman who had a totem tattooed across her back. I don't know what was wrong with it, but she was beyond indignant and downright pissed because it was a part of her heritage gone wrong.

Another band hit the stage, and we went back outside to meet up with more of Greg's friends and check out the cars again. We ran into a friend of a friend who had recently acquired an old restored station wagon with a clamshell back. Greg and I had never heard of a clam shell back and were intrigued when the man demonstrated. At the turn of a key on the side of the glass of the rear window, the glass retreats up into the top of the car while the bottom metal part tucks into the bottom, like sliding doors. It was pretty cool, if a bit gimmicky.

We also ran across a farmyard junk band playing near the main entrance. One man was playing an old jug while another had a washboard, and another had an upside-down metal tub with a stick attached, which I've seen before, but I don't know what it's for. There was also a fiddle player and other more recognizable instruments.

Even though we had a free game of bowling for each of us, we ended up leaving before playing because I was just too tired to stay much later. Berkley is a good 40 minutes from Belleville, depending on traffic, and after only a 9 hour work turnaround, I was exhausted, with another full day of work waiting for me on Sunday. (Weekend? What's that?) The night was fun even without bowling, and we definitely got our money's worth. And now I know what a bad tattoo contest is.

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