that ponticrap grill has to go though, good concept, poor excecution[quote][/quote]
I have to disagree here... I would say "poor concept, good execution"
As far as the MCA dinner goes, I think that they cannot sell tickets at the door for the simple reason that they must provide a head count, a week in advance or so. I think that being an MCA member got attendees $2 off their ticket price or something like that.
For me, the dinner and "show" is all part of the fun. When I drove last year, gathering and talking it all up was a big part of the fun that was Carlisle. Of course it was huge that year, and I WAS in the convoy, and it was a lot of fun and will never be forgotten, so I loved it. If I just drove in from one hour away, it might have seemed a bit much, but I thought it was great.
Personally, I figure that with the amount of money and time that I spend on my Merkur, that to not go to the dinner would be foolish. To me, its all part of the Carlisle experinece. I probably spent $300 in gas just getting there an back last year. What's $25.
Also, I don't know how much I personally get out of my MCA membership, as I am perhaps the only MCA member in Texas, maybe a couple of others. But its the same deal. I know that the MCA guys put a tremendous amount of time putting together Carlisle, and if it wasn't for their efforts, I would have now way, no venue that is, to see or meet any members outside of Texas. Sure, I could look up Brad and visit him if I found myself in New Jersey on business, but I would never have seen 250 XR's in one place. A $20 membership (probably get that back in goodie bag stuff the first day) is a small price to pay if it provides for Carlisle, helps pay for IMON and the website, and helps out the organization (which I bet spends almost nothing in overhead.)
I can understand if someone feels that they cannot afford it, and that is certainly their choice. I can also understand if they want to gather on their own, which is certainly their constituional right. However, I think that with as small a following (what, say 1,000 people accross the US ?), its real important not to allow petty issues to become devisive rifts in the fan base for the car. Can't we all just get along .... ?