Mad Dog's thought for the day: Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything --- author unknown

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“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain -- and most fools do.“
- Dale Carnegie

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Gearheads converge on small city north of Las Vegas for the annual Mesquite Motor Mania spectacular
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A huge throng of machinery and fans showed up for the annual Mesquite Motor Mania Jan. 18-20 about 80 miles north of Las Vegas.

MESQUITE, Nev. -- Mesquite Motor Mania, which began as a chance meeting with Randy Black more than five years ago at the CasaBlanca, continued its surge to  become of Nevada’s most popular events Jan. 18-20 drawing more than 700 vehicles and thousands of automotive enthusiasts.

Gear heads and motor heads from states all over the country gathered at the CasaBlanca, Oasis, Virgin River and Eureka hotel casinos for what was non-stop, colorful action. 

However, it was more than automobile lovers who converged on this city about 80 miles north of Las Vegas considering that the Mesquite Chili Challenge was also presented Jan. 19. 

Former off-road racer and admitted gear head Joe McDonough of Las Vegas was among the many who praised the event.

“This is unbelievable,” said McDonough, a 76 year-old, long-time resident of Las Vegas, who visited the show with his friend, Judy Cook, of St. George. “It’s the best thing since sex, fire and the wheel.”

However, while Mesquite Motor Mania completed its fifth spectacular event in spectacular fashion, event promoter Art Kam of the Las Vegas Cruising Association was the first to say that inclement weather only a few days earlier had everyone concerned.

 Joe McDonough and Judy Cook at MMM.

“We had a wonderful weekend,” said Kam, “but it was evident that we definitely had someone watching out for us. The temperature was in the 30s earlier in the week.”

Kam is more than a promoter since he owns a ’56 Nash Metropolitan with a 383 small black.

“It’s a grocery-getter,” he laughed.

Proof that God is also a gear head was evident all weekend with clear skis and temperatures in the 60s and possible the 70s, too. With parades, burnout contests, show and shines and enough trophies to fill a banquet room, Mesquite Motor Mania has proven to be a huge shot in the arm to Mesquite.

“The economy wasn’t good at all when we approached Randy about doing Mesquite Motor Mania,” Kam said. “What was supposed to be a short meeting took two hours.”

Good for both Kam and Mesquite is the fact that Black is also an admitted motor head who like McDonough, used to compete in off-road racing. 

 Art Kam poses by his '56 Nash.

A “classic” gathering all in itself, the chili cook off not only proved the perfect icing on the cake while also generating  $3,594 for Goodie Two Shoes, a charitable group run by the husband and wife team of Nikki and Tony Berti of Las Vegas.

“Everything went very well,” said Bob Plager, who won the International Chili Society World’s Championship in 2012 at Charleston, West Virginia. “We had a very good turnout and we’ll be back next year, too.”Overall, there were 11 salsa teams, 25 greens and 33 reds submissions for the chili cookoffs.

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