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Rendezvous fights weather
A lightning bolt flashed to the ground Friday evening, part of a storm that brought the Riverton Valley its first significant rainfall in more than 60 days -- and also caused power outages during the Friday Night Cruise festivities downtown and left enough after-effects to cancel Saturday morning's scheduled Riverton Rendezvous hot-air balloon flights. The National Weather Service station west of Riverton recorded just .01 inch of rain, but areas in town received much heavier rainfall as the storm pounded through at about 8 p.m. The balloon pilots, who also were "weathered out" on Friday, tried again Sunday morning. Photo by Jamie Drendel

Rendezvous fights weather

Jul 22, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

Cruise interrupted; balloons scuttled again

When Riverton resident Latasha Lawrence turned 19, she knew what she wanted for her birthday.

"I noticed a 1958 International Harvester pickup truck sitting in a potato field, and I immediately liked it," Lawrence said. "I went and asked the owner what he was planning to do with it and he told me if I wanted it, I could have it."

Lawrence agreed to take the truck from the owner and now drives the vehicle as her main mode of transportation.

Lawrence displayed her truck in Kmart's parking lot Friday afternoon as she geared up to participate in the 20th annual Rocky Mountain Rebels Friday night cruise car and bike festival, part of Riverton Rendezvous.

The event was interrupted by a fierce thunderstorm that brought lightning and heavy rain to downtown Riverton, knocking out power for a few minutes. Saturday morning's hot-air balloon flights, the second straight day the balloonists were grounded (see related story, page 7).

"I love old cars," Lawrence said. "I have really enjoyed driving mine because it doesn't have all of the electronics a newer car does. I like that."

The teenager taught herself how to drive a stick shift in order to operate the vintage vehicle.

"It was a little hard at first," Lawrence said. "I eventually got the hang of it. This truck is simple compared to newer cars, but sometimes the simplicity is a nice thing."

The vehicles gathered at the Kmart parking lot at 1960 N. Federal Blvd. and rode down Federal to Main Street, where they lined up along the street for the crowd of onlookers to enjoy.

Riverton residents Robert and Andrea Frost brought their bright blue 1972 Plymouth Roadrunner to display with their two children Jocelynn, 9, and Konnor, 5, who both agreed the car was fun to ride in.

"I like how when I ride in the car the seat belt goes over my waist and not my neck," Jocelynn said. "It also goes really fast."

After working on the car for three years, Robert Frost got the Roadrunner up and running three weeks ago in anticipation for the car show on Friday.

"It is a wonderful feeling to work on a car for a long period of time and watch it come back to life," Frost said.

Denver natives Tom and Ginger Delaney brought their yellow C-Cab Street Rod to display after traveling around for over 20 years to different hot-air balloon rallies across the country. Ginger piloted a balloon in the Riverton rally many times before retiring from the sport.

Husband Tom often would attend the various rallies as moral support and crew chief.

"Now that we are getting older, Tom said we should probably keep our feet out of the air and on the ground," Ginger Delaney said. "So I gave up balloons, and he took up cars."

Ginger Delaney said she now helps her husband at car shows by polishing the car and making sure it is ready to display.

"He used to help me lug the balloon equipment around, and now he has me polishing the brass on his car," she said.

Tom Delaney constructed the car including the upholstery as well as welding the exterior which was made of fiberglass.

"We went from balloons to cars with both of us learning how to compromise," Ginger Delaney said.

"I guess after all of those years helping me with balloons, it is my turn to come to car shows."

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