I have given this one much thought. It's hard to put a label on the
best day I have had at the drag races. For each time I go, no matter where
it is, is a memorable experience. The key here is that it's the
friendships that come from drag racing, long-term friendships. ONE of the
most memorable times I had at the races was last year at the National Time
Trials in Phoenix. For it was there that I got to spend the day in Tony
Shoe's pit area.
It was not a national event, so things were pretty low key, just a lot of
testing and tuning. Tony and I watched race videos while the crew was
getting the car ready. I was welcomed into their pit area with open arms.
Tony did that day for me, what I have been doing for kids since then.
Spending time with them, watching the twinkle in their eyes, much like Tony
watched the twinkle in my eyes when I got to go to the staging lanes in the
van when they made their first pass.
Handing him his gloves and helmet and watching him "suit up"
for battle was indeed a highlight for me. Kneeling down at the starting
line, focusing the camera on the huge beast that was to assault the drag
strip is etched in my mind. And then he whapped the throttle and took off,
taking all the air around me away and pushing my camera that had been so
carefully focused on the car that had lightning bolts on it. The ground
pounding concussion actually "blew" the camera upward so that
instead of getting that carefully focused shot of a T/F dragster leaving the
line, instead I got a picture of the sun in the blue winter sky.
Then watching him at the tall end after the run. Yes, even though they
have the number 1 painted on the wing, they are still quite childlike and
exuberant after a run. That day Tony Shoe taught me to share my car with
others, and to give each person that doesn't have the good fortune to own a
race car a little of mine... Just like Lyle Greenberg gave me the same
chance when he allowed me to crew on his funny car. Friends and memories
that I will never forget...
Attached is the stained glass I made for Tony Shoe that I gave to him in
Phoenix. (Hey I will do anything to get into the pits. <g>)