Valley women share their love for T-birds

CLOVIS, Calif.

The days of cruising the main drag never ended. A line of Thunderbirds rolled through Old Town Clovis. The T-birds attracted waves and stares, partly because the folks behind the wheel weren't your typical cruisers.

Mary Haven of Visalia said, "Boy, when we get a bunch of us we get a few looks and we are always careful about speed limits."

The Ladybirds on the go are all over 60 and were going through trying times when they first met. Maxine Brock of Visalia explained, "In 2007 most of us became widows and so we decided we all needed friends to keep us active and go places together."

Back then Rosalie Green happened to spot Maxine in a T-bird. Rosalie said, "We pulled off to the side of the road and then she said I know two other people that have red ones."

Now the group has grown to 14 women. Maxine drove up in a classic green 1956 Thunderbird. "We have all had so much fun together and we decided it beats the rocking chair at home."

They're always looking for someplace new to eat. On this day they met at Salsa's in Old Town Clovis. Jeanette Groh of Visalia said, "We can laugh all day long and have a good time and it always includes eating."

The women come from different parts of the Valley but all share a love for the Thunderbird. Groh said, "I guess it's because it comes from the fifties, when we were all in high school and we all loved the T-birds back then."

The cruising women always draw attention. Green recalled, "We were all on a trip to Grand Canyon and this lady came up and said, oh you're Thelma and Louise."

Their whole idea is to try to enjoy their retirement years. Haven said, "Boy are these guys cool. They are so much fun. You laugh yourself silly."

The women drive classic T-birds from the fifties and those re-introduced in early 2000. It's not a car club. The Ladybirds say they do not want to pay any dues.

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