Car show in community builder’s honour

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Junior Leslie, Anna Smith and Junior’s daughter Grace Leslie stroll down the main drag taking a look at the many cars on display in Thamesville during the inaugural Art Kemp Memorial Car Show.

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Art Kemp’s friends are convinced the long-time community builder was smiling down from heaven Saturday.

The day marked the first-ever Art Kemp Memorial Car Show, put together to honour one of Thamesville’s favourite sons who passed away earlier this year.

“It’s a chance to get together and honour our friend,” said Brad Smith of the Thamesville Sertoma Club, adding Kemp, a life member of the club, was “gone too soon” at age 64.

Brad’s wife Susan, who helped organize the event in just three week’s time, said support for the event was overwhelming, giving people an opportunity to visit and see friends for the first time in a long while. Thamesville’s Threshing Festival and its Back to the Future event have been cancelled because of COVID-19 for two years in a row.

“It’s a way for the community to come together,” Susan explained, adding Kemp was a familiar face in town and always ready to lend a hand no questions asked.

Kemp was also a full-on gear head, which is why his friends chose a car show as a means to honour him.

Kemp’s friends got together and fired up two of his collector cars Saturday morning, including a 1966 Mustang Coupe and a 1989 724 Cavalier, for display in the show.

Wayne Doskas, a life-long friend of Kemp, said the tremendous show of support for the event could mean it will become an annual event.

The show was a joint effort between the Thamesville Improvement Association and the Thamesville Sertoma Club.

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