Buckley gears up for Flashback show

By Shawn Skager

The Courier-Herald

For the past 17 years Perry Patson has been helping organize the annual Buckley Flashback Car Show.

But he's also a participant.

"Myself, I own a Studebaker, a 1954, there is quite a bit of Buckley history there," he said. "I bought it from the original owner three years ago. It was sold on Dec. 27, 1954, at the old Triangle Motors, which sold Studebakers at the time. There is just so much history in that car, which rode into town on the Burlington Northern railroad."

For Patson, the Buckley Flashback Car Show is all about history, specifically Buckley history.

For this year's show, which will be conducted Aug. 13 at the Buckley Log Show grounds starting at 10 a.m., the theme is "Memories are Forever."

This year's show celebrates the Zaffee's shoe store, which was located on Main Street from 1922 to 1989.

"Every year we pick a building or business or business person for the T-shirts," Patson said. "It (Zaffee's) had been one of those icons on Main Street," he said. "It was just a place when you were a kid you could go to get shoes. But in downtown Buckley, you would go to Zaffee's to get shoes, Madden's for groceries and Kay's for your clothes. Back then you could buy anything in downtown Buckley."

It is this connection with local history that keeps many of the participants coming also, Patson said.

"With the one we do up here, 75 percent of the vehicles are from either Buckley, Enumclaw, Bonney Lake, Sumner, Auburn or Puyallup," he said. "They are all almost all from the Plateau and the valley. It's amazing how much interest there is in old cars up here and how many of them are around."

This year's show kicks off the night before the actual show with the Wally's White River Drive In's Flashback Trivia Show, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Wally's.

"At most of the car shows you go to, the awards are general - like best Ford, best Chevy, best Mopar," he said. "For our show, we try to be a bit different."

This past year, Patson said the awards, which are voted on by spectators rather than a panel of judges, featured such categories as the car most likely to be in American Graffiti, the Beach Boys award and the car you would most likely see in your high school parking lot.

"One of the ones from last year was, which car would Ward and June Cleaver most likely drive," Patson said. "Last year it was a Hudson Hornet. It's amazing when you let the spectators have a piece of the action. They know so much about the cars."

Saturday's events, which begin at 10 a.m. will feature an estimated 300 to 400 cars from all eras.

In addition, KBSG all-oldies radio will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with prizes, contests and music for participants and spectators.

Proceeds from the Flashback Car Show benefit the Buckley Firefighters Association scholarship and cancer fund.

"Every minute of the show is my favorite, just being with the people. my interest is in the history, the business, the people, the cars," Patson said. "It's a day for all of us in town to get together with visitors and look at the cars and bring back the memories."

Shawn Skager can be reached at

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