Cruisin' the Coast

Masked Cruiser: Mission accomplished with first class salute to veterans

LAWRENCE WHEELER/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALDChrome and horsepower burst out of the hood of this 1941 Willys, which is powered by a blown big-block Chevy engine, at Cruising' The Coast's Salute to Our Veterans at MGM Park in Biloxi on Tuesday.
LAWRENCE WHEELER/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALDChrome and horsepower burst out of the hood of this 1941 Willys, which is powered by a blown big-block Chevy engine, at Cruising' The Coast's Salute to Our Veterans at MGM Park in Biloxi on Tuesday.

Cruisin' The Coast's Salute to Our Veterans festivities began at 10 a.m. Tuesday at MGM Park.

The Cruisers used the perfect temperatures and sunny skies to launch their maneuvers shortly after sunrise.

As I approached from the west, the park had fallen to the Cruisin' assault with hot rods holding the high ground to the east and north. A band of cars had penetrated the American Star field's inner defenses and had established a perimeter surrounding the outfield.

The rodders achieved their position without sustaining any casualties. Their numbers were reinforced by veterans from Biloxi's VA hospital and long-term care center, who were convoyed to the park by active-duty military drivers aboard Veterans Affairs buses.

Once inside the park, the veterans set up their headquarters in the shade of the inflatable Beau Rivage hospitality shelter.

From there, the vets had a commanding view of the day's entertainment -- headed up by Elvis tribute showmen and longtime Cruisin' The Coast friends Garry Wesley and his wife, Elaine, who channels Patsy Cline during her performance.

There were plenty of food and beverages for the veterans, who thoroughly enjoyed the show and the opportunity to be out in the field once again -- especially a ballfield as beautiful as MGM Park.

Beauty abounded in the parking areas as well, with cars of every type imaginable. The Cruisin' The Coast featured car, "Aviatrix," a customized '67 Ford Mustang, was on display, and Cristy Lee was nearby to greet and sign autographs.

The exercise was executed with military precision, thanks to Cruisin' The Coast's on-site manager Colleen Kershaw, who's been with Cruisin' The Coast for several years.

A Masked Cruiser thumbs up to Colleen and all the Cruisin' The Coast volunteers for another first-class event.

Big wheels keep on turnin'!

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