GUEST EDITORIAL, by Frank Genco:
We are tentatively scheduling a Lunch at Fuddruckers in Lake Forest next Thursday November, 6, 2014 at 11:30 am. The tentative nature of this schedule depends on services for Bob Richardson. I will confirm as soon as I find out about Bob. Hope this date works for everyone. Please let me know if you can make it. Frank Genco
A RESPONSE FROM, John Ewald
We are working on a dinner time get together for Bob Richardson the Wednesday of the NHRA Finals in Pomona at a place near the track. Will let all know when worked out. John Ewald
Frank and John are members of the 1320 Standard Club, drag racers and fans who read and enjoyed Doris Herbert’s DRAG NEWS. This club holds that the greatest generation of drag racers occurred from 1957 to 1971, concurrent with the publication of DRAG NEWS. They have an active website and many members in their group and welcome new members. If you were a racer at that time or a reader of the DRAG NEWS and want to join let me know and I will try and find a contact point for you.
STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks.
It is with sadness that I have to bring you biographies of people who have passed on. It is very difficult to write such bios because they are not here to tell us in their own words. Researchers rely on other people who knew them to finish these bios. Sometimes I attend funerals, memorials or celebrations of life and take notes and that is my sole research and it isn’t much. Please do your own bio. I will help you. If you don’t then a well-meaning person like myself will have to make it up for you and we may not know that much about your life.
From time to time I am asked the difference between what is trivial and what is important information. People wonder why there are certain things in our newsletter and not a finished story that is complete with REAL facts. Instead they complain that some of what they see is trivial. The answer is that historians collect and save every detail they can find, but in writing up a story we often leave out some things that have no bearing on what we are doing at the time. But we never discard anything. On the other hand there are some people who want the “dirt on someone.” Historians find lots of dirt, gossip, innuendo, bias, prejudice and just plain old meanness. We don’t discard that either, but we are careful to substantiate what is true and what isn’t. Even then we run into problems.
People want to know the TRUTH. But from which angle do you want the facts? Do you want me to give you the truth from the perspective of the car owner who fired the driver for not winning the races he was in. Do you want the truth from the mechanic’s point of view, who claims the owner never gave him enough money to build a great car and the driver was always hung-over. Do you want the truth from the driver who claims the owner and mechanic were wannabes? A good historian writes the story and credits all the sources and tries not to take sides, but often we only have one source to go to, which is why we collect all the trivial bits of information that we can. By the time we begin our research time has intervened and destroyed a lot of our sources. People have passed on, their records have been lost and we work with what is available.
What are we to do with NEGATIVE information? Do we only publish the positive accounts? Certainly that is a dishonest approach, yet we are human and we try and present the negative views in as pleasant a way as possible. Case in point, my father was visiting a well-known racer of the time back in the 1930’s, during the winter in the man’s shop and a little kitten walked in. Without stopping his conversation he picked up the kitten by the nape of its neck, opened the pot-belly stove and tossed it in to be incinerated. It was purely a reaction and the man never showed any signs of anger or pleasure at ridding the world of a small life. When that story is told during the 1930’s the reaction is, “So what are we to do with unwanted animals that will starve?” When that story is retold in the 21st Century it sends shivers up and down our backs.
Then there are people who frequented the bordellos throughout the country while racing and in foreign lands and those who may have done things that we disapprove of today. Historians have moral outrage too, but our job is to record history and not pass judgment on the past. That job of deciding judgment rests with you. We record and you are the judge. But if we do a poor job or a biased one, then we are leading you towards conclusions that you might not have taken had we been more unbiased. The same is true with this question, “I hear that so and so hated racer x.” Maybe they did and maybe they didn’t, but if we find out we handle such questions as fairly and diplomatically as we can. I have prejudices too, but I try not to show it in my writing. Do we have to like everybody? No, we don’t, but we have to represent them honestly. I can say that I’ve met a lot of jerks in my day and some people might consider me a jerk.
I can also say that down deep inside I actually like 99.99% of the nice guys and the jerks combined. I won’t take sides. I can’t take sides and still call myself a historian, which I was trained to be at college. Oh, there are a few people I really detest. Why? Usually they are people who enjoy going around and trying to destroy something others have built because of jealousy. They are the people who pretend to be helpful, but behind the scenes they are always plotting ways to destroy the organization or the race team. Probably they are psychopathic and deadly and I avoid them. But the rest of the racing world is simply filled up with good people who often make bad decisions and wish they had a second chance. Sorta like me. I wish I had a chance to correct a lot of hasty decisions in my life.
Historians are stuck with facts about bad decision making that good people make and we have an obligation not to go around ruining people’s reputation. But we also have to record a TRUE event and sometimes that is painful. I do that by tact and care. I write about an incident that happened and leave out judgment. I especially leave out the word YOU; like in “YOU ran over that boy on the racetrack.” Here’s an example; “Racer X died in an accident at Salem in 1956. Some witnesses say he and another driver bumped each other, but other eyewitnesses say there was no contact.” Now I could exclude the “other eyewitnesses” and go with “witnesses say he was bumped.” Notice that I also left out words like, “It had to be murder,” or “I’ll bet there was bad blood between the drivers.” I left those words out because they are prejudicial and I can’t back them up with irrefutable proof.
Just like a recent incident that resulted in the death of a young man standing on the racetrack where he wasn’t supposed to be. That incident was recorded, reviewed, witnessed to the nth degree and still the police, courts, public opinion, spectators, families and racers can’t agree on what happened. Now if you go back 50 years and try to make sense of something when most of the evidence is gone, how can you know for sure? So we historians watch our language and write in such a way that we present the facts without steering our readers towards any biased conclusions. It’s true that I know trivial facts and knowledge that only briefly touches on an event. It’s also true that I could willy-nilly spread that information, much of it never backed up with secondary sources. The result would be poorly written history and it might take future historians decades of research to debunk bad history, if they even could. This is one of the reasons that Jim Miller is the President of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians. He constantly checks out new books and new stories and he looks over everything that comes out of our newsletter and when he sees an error or a non-supported fact he tells us. I respect that and so should you.
Gone Racin'...Larry Larue Lindsley. Biography by Anne Lindsley, edited by Richard Parks, photographs by the family, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz. September 26, 2014. Reprinted with permission of www.hotrodhotline.com, a division of Internet Brands. For photographs go to the website listed.
Larry Lindsley came from a racing family. His parents were Jim and Phyllis Lindsley and they have been friends of the Parks' family since the 1930's. Anne Lindsley had this to say about her husband. "Larry Lindsley was a husband, father, son, racer, and a friend to many. Throughout the years, his friendship, kindness, and thoughtfulness were valued by many. Larry's passing will not only leave a void in our lives, but in the hearts of all those who knew him. It was a blessing to know such a wonderful and kind man and we will miss him dearly. We are comforted by the knowledge that his passing into the Great Race Course in heaven is felt by his entire Land Speed Racing family," Anne said. A Celebration of Life was held for Larry Lindsley on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at the Lindsley home in Murrieta. Attended by four generation family members, lifelong friends, and Land Speed Racing family. Dinner was served and then a brief service and remembrance ceremony was held in his honor.
Larry LaRue Lindsley was born February 21, 1940 in Bell, California to Jim and Phyllis Lindsley. He was the oldest of three sons and looked after his younger brothers Gary and Fred. Larry spent his early years growing up in East Los Angeles, where two neighbors became lifelong friends; Burke LeSage, well known by our Land Speed Racing family and Nick McDonough. Nick was also well known as he was the longest standing member of Larry's pit crew. Larry graduated from Bell High School.
He worked as an assembly line person, sales rep for oil field flow meters, roofer and then as an accomplished electrician. Larry specialized in electrical and mechanical repair of lathes, mills and grinders. He retired from his own business in 2012.
Larry and his brothers attended racing events as soon as they were old enough to "watch out" for themselves. Their mother and dad, in addition to racing a vehicle, were also volunteers at events and always busy. In the 1960's Larry raced a pick-up truck, then he and his dad started racing the orange Studebaker. A few street vehicles were run at El Mirage just for kicks. Then came the copper colored SuperBird; and finally the infamous Pontiac Firebird.
He was a lifetime Gear Grinder member, which is a racing club in the Southern California Timing Association and he continued to be active in the club all his life. He set many records in various classes, culminating in his most proud accomplishment, going 300+ in the Pontiac Firebird on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2001. Larry was also a member of both the El Mirage and Bonneville 200mph Club. Larry was a past two term Gear Grinder Vice President and holds numerous club awards, and SCTA-BNI records.
Larry and Anne met in 1960 thru a friend of Larry's that Anne's cousin was dating. They married in 1961. And, as the saying goes, “The rest is history.” Larry was a brother-in-law to Fran and Bob McNabb, DeeDee Lindsley and Donna Lindsley.
Larry was active in the lives of his children and they meant everything to him. Larry and Anne have two daughters, Cheryl, and Pattie,
and one son, Jim II and daughter-in-law, Debbie. The family enjoyed many years camping and fishing. Larry and his son Jim were active in the Indian Guide Program thru the YMCA. Everyone was involved in Pop Warner, with daughters Cheryl and Pattie as cheerleaders, Jim played football, and Larry and Anne as volunteers. He was an awesome grandfather to James III, Larry, Jessica, Shelby and Allie Marie. He was the coolest great-grandfather to Cody, Chad, James IV, Rayann, Chasse, Gavin, Evan, Spencer, Gage and Peyton. He was the most fun uncle ever to Julie, Gary, Larry, Mike, Tina, Heather, Kaylee, Aaron, Kelliey and Danny. He was a proud Nino (godfather) to Vanessa, and a forever best friend to Nick. Larry was a lifetime mentor and buddy to Dewayne, Jerry, Jennifer, and Gabriel.
Anne and Larry moved to Murrieta, California in 1981 to escape the overcrowded Southern California metro areas and fulfill their dreams of a rural life. Larry always loved gardening and farming and when he and Anne moved to the country he raised and showed Polled Herefords, raised pigs and chickens, and had an extensive vegetable garden. All while continuing to work in Los Angeles.
At the 2014 SCTA Banquet, Larry Lindsley received the WHEELS OF FAME AWARD and Anne accepted this award for him. Bill Lattin, the presenter gave an amazing speech.
"Back in 1938, Jim Lindsley helped to form the Gear Grinders. The meetings were held at his house, with
a just a few members in attendance. Jim and his wife Phyllis Lindsley had a son, Larry Lindsley. Fast forward into the 1950's, my Dad remembers seeing Larry as a young boy at Lyons Drag Strip and El Mirage, just to name a few places. Larry would marry Anne and start a family. The constant things in his life are his wife Anne, his children, and racing. It is the latter, that we are here tonight to acknowledge. I must warn you, it is a long list. Please indulge me as I read through this list. It deserves the recognition, for it is a lifetime of achievement for Larry and his racing Lindsley family. I'll start with the Gear Grinders:
Gear Grinders past two-term Vice President of the Gear Grinders car club
Gear Grinders Sportsman Award; 1967, 1984, and Larry and Anne 2012
Gear Grinders Life Membership; 2012
Gear Grinders Driver of the Year; 2002
Gear Grinders Top Points Car; 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.
Gear Grinders Top Speed Car; 2002 to 2006
Season's Fastest Driver; 2002
Season's Champion; 2000
El Mirage Records:
November 1999 E/BFALT @ 223.163
June 2000 D/BFALT @ 246.714
September 2000 C/BFALT @ 268.709
October 2000 B/BFALT @ 261.513
November 2000 A/BFALT @ 258.472
June 2005 AA/BFALT @ 256.593
June 2006 D/BFCC @ 253.121
July 2002 A/BFL @ 304.296
November 2002 AA/BFL @ 308.605
August 2004 B/BFALT @ 308.517
These records, 10 in all, with Larry behind the wheel of either the Leggett Lakester or the # 484 Firebird, still stand to this day. Larry entered the famed Bonneville 200 MPH Club in 1971, with a speed of 204.779. The 2004 Bonneville record, at 308.517, placed Larry into the 300 MPH Chapter. The El Mirage records placed Larry into the El Mirage 200 MPH 'Dirty 2' Club and the 300 MPH Chapter. He is one of only five people in the world to ever achieve this at El Mirage. With Larry behind the wheel, whether the Firebird or Lakester was on the dirt or the salt both would shake the ground and sound like rolling thunder. You could hear the Firebird leave the starting line at Bonneville from three miles away. Will you please join me and welcome Larry into the WHEELS OF FAME,” Lattin concluded.
Larry passed away peacefully on September 22, 2014. His presence and amazing spirit are deeply missed.
Gone Racin' is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM.
Winners of the 23rd International Automotive Media Awards were announced at during a ceremony held at the Vinsetta Garage Restaurant. IAMA’s were presented at a joint event with the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year (NACVOTY) Awards. The International Automotive Media Competition (IAMC), is a program to recognize and encourage excellence in all forms of automotive media. Louise Ann Noeth submitted three works for review – all three were judged to be worthy of an award. GOLD | The Demon’s Dozen | Book – published by LandSpeed Productions SILVER | Counting Down to a Century of Speed | Magazine – Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette BRONZE | Counting Down to a Century of Speed | Magazine Graphics – Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette
“I’ve taken part in the IAMA’s since its inception,” explained Noeth, “At first, only as a hopeful entrant, to find out how to improve my writing and photography storytelling skills. Years later, the administrators asked me to judge some categories and I found the volunteer effort to be as rewarding as it was educational – we’ve got some dandy fine motoring media folks at work in the world! When asked to step into the Chief Judge position, after entering three pieces of my own, I accepted only after it was clear my entries would get a beating if they deserved it. That those works finished Gold, Silver and Bronze tells me honest, serious peer review was done. I‘m grateful. As I see it, my readers are the REAL winners because I believe it critical to never stop tweaking the talents the good Lord saw fit to give me.”
Noeth shares the Bronze award with Kevin Reynolds, Art Director at the Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette. Judging is by peers, to a standard; entries may earn up to 100 points. The Medallion International Automotive Media Awards (IAMAs), Bronze (85-91), Silver (92-96) and Gold (97-100) medallions are presented for those works so qualified. From among the highest-point (98-100) Gold awards are chosen the Best of Divisions, with Best of 2013 being chosen from the Best of Division awardees. Therefore, the Medallion IAMAs are a competition against a standard, whereas the Best of Divisions and Best of the Year IAMAs are a competition against other award-winning entries. If no entry in a category meets the minimum standards no award will be made in that category. Entries are judged by Category within their Division. The works sent for judging were published or aired January 1 – December 31, 2013
Gone Racin’…Santa Ana Drags and Main Street Malt Shop Reunion. Story by Richard Parks, photographs by Roger Rohrdanz. October 4, 2014. Reprinted with permission of Internet Brands and www.hotrodhotline.com.
The Santa Ana Drags and Main Street Malt Shop Reunion is held twice a year, once in April and again in October. It is a combination of two old reunions, one honoring the iconic drag strip organized by C. J. and Peggy Hart, with Frank Stillwell and Creighton Hunter’s help, back in 1950 on a roadway next to the old Santa Ana Airfield. The drag strip shut down in 1959 when the county of Orange expanded the airport, which is known by the locals as John Wayne Airport. For years a reunion was held at the Elks Club in Santa Ana by Creighton Hunter and on his passing Leslie Long and Gene Mitchell. The other reunion being kept alive is the Main Street Malt Shop, a local hangout for young people in Santa Ana. The malt shop is no longer in operation and has become a Mexican/American pastry shop. But the spirit of the past is alive and strong in these two reunions, which is held at Santiago Creek Park at the corner of Lawson Way and East Memory Lane, in the town of Orange.
Leslie Long keeps the mailing lists and calls people to remind them of the event. He is also the historian for the Santa Ana Drags and for the El Mirage dry lake land speed racers. Gene Mitchell provides the tents, tables, food and drinks for the guest. He does so at his own expense and never asks for help. Gene is there early to set up and stays late to take everything down and transport it back to his home. Gene is always ready to greet people and make them feel welcome and to see to their needs. Roger Rohrdanz is the official photographer for the two reunions and keeps a visual history of the event. Richard Parks writes the reports on the reunions and posts them with Roger’s photos at www.hotrodhotline.com and www.landspeedracing.com. Jim Miller also posts photos and reports to his website at www.ahrf.com.
A hot Santa Ana wind condition had driven the temperature up into triple digits and it was feared that the reunion might be affected. But on Saturday, October 4, 2014 the day was absolutely California weather with the temps in the 90’s, sunny and bright and we found plenty of shade under the trees and canopies, with gentle breezes making the day perfect. There was lots of bench racing, posters, photo albums, old flyers, maps, books and other material to share. Gene Mitchell announced that lunch was ready and after that Roger lined everyone up for a group photograph. Ed Iskenderian was the guest speaker and for nearly an hour he related stories from long ago at the Santa Ana drags. Then it was back for more munchies, water and dessert and bench racing.
Those in attendance were; Gene Mitchell and his daughter Megan Mitchell, who helped her dad set up the tents, chairs and food. Roger Rohrdanz and Richard Parks represented the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians (SLSRH). Kay Kimes was an original ‘49’er, who raced at the first Bonneville Speedweek in 1949. Diane Vandenberg came with Lyman Wilson. Diane raced at the Santa Ana drags and was also a Main Street Malt Shop patron. Old time racers Gene Ellis, Doug Wilson, Dave Cook, Eldon Harris, Jim Moran and Tim Timmerman were present. Ellis also raced on oval tracks and had quite a career. Gerald (Jerry) Hart, the son of C. J. and Peggy Hart brought lots of photos of the old drag strip. He worked there as a young man. Motorcycle racers Jim Murphy and Joe Arce told us about their racing exploits. Joe brought his wife Louise with him to the reunion. Other racers were; Mac McClelland, Phil Turgasen, and Harry Deshazo. Diane Foley and Dina Macias came with Harry. Ben and Amy Iskenderian came with Ed. Ben is Ed’s brother and Amy is Ed’s daughter. 1949 Goleta class winner Ed Osepian was also there. Osepian raced at Santa Ana. Rob Johnson, whose mother’s name was Hagopian, told me there were a lot of Armenians in early day drag racing, including the Iskenderian family.
Alan Zusman came after talking to Anna Marco. Alan is learning all he can about early drag racing. Al Teague set many land speed records at Bonneville and his record of 409 mph lasted for nearly twenty years. Bob Falcon came and introduced Jon Durham. Bob did everything you could do in racing and raced oval track cars, as did his father before him. He is one of our historians and main research guys on the SLSRH Newsletter. Jon is attempting to bring back the Halibrand name and is doing research on the company’s past and Bob, who used to work there, is helping him. Doug Westfall and Shawn Diaz are book publishers and have decided to bring out more books on early day racers. Mike and John Uribe came representing the Bean Bandits, who had their own drag strip for many years down in San Diego at Paradise Mesa. Mike told me that they would come up to Santa Ana to race every chance that they could and often toured the country with their drag car, when racing was very inexpensive. Jim Miller was there taking photographs for the American Hot Rod Foundation, based in New York City. Miller is the President of the SLSRH and the most knowledgeable person around in all forms of motorsports. Jim “Grumpy” Donoho and Rich Childers rounded out the list of racers who attended the event. The next reunion will be held in April, 2015 and you can check the website at www.landspeedracing.com for details.
Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM.
Gone Racin’…To say goodbye to Jack Stewart. Story by Richard Parks, photographs by Roger Rohrdanz. 9 August 2014.
Jack Stewart passed away within the last few days and I checked my records to see if I had written a bio on him; I didn’t. Perhaps the reason was that Jack seemed indestructible, like so many other hot rodders and I just assumed that he would be around forever. That’s the way hot rodders think. That’s what I thought. My father knew Jack Stewart and admired him, but I can’t ask Dad, because he is gone too. Dick Wells was a close friend of Jack’s, but he has passed on too. Jack and Dick collaborated on a book together, titled L.A. ROADSTERS; A RETROSPECTIVE. I gave it a good review and then told Jack that he should have included an index so that I could find all the guys in the book. He just twinkled his nose, gave me that Stewart smile and promised to give me an index on the next rewrite. There was something charming and boyish in Stewart that made him so appealing. It is probably why the L.A. Roadster Club made Jack their PR guy with the media. He had that happy and excited attitude about him that caused people to seek him out and befriend him.
Jack was a great help to Roger Rohrdanz and me. Every time we covered the L. A. Roadster Show at the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona there was Stewart to greet us and take us around in his golf cart and point out the activities that he felt we should concentrate on in our coverage. He loved the L.A. Roadster Club and dedicated his life to it, though it wasn’t an easy love. The club itself formed in the summer of 1957 when Dick Scritchfield gathered about eight people together at the Weiand Equipment Company on San Fernando Road, in Los Angeles. Le Roi “Tex” Smith was there, along with Tony LeMasa and the group elected Scritchfield as their first president. Some of them had roadsters and some didn’t. The reason for a club was a love for the roadster form and hot rodding culture and rules would change and adapt to the times until it became a rule that you had to have a killer roadster to be considered for membership. The Model A’s, and ’32 Deuce Coupes with a V8 engine were the preferred cars and anything after a ’34 roadster was just not considered good enough. It seemed strange that a roadster club would form in the late 1950’s. The heyday of the car clubs was in the 1930’s and ‘40’s, the Golden Age of Hot Rodding. By the 1950’s the car clubs that had formed around neighborhoods and schools were folding. There was a new era of drag racing, both illegal street and legal drag strip competition that didn’t need a large club to go racing.
Perhaps it was a reaction to the demise of car clubs that drove these eight men to form a roadster club to simply enjoy the hot rodding culture, gymkhanas, road tours and car shows. What other reason did they really need other than a love for the beauty and grace of a topless car on the road; a vehicle that could literally scream and fly down the highways of America. When you get young men together they don’t just stop with a weekly club meeting and a slow cruise down the local Main Street. In 1961 the first L.A. Roadster Show was held at the Hollywood Bowl, but didn’t have the success the club desired. Years went by until the club held the next Roadster Show in 1967 to great success and in 1980 the show and swap meet was moved to the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona, California and has been there ever since. Today the Show is always staged on Father’s day and it attracts roadster lovers and hot rodders from all over the world. The club members pride themselves on the success of this event. If you drive a roadster to the show you get admission, a BBQ on Saturday, a pewter mug and a gift bag all for free. Sponsors and vendors fill up a building and put up tents and stalls to sell or publicize their products. The revenue from the show allows the club to fund their functions and charitable programs.
Jack Stewart joined the L. A. Roadsters in the early 1970’s. His close friend, Bob Barnes, joined the club a few years earlier and said, “Jack and I must have driven over a million miles together.” The club’s goal was to enjoy their roadsters and take them on the road. Besides Scritchfield and the inimitable Tex Smith, others who were early members included; B.C. Carlton, Tex Collins, Les Cowman, Bill Woodard, Sam Conrad, Don Burgess, Jim Fyke, Matt Chilk, Fred Yaeger, Royce Mackey, Carlin Schoepfer, Wayne Bausman, Neal East, Steve Dawes, Kurt Wiese, Bob Lopez, Steve Murray, Pat and Mike Germon, Otto Miller, Arnold Avila, Ian Cusey, Russ Klindworth, Everett Israelson, Tom McMullen, Eugene Esteves, Kaye Trapp, Skip Torgerson, and Norm Grabowski. They held their meetings close to the offices of the Petersen Publishing Company and regularly saw Robert “Pete” Petersen, Wally Parks, Don Francisco, Lynn Wineland, Dick Wells, Bud Coons, and Gordon Browning. Later members of the club included; Lee Titus, Don Wilson, Greg Sharp, Don Thomas, Ed Silvera, Bill Stepp, Steve Kelly, Dick Megugorac, Dave McClelland, Kenny Safford, Brian Brennan, Bill Stecker, Jim Gacchina, Mort Smith, Chuck Small, Bruce Meyer, Eddie Aston, Jim Travis, Ray Milazo and Gene Vredenburg. These men came from a wide variety of the automotive world and many raced their cars on the dry lakes, on the drag strips, or in Grabowski’s case, built beautifully wild cars for Hollywood.
For many people, Jack Stewart was the face of the L.A. Roadster Club. He was always around promoting the club’s activities and seeing that people understood what the goals of the group was all about. There were more famous people involved, including Norm Grabowski and Tex Smith. If I had the time and space I could go into detail about all the events the club put on and the bios of all the club members who came and went. But in the end the man that I think of when the L. A. Roadster club is mentioned is Jack Stewart. No one worked harder than Stewart to constantly promote and build up this world famous club and there were men and their wives who worked tirelessly to do so. I will always remember the kindness that Jack and his gracious lady, Sally, gave to Roger and me as we covered the show.
Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM.
The Speed Demon; sent in by Ron Main.
George Poteet, owner of the Speed Demon streamliner, commissioned “LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth to chronicle the 2012 racing season of the land speed racing team whose dedicated work allowed Poteet to drive in excess of 400MPH a dozen times during two speed meets on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The timed runs on the surveyed course resulted in the certification of 1 National and 2 World Land Speed Records. This unprecedented achievement surpasses the remarkable speed demonstration by Californian Al Teague driving his Spirit of 76 streamliner, in excess of 400MPH, eight times in one season.
Hours of personal interview time with Poteet were combined with Noeth’s historical archive reference materials as well as that of the team to write the text, select photographs and collect appropriate descriptive art before designing the cover as well producing the complete print-ready layout in a record 43 days. The limited print production run included 22 personalized editions, one for each member of the Speed Demon Racing Team that was comprised of a dedicated photo page and a biographical page for each respective team member.
Poteet’s goal for the project was to herald each team’s member’s role on the team and added his personal observation emphasizing his appreciation for their well-focused work. Speed Demon team member Betty Howard was a critical liaison partner in the project providing, in addition to her exceptional interpersonal skills and dozens of snapshots used in the book.
STAFF NOTES: Bob Nichols is a motorcycle racer and regular at Jack’s Garage in Fountain Valley, California, a local hangout for LSR guys.
Admiral Chester Nimitz and General Curtis Emerson LeMay. Written by Bob Nichols and his daughter Belinda Nichols, with editing by Richard Parks.
My first lieutenant Elwood Siegal, told me to follow him to water well #27 which was brand new and I'd never been there. All the water wells on the island of Tinian was in my charge and there were 30 of them. I knew it was an important meeting. We walked in the tent that was only l2 square foot, and who do I face, General Curtis LeMay and Admiral Chester Nimitz. The General wore sand browns and they were wrinkled and sweaty, yet decorated with so many medals on him. To the right of him stood Admiral Nimitz, three Sea Bees were next to him.
General Le May asked me, "What do YOU do?" I replied, ''I'm the chief trouble shooter for maintenance on the Island, overseeing the generators, refrigerators, and water wells." General LeMay had a conversation with the Sea Bees, which lasted several minutes and then he turns to me and says, ''You fix it,'' and then he turned to the Sea Bees and said, ''You give him the parts.'' Everyone rushed out of the tent. Admiral Nimitz never said a word during this meeting.
I jumped into my truck and got a head gasket and followed the Sea Bees to their headquarters, ripped off the old head gasket and installed the new head gasket in the brand new engine. When at the Sea Bee's headquarters, I could see they had tires, motorcycle parts. I asked them if I could have transmission, parts, tires that turned out to be used for my Harley WLDR 45 cubic inch that I took from an Air Force motor pool, on one stormy and rainy night. I ended up using that motorcycle on a race track I built on the Island (more on this Tinian entertainment/racetrack later).
The next day the Air Force dropped the atomic bomb. I later found out that this was the water well for the 20th Air Force photo lab. General Le May was waiting to develop the pictures so they could drop the bomb the next day. That's why my efforts were so timely but completely unknown to me, until a week later after asking many questions; it was disclosed to me that was what the meeting with the water wells was all about.