Friend Brock,Wonderful piece, so filled with truth and it certainly was a personal reminder of my youth and beyond.My dad started me racing go carts at age 7, in fact he built my first cart. Compared to most the others it was junk.But, I loved it, though I came in last or next to last that entire first season. I sure learned how to lose, but, with dignity. The second year, dad traded out labor (painting this huge house for weeks ), after he finished a 9 hour days on the drilling rig. His payment, a more than well used factory racing cart. First time out with it I placed third. Year three, at age 9, I was racing twin engine 90 mph carts with adults, as was my cousin(who unlike me, had a millionaire oil man for his dad.) The best of everything that was his life, and anyone who knows anything about racing knows that answer to the question How fast do you want to go?" is " How much $ do you have to spend?"The first month I had placed higher than my cousin in every race. His action to this was to throw tantrums like a two year old. My uncle was so embarrassed, he took the cart away from my cousin, and put me in it, This meant competing with some of the best of the best, and travelling everywhere. This was something my dad could have never done for me.But, he was there week after week , rooting me on, praising me when I drove smart, and chewing my backside when I did stupid things.I didn't win so many times that season even though I had far superior equipment than I had in previous years. But, I had already knew how to be a good loser, so the taste was not so bitter.In the years that followed I raced about anything you could from A/A altered drag cars,to midgets and sprint cars on dirt and asphalt. I turned pro AMA flat tracker at age 16 and kept a pro license till age 53 . I gave up the bikes simply because my Dr. said one more bad fall and my spine which was already fused would snap like a twig, and if I lived, it would be in diapers and a wheel chair. I fell down more times that last season that I stayed up, but, I still remembered how to be a dignified loser a lesson learned years before.After setting out one season after retiring from the bikes, my wife bought me a vintage midget racer, almost identical to the one I remember my dad driving in the 50's. In the two years that followed I never won a single race, but I had the praise and cheers of family and friends and I just kept trying. The last time I climbed into that midget I set fast time of the night, I felt 18 years old, then just before the feature race, I got a sick feeling in my guts. I knew if I raced that night it would all go bad. So. I scratched my entry, sold the car right then and there that night. BTW that night the two best drivers there in the two best cars got together in a horrible crash. Chances are most likely had I raced that night I would have been in that mess because we were the top three qualifiers, and mostly likely you could have thrown a blanket over us. I never went back, until I got an invite to the end of the season banquet in Terre Haute IN. Where much to my amazement I was given a trophy for most improved driver and a plaque for sportsmanship voted on by fans and the drivers of the association. I wept like a baby.Screw these silent Saturdays, children need the support and praise of their parents and siblings. It make for a better human being; win or lose.Thanks for bearing with an old mans memories, I hope younger parents reading this might take a lesson from the lessons my dad taught me. I lost him in 1985, I think of him everyday, multiple times. His support and guidance took a loser and made a humble winner out of me. It's a debt I was never able to repay.Thanks Brock for sharing this video, sorry I rambled on so. But, you know me, when the words finally decide to come...........lolT
much to my amazement I was given a trophy for most improved driver and a plaque for sportsmanship voted on by fans and the drivers of the association.Just wonderful. Thanks for the story.
It is I who owes you the thanks, for posting my ramblings . I think it was around 2 AM when I posted. I raced all night long. and didn't fall off the bike, nor flip end over end in the sprint car. That is how I know it was a dream.Thanks once more.
I raced all night long. and didn't fall off the bike, nor flip end over end in the sprint car. That is how I know it was a dream.Heh!