June 29, 2003

"A little romance muscles its way into car lovers' hearts" - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

(Snippet. Emphasis mine.)

Sunday, June 29, 2003
Ruth Ann Dailey
"I know a lot of people who, if there's even a hint of rain, won't consider coming out," said Val McClatchey.
But Val was there. She sat near the Mars spaceship. The FBI has a photo of her sitting on the Mars spaceship.
More people know another of Val's photos than know her name. On Sept. 11, 2001, she was in her Somerset County home, having recently helped a Camaro buddy looking to relocate in Johnstown. As a way of saying thanks, the friend promised to buzz her Indian Lake house in a helicopter.
She set her camera by the door, waiting for the sound of his flyover, but what she heard instead was the horrific roar of Flight 93 going down. The impact nearly knocked her over, but she got to the door in time to capture the black smoke billowing above a red barn seconds after the crash in Shanksville.
The photo is in the Smithsonian Institution and all over the Internet and has been used as a fund-raiser for the proposed memorial.
FBI agents inspecting the memory card from her digital camera wondered about the photo preceding it -- a shot of Val atop the Mars spaceship.
"What were you hatching?" they asked.
The founder 10 years ago of the Keystone Camaro Club, Val wouldn't let a threatening sky keep her away on Saturday, but it was Sherry Archer of Atlanta, Ga., who stood nearest Mars' fabled aluminum ship.