Drivin' the Dixie meets Porsches & Pastries to give Homewood abundance of classy cars

Cars and more cars descended upon Homewood on Saturday, June 16, as two road rallies converged on the village.

The day included the annual Drivin' the Dixie journey that follows the historic Dixie Highway from Blue Island to Momence. Homewood and Flossmoor hosted stops for drivers and invited them to take refreshment and enjoy the sights in the villages.

The day also included a visit from the Chicago Region Porsche Club, which brought 45 Porsches and about 65 travelers to Homewood for its Porsches & Pastries social event.

This year's Drivin' the Dixie event had a couple of special aspects. The event was recognized by the state as an official part of Illinois' bicentennial observance, and the family of the late Ed Wasik of Glenwood made a memorial trip in his collection of five Chrysler Prowlers.

The hot rod-style cars were parked on the west side of St. Paul Community Church, where cars and car admirers were gathered for the rally's Homewood stop.

Walter Jackson, Wasik's son-in-law, said the family wanted to honor the memory of the long-time Thornton Township shop teacher by making another Drivin' the Dixie run with his cherished Prowlers.

"He loved this drive," Jackson said. "It was about the only time he took the cars out on the road."

A few blocks north, in the parking lot of St. Joseph Catholic Church, members of the Porsche Club were gathered in the shade while rows of their luxury sports cars gleamed in the sun.

Club members had just finished a tour of several Richard Haas murals around downtown Homewood, guided by Homewood Events Manager Allisa Opyd. A number of them had perused the offerings in the Homewood Farmers Market, too.

Club social coordinator Steve Kuk presided over drawings for coupons at Homewood businesses, giving club members an opportunity to continue exploring the village. 

Kuk said the club sponsors a range of events, from competitions to social gatherings like the event in Homewood. 

"We do all sorts of fun things together," Kuk said. "Some are competitive. You get your car cleaner than when you bought it. That's what you're judged on, to get it to perfection. The racers call us Q-tippers. If you come out tomorrow, you'll see 50 or 60 of the cleanest cars you've ever seen in your life."

It was the village's murals that brought the club to town, Kuk said. 

He said the club's events typically take place in north or west sides and suburbs. But he saw Opyd describing the murals on a Chicago television program and decided it was time for the club to head south.

Opyd suggested the date so the club's visit would coincide with Drivin' the Dixie. She gave the club a tour of downtown murals. The group stopped at the Dixie Highway mural in the 18200 block of Dixie Highway, where the club members posed for a group photo in front of the mural.

He said getting to see Homewood's murals on Drivin' the Dixie day and visiting the farmers market made the event "a triple whammy," and he thanked Opyd for making the arrangements. 

"It's a lovely town," he said, and noted the club is considering a return visit during one of Homewood's festivals.

Photos by Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle except as noted.

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A great community deserves a great newspaper. The HF Chronicle was created in June 2014 as an online publication. In December 2015 we began monthly print publication, too. Our mission is to chronicle the life of our community — news by, for, and about the people of Homewood and Flossmoor, Illinois.


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