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2nd Sharon Brown Car Show this Saturday

With a Sharon Brown picture collage, from left, Danny Rolin, Teresa Martin, and Tim Lassiter

News Staff Writer

Sharon Brown ran State Line Pawn Shop, which has been owned and operated by her family since 1962, for several years before a fatal heart attack claimed her life four years ago. She became well known within and beyond Atmore during that time, and last year her sister, Teresa Martin, decided to sponsor a car show in memory of her late sibling.
The initial event, intended as a combined celebration of Sharon’s life and the onset of Spring, was a success. Teresa, along with State Line employees Danny Rolin and Tim Lassiter, began putting the second edition together, and it has grown by leaps and bounds.
The annual automotive showcase, which will take place from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 20, in the parking lot of the Church Street shopping center in which State Line Pawn is located, has grown beyond its expected bounds, and participation by local car owners, businesses and individuals have turned it into much more than a car show.
“This is something I wanted to do to remember Sharon,” Teresa said. “To me, it’s like the kickoff to Spring. I feel like people want to get out of the house, that they’re ready for Spring weather. I like to do it early because after this month, lots of towns will start having their own events.”
Danny, a former pro wrestler, admitted that the event has taken on a life of its own and has even outgrown the parking lot.
“We’ve got WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Hall of Famers; we’ve got Moonshiners from the Discovery Channel; we’ve got a bunch of look-alikes (including several Dukes of Hazzard characters and an “almost” Larry the Cable Guy),” he said. “We’ll have a BMX bike team from Milton (Fla.), and we’ll have a ramp set up on Presley Street for demonstrations. Church and Presley streets will be shut down for a block so we’ll have enough room.
“Everybody’s kind of helped us out as much as they could. A lot of them are mentors and friends I made during my years on the road.”
Teresa agreed that Danny’s contacts were the primary key to the success of the occasion, but not the only one.
“Danny has a lot of friends, and he called in a lot of favors” she acknowledged. “I’ve called on lot of friends to help outside and inside the store, too. My husband and some former employees are going to help out inside. It’s just a lot of people coming together.”
Almost every activity will be furnished free of charge, with the exception of the dunking booth and possibly one or two other activities that will have a minimal charge.
There will be a hot dog eating contest, performances throughout the event by Nashville recording artist and Atmore resident Ricky Crook and “possibly a special guest or two,” and giveaways, lots of giveaways. Attendees could go home with items ranging from free barbecue sandwiches to free gasoline, car washes and dozens of items in between.
“A lot of local businesses have donated a lot of things,” said Danny, who added that Mayor Jim Staff, State Senator Greg Albritton, former Alabama 1st District U.S. Congressman Jerry Carl and recently elected 2nd District U.S. Congressman Barry Moore are expected, along with some other elected officials. “The giveaways are getting bigger every day; people are contacting us, wanting to donate. It’s going to be a full day.”
Oh, yeah. There’s also the car show.
“Last year, we had 80-plus cars,” Danny said. “Hopefully, we’ll have 120-125 this year. We’ll have from 18-wheelers to T-buckets. There will be cars from Mobile, Pace, Panama City and all over, classics, late models, whatever.”
The top-10 cars will be awarded trophies, including those for Best Paint, Best Wheels, Best Engine, Moonshiners Trophy, VIP Trophy and more, and Poarch Creek Indians Princesses will hand out the trophies.
The show will feature a couple of unusual aspects.
“We won’t really have categories, and we’re not doing a registration fee,” he explained. “If (a vehicle owner) can donate any amount, it will help out Panhandle Wounded Warriors.”
T-shirts and cups will also be for sale, with all proceeds going to the veterans charity.
Danny said everyone who attends the block party should enjoy himself or herself and shouldn’t go home empty-handed or empty-stomached.
“It’s going to be huge,” he said. “For a one-block area, we’re going to have a lot of stuff. It’s really going to be like a little festival. The only thing missing is a Ferris wheel. If can get my hands on one of those …”