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A report from The Norwood Gathering
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Victory Lane
Picture of Tom McGinnity
posted
To all.

I am happy to be able to report that this past Wednesday I attended a private event hosted by Phil Borris and the Norwood Ohio Factory Workers Alumni Association.. It was in conjunction with their annual picnic on the shores of the Ohio River near Cincinnati.

For months Phil has worked tirelessly with the members of the Alumni to gather as much info from them as is still available about their lives working at the plant from all years until its closing as well and the factual production stories and methods.

Phil had arranged to have a dozen representative stock configured vehicles present at this event which included Firebirds, Camaros, Trans Ams, Novas and full size cars that were built in the Norwood plant. He had on display dozens of original factory photos ranging from plant interior shots to employee retirement parties..

The significance of this event was the joining of car enthusiasts with the actual people that worked the plant.

I need time to digest and download the photos from my camera as well as get the many names of the retirees and their stories straight for me to share. As I continue to post to this thread it will become clear to all of you the importance of what has happened and the incredible effort Phil has made to allow us Camaro enthusiasts to enter into an entirely new area of our hobby. This has never been attempted or accomplished from this plant to anyones knowledge

I hope you all follow along as I continue to elborate on what has transpired these last few days for me. I'd like to thank Phil so very much for the invite and the truely insane amount of work, time and effort he has put forth with the Alumni these last few years

More to come...........

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Tom McGinnity,


tom @ camaropacecars.com ( remove the space between m,@,c)
 
Posts: 13409 | Location: Arlington Mass | Registered: 01 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Victory Lane
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Pavillion View


Phil@camaropacecars.com


 
Posts: 4788 | Location: Chillicothe Ohio | Registered: 05 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Victory Lane
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Cool. I like that blue Pontiac!
 
Posts: 2797 | Location: Northeast side of Indianapolis | Registered: 15 October 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Victory Lane
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WOW, Congrats Phil. I can't imagine the amount of time it took to plan and pull this off.


Bill @ Camaroipc.com (remove the spaces)
 
Posts: 3064 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Victory Lane
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AWESOME !!

Cheers
 
Posts: 842 | Location: Waterloo, Iowa  | Registered: 15 September 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<Larry C Weaver>
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This should be cool!!!!!!!!!! Big Grin
 
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Victory Lane
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Edge of my chair!!! Good to see you are still knocking them down Phil!!!! :-)
 
Posts: 9137 | Location: Ventura, Ca. | Registered: 05 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Victory Lane
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Now, isn't that special.
 
Posts: 851 | Registered: 01 May 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Victory Lane
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Obviously taking the three days AFTER Labor Day has vilified me at work so this stuff will come steady but a little slow... Roll Eyes checkered flag

This sign that Phil made really sums up his mission with these guys... and seriously: what a great bunch of guys they are


tom @ camaropacecars.com ( remove the space between m,@,c)


 
Posts: 13409 | Location: Arlington Mass | Registered: 01 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Victory Lane
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On a quick side note that I will elborate on later: One fellow was there who was one of three who was in charge of the Camaros integration in to the existing plants format so to speak. He was between Michigan and Norwood and has Pilot car paperwork that pertained to the job he did at the time back at his house.. We are anxiously awaiting more stories and documents from him. He, like the rest of these guys, worked multiple years there so they did not anticipate a guy like me would show up peppering them with questions about the 1967 year.... This entire event was the tip of the iceberg type thing and this story will last years and years... my anxiety level is maxed out. I do have more stories to type out.

I want you guys to realize that when you look at the collage' below you are staring at the very guys in attendance at this event.. Every guy that came up to this collage' started pointing to all the men saying " this is Jimmy and that is John" etc etc and they all remember who did what! Its surreal


tom @ camaropacecars.com ( remove the space between m,@,c)


 
Posts: 13409 | Location: Arlington Mass | Registered: 01 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Victory Lane
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That must have been an awesome time there.


2002 Camaro SS 35th Anniversary Brickyard 400 #22, SLP Build #0036 and 35th Anniversary Build #47

 
Posts: 351 | Registered: 24 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Victory Lane
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Phil had the event planned to perfection ( obviously ) but was treated to sour weather as we all know the whole East Coast got..

Right after the event my Dad and I trucked over to the site of the old factory and as warned it was nearly unrecognizable.. Even with a picture in hand my dad and I had to drive to the top of the original parking garage from 1969 and survey the 50+ acres to grasp where it all really was... shocking changes took place after the factory came down and is a history lesson in itself regardless of Camaros

In this picture I am holding the Invite below of the factory.. in a relative position to where I was standing

the only original building that is noticable is the upper right THRIFT STORE of the Salvation Army

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Tom McGinnity,


tom @ camaropacecars.com ( remove the space between m,@,c)


 
Posts: 13409 | Location: Arlington Mass | Registered: 01 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Victory Lane
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If ever this happens again I would recommend the meeting be held on top of this parking garage.. a birds eye view from an original building and tons of space plus shelter from the sun or any possible rains...

Dad and I took Phils advice and searched the main line rail track corner of this area and immediately recognized that upon demolishion of the buildings they used the brick, dirt and concrete to back fill to the tracks and change the topography of the left side of this site.. after taking the jack wrench from the rental cars trunk we dug up a full original brick right off the side lawn of the place! luckily in was pouring and the cop station across the street gave us no nevermind.. The loam for the grass is but an inch think and right below is obvious demo... Heres the brick all cleaned up at home.. Destined for the Memorabilia Case


tom @ camaropacecars.com ( remove the space between m,@,c)


 
Posts: 13409 | Location: Arlington Mass | Registered: 01 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Victory Lane
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This areas lawn was our victim. due to the economy this office building in empty Frowner


tom @ camaropacecars.com ( remove the space between m,@,c)


 
Posts: 13409 | Location: Arlington Mass | Registered: 01 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Victory Lane
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I'll probably get shot for saying this, but
although this is pretty cool stuff, does it need to take up the entire site?
There I said it, now I'm going into hidingSmiler
 
Posts: 851 | Registered: 01 May 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Victory Lane
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I think Tom must have hit a wrong button or something, I don't think it was suppose to be everywhere, but I do think it is kind of cool to look at those old photos and the new ones also to see how the area has changed. I lived and worked in Cincinnati in the late 70's early 80's and use to drive by there all the time. It went from being a hub of activity to a ghost town in a fairly short time. Really devastated the economy of the Norwood area since many workers lived very near the plant. It was a very sad time when that plant closed for many people in that area. Glad to see they can still get them out to a reunion.


indyzdanny
 
Posts: 1008 | Location: Elizabethtown, Kentucky | Registered: 09 January 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Victory Lane
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Those bricks are cool! We should go dig up some more and put the web sit name on them! checkered flag
 
Posts: 2797 | Location: Northeast side of Indianapolis | Registered: 15 October 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Racing
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Tom,
Sorry I didn't get to the event. I had family issues that needed my attention. I was looking forward to running into you there. Looks like the weather wasn't very pleasant. I'm looking forward to seeing what else you put up about the event. I was on the phone with John a few times throughout the day for updates Hopefully he tracked you down for me.
 
Posts: 118 | Registered: 13 February 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<GaryB>
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It is Tom's site. It was his idea and if he wants to hog the whole thing like a Piggy, that is his perogative. LOL
 
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Victory Lane
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You guys suck.. I was posting across the board to get the attention of the guys that enjoy the other years besides 1967.. I was doing that until Bill was kind enough to make a special spot on the board for this thread and the others to follow ( which he has if you'll notice) as this project will be years in the making... The fact that all you bums are harassing me tells me my idea worked.. In a few days I am going to delete all these non relevant posts to keep the continuity.. don't be offended.. or if you are offended be sure to post about it to clog up this awesome thread even more roll


tom @ camaropacecars.com ( remove the space between m,@,c)
 
Posts: 13409 | Location: Arlington Mass | Registered: 01 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<SteveR>
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More pictures!
 
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Victory Lane
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Ok you guys are killing me.

Man I wished I was there for that event , man those old guys ears would still be ringing from me asking 1000 questions.

Phil great work done to get this to all happen , were are the photos of the event?

My last trip I was very fortunate to be in the near vicinity of both the Norwood and also the VanNuyes plants. Unfortunately I didnt have the time to do what you did Tom with trying to work out where things once were. If the chance arose again I would love to be with others trying to work it all out and I would love to stand in the grounds of where it all once happened.

I am very interested in the history period in America from the 50's thru to the early 80's where your country was once a great manufacturing force....

I would love to see any photos of the plant , assembly line and also general photos of how the people lived in this era... Gas Stations , diners , all that is amazing to me and wished I was born in your Country and participated in living it..


As far as the plants closing down etc , sadly Australia appears to be following in your footsteps and sadly it seems we have not learned from what you guys have learned.

Every time you see a foreign car going down the road , just stop and think about how the owner has assisted the foreign economy. It also stand in the same logic that if you are buying second hand local cars as opposed to second hand foreign cars , it creates a market for the new car buys to sell to and also a demand for parts required during the life of the vehicle.

Man it sure is sad to see what happened here.
 
Posts: 2769 | Location: Australia | Registered: 06 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Victory Lane
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multiple brick piles in the demolition area.


Phil@camaropacecars.com


 
Posts: 4788 | Location: Chillicothe Ohio | Registered: 05 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Victory Lane
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Worker William Bower standing at the pile of bricks closest to the fence at the edge of smith road.


Phil@camaropacecars.com


 
Posts: 4788 | Location: Chillicothe Ohio | Registered: 05 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Victory Lane
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I think this is wonderful. For the workers to get together and rehash their working lives and also to have someone interested in hearing their stories. I'm sure there was a ton of planning involved and a fair bit of useful information passed around. Thank you Phil for being involved, putting in the time and sharing with us. I also think people not interested so much in Camaros love the nostalgia, going back in time and reminiscing of life at the plant. There was a time when you would start a job at a young age and work that same job until retirement and I'm sure this had to happen to workers here. Times have changed in many ways. Looking forward to hearing more.
 
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