ST. PAULS — More than 100 cars roared into downtown St. Pauls on Saturday as craft and food vendors set up shop and a deejay got children and adults moving at the monthly Night Out.
Some milled the street, checking out antique autos, but the heat drove others to seek shade under store awnings, where they ate ice cream or snow cones, leaning on store fronts or sitting in camp chairs they had stowed in the trunks of their cars and trucks.
Lee McLain kept a watchful eye on his 1967 GTO as people walked by and stopped to take a look. He said he makes the drive from Fayetteville every month to “hang out” with other car enthusiasts.
“I ain’t got to do nothing but look at the cars and talk junk,” he said.
As for why he picked the blue auto for a project, McLain said with a laugh that he was a “sucker for punishment.”
As he spoke, Marilyn Cashwell paused her stroll down the sidewalk and asked McLain for a few tips to take home to her son, who recently inherited a car that needs some work.
“It’s on a trailer right now,” she said. “I told him he should bring it on down.”
Harold Smith, also of Fayetteville, could have given Cashwell a few tips. Gifted a 1931 Ford 31-A by a former girlfriend, Smith reconstructed the car from several “puzzle pieces.” He named it “Purple Passion,” and gave it a bright paint job to match.
“The women love it,” he said.
Underneath the pavilion, children and adults moved their arms to the playing of “YMCA,” being spun by a deejay. Bobbie Fillyaw, of Fayetteville, looked on from the passenger side of a 1959 Ford as people occasionally came by and blocked her view.
“Most of the time, they just walk by and say ‘nice car,’” she said, “and a lot of people want to take pictures.”
Fillyaw and her husband use the car for their main source of travel. She enjoys it more than the Ford Model A the two also own, which she said can “get a little bouncy” on bumpy roads.
The rain that had fallen that morning held off all night, and as dusk fell, cars began to roll off into the sunset.