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Drag Racing Stories
Dec 25, 2011


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Rick Osburn's Gift

By Bill Pratt

Rick's Truck at Bruce Larson's


Many of you have met Rick and Terri Osburn from Appomattox, Virginia. At least you've seen their wheelstanding 38 Special drag racing truck. They are nice folks that we've seen everywhere from Richmond to Pennsylvania. In fact, they were up at Bruce Larson's USA-1 Dragfest to round out the year.

At the Dragfest, Bruce and the gang always give out dozens of great door prizes, and then withhold several special items to use in a charity auction. One of those items was a great autographed Bruce Larson USA-1 Vega die cast. Dave Heisey started the bidding, and after the first few folks had dropped out, the remaining bidders were me and Rick Osburn.

We kept going up and up, past where the neat little car was worth and well into the zone where I was rehearsing my justifications to Denise on why I had spent so much for something I could have walked down the aisle and purchased for about a 10th of the auction price! Somewhere past the triple century mark, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and Rick and Terri took home the Bruce Larson die cast Vega. We shook on it, had a laugh, and enjoyed the rest of the day.

Fast forward to early December. Rick popped up on Facebook asking for my address because he had some photos he wanted to share with me. Great! I sent him my address and forgot about it.

At the end of the week, a big, nondescript box showed up on the doorstep. We'd been expecting a few boxes, so we didn't give it a second thought. It wasn't until we got it inside that we noticed it was a "used" box, personally labeled, not one of those clean, new boxes from Amazon or something like that.

I opened it up and was truly flabbergasted at the contents.

Carefully wrapped up in newspaper was a boxed 1972 USA-1 Vega Pro Stock die cast car, with Bruce Larson's signature written on the roof in Sharpie. The attached letter read as follows:

"Dear Bill, There really are no pictures, sorry about that. I just needed to get your address to surprise you with this signed Bruce Larson USA-1 Vega.

When it came to the auction, it was a lot like drag racing, and I hate to lift. Now we both have a Bruce Larson Vega. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sincerely, Rick Osburn, 38 Special"

Bill shows off his USA-1 Vega and Rick's letter


It was truly one of the most amazing things that anyone has ever done for me, and I'll never forget it. Any effort I undertake to try to make up for this remarkable and generous gift will pale in comparison, but I certainly hope to be able to treat Rick and Terri to dinner one day next year so that I can get to know them better.

But you can help me to thank Rick and Terri all year long... When you see this friendly racer hunkered over his flat black pickup in the pits, please take a moment to tell him Howdy and recall what a spark he put into your friend's heart this Christmas.

Bill's earliest and most surprising Christmas present


Bill Pratt

 

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