We had answered a prompt on the JeanKnowsCars website, emailing Jean's sister-in-law the reasons she should include us in the group. In typically adult fashion, mine began "Pick ME! Pick ME! Pick ME!" and ended with a reminder that I had sent the staff brownies for the holidays, as a thank you for being so kind to me when I visited in October. Bribery in advance seemed to work; I was in!
Paying my own way to Detroit (I really wanted to do this!), stopping off to visit Little Cuter and SIR on the way, spending two nights in a hotel with sole control of the tv's remote, that's all part of the story.... parts that anyone who's ever taken a business trip or made a side trip to say hello to family can fill in.
The main event is something that couldn't be replicated. I've never been part of anything like it.
We were to meet "by the big statue of Joe Louis in the lobby of Cobo Hall" at 1pm. Laura Sky Brown, chauffeur and Executive Editor extraordinaire, parked the car as I made my way across the street and into that lobby, where, despite all assurances to the contrary, it was perfectly possible to miss that statue. Fortunately, the smiley face behind the Information Desk could aim me in the right direction. Past twenty-somethings in dark suits and shined shoes, past women-who-should-have-known-better in 5" spike heels, past a glow-in-the-dark muscle car and fast food vendors and journalists with laptops resting on coffee stained formica tables, my stick and I made our way to what was obviously the main entrance to the venue.
Joe Louis had a big butt. I should know. I stood behind it, catching my breath and looking for my group.
The photo gives only a glimpse of Jacqueline's left foot, but those feet.were the first I identified as part of the G-7. Leopard print short boots said "I am a woman with opinions," and sure enough, she, like the rest of us, certainly had enough of them. That worried us, until we were reassured by the videographer
When Dolly, all the way to the right in the photo, wanted to know why the Furia, Toyota's concept car looked so "cheesy"
We saw the twelve vehicles JeanKnowsCars.com considered the most important reveals of the show. There was the Corvette Stingray
taking form-as-function to a new level.
There was the BMW 4-series,
and no, I don't believe the 6'6" Teutonic gentleman holding the cliip board could "get into that back seat with ease."
We walked past the Ferrari
We saw Ford's F-series concept truck,
and marveled at the neon lights on the running board. It will never make it into production, but that doesn't mean a girl can't hope. It was just that kind of an afternoon.
Press passes are hard to come by, are jealously guarded, require a picture id to obtain. Along with access to the floor of the show, the passes gave us the opportunity to rub elbows with the woman who designed the interior of Lincoln's MKC concept car, to get up close and personal with the undercarriages and back-seats, and gear shifts
and gas pedals,
to eat fresh baked cookies and drink espressos and Perrier, and to have our voices heard.
What the creators of the G-7 hadn't counted on was just how much fun we would all have. There were no drama queens. There were no pushy broads. There were seven fabulous and fascinating women who weren't afraid to share themselves with others. There were no topics we didn't cover. There was no holding back. We had nothing in common and everything in common and somehow JeanKnowsCars got it absolutely right.
We ended our dinner with a spontaneous group hug. The only issue unresolved? Where are we going next?