Many of the exquisite automobiles that came in for the opening days of Cruisin the Coast were at the Biloxi VA Tuesday, for one of the more inspiring events on the calendar.
As they rolled onto the property, the sun glistened through the Biloxi VA's canopy of oak trees. Hugh Hanna parked his classic car under one of those trees. The shade provide refreshing relief for everybody at the Cruisin the Coast event.
"It's beautiful," Hanna said. "It could stay this week all week, and I'd be happy."
Beneath the trees, chrome fenders on hundreds of classic cars seemed to sparkle just a bit brighter. Each car provided a memory for its owner, and for onlookers. Jim Andreini is a car buff from just outside Columbus, Ohio.
"This is great. This is the hot rodder's heaven," he said.
This Cruisin the Coast event has become one of the most attended stops on the schedule. Nearly a thousand cars tucked under shade trees, giving VA patients a chance to appreciate their beauty.
Glenn Lynd came over from Escatawpa. He called the VA stop "very important. And these veterans they love to see them."
Enlisted personnel helped some of the veterans check out the hot rods. Others took a train around the grounds. When Andreini saw the train, he got a bit nostalgic.
"Actually at the end of the month it's 40 years since I got out of the Army. I was thinking about that today," he said. "It brings back memories to see guys walking around, everybody's got the gray hair, if they have hair, and you see the Vietnam veterans hats, it brings back some memories."
It's what makes the combination of Cruisin the Coast and the Biloxi VA so special.
"Every year there are some beautiful cars and some beautiful people," Lynd said.