Memories of Caddo Mills
by David Ray
Caddo Mills, August 1960. Photo by David Ray
This is Caddo Mills drag strip. It's August 1960. Caddo was an old military emergency landing strip. Triangular shaped, and all concrete. There was no tower, rest rooms, or concession stand. There were no trees. Actually there is not much of anything, except concrete and sunshine, lots and lots of sunshine. I don't often remember intense heat from when I was a teenager, but when I think of Caddo, heat creeps into the memory.
I had just gotten my driver's license the previous month, July.
Caddo Mills was wide open! Photo by David Ray
I had saved $250.00 over the previous two years from delivering newspapers. My father said he would match what I saved when it came time for me to buy a car. He matched it all right; he signed a note at a local bank for me to borrow $250.00. So now, I had a paper route and a summer job, but a car was only a few days way.
I used that $500.00 to buy a nice 1956 Chevy with a little hail damage. So in August I took my "new" Chevy and my sister's Brownie camera to my first "big time" drag race.
That's right, Caddo Mills was an air field. Photo by David Ray
I don't remember much about that day, except that the fuel dragsters were great. There was a dragster racer from Illinois there that day who was supposed to have run 200 mph earlier in the year. I can't say I remember who he was, who won, or their times, but I sure remember the sunburn I got. I couldn't go to work for several days. I really hated that. Yeah, right.