Pomona from a Different Perspective
By Laurie "Purple Girl" Watts
People of the Fuel... After a long 10 hour drive home yesterday, I have my "wits" about me and have been able to share some of my experiences and thoughts with you all about the 50th Anniversary event at Pomona.
My journey to Pomona began early Friday morning. As Stormin' Norman Weekly and I drove the four hours to Pomona, I found myself back in the sixties as Stormin' began to tell story after story of the days of yesteryear. I laughed so hard at times I cried, and then sometimes I just cried. He delighted me with stories of practical jokes, pranks and antics, and then pulled at heartstrings with bittersweet memories.
We didn't get to the track until about 3:30 or so (due to much running
around and a special bit of magic at a chassis shop with one special car).
I didn't get to see half the people I wanted to spend time with. BUT, I did get to meet Ron Rivero, and that was indeed very special. After wandering through the pits for a while I landed at the
Magicar pit, where I was greeted by Bill Pitts, Dennis Prater, and of course the
Magicar and her full complement of crew.
There she sat in the bright sunlight, her gold paint shimmering as the sunrays danced off her. It was there I was introduced to TV Tommy and heard his stories and was privileged to see the sparkle return to his eyes as each story unfolded. Then I turned and saw Stormin' surrounded by people signing autographs and sharing a few of those stories as he looked through pictures that would remind him of days gone by. And again, a twinkle emanated from the eyes that so many years ago had looked down the very track we were
at. It was a twinkle that he thought was gone, but had since returned on that special Friday afternoon.
Then the call came. The Magicar was gonna cackle one more time that afternoon, and I was to be in the fun seat. (She had cackled earlier that afternoon with Stormin' Norman in the seat, but I MISSED that.) THAT was reason enough to make the long trip over, and as she came to life and began to cackle, a dream began to come true. I have always wanted to "peer" around a blower, and there it was, my dream come true, tears rolled down my cheeks from the Nitro that was filling the air, I grabbed the steering wheel and felt her very heart beat with every whap of the throttle linkage. A special memory indeed, and a special time I will never forget.
As I climbed (clambered was more like it) out of her, Stormin' Norman came over and said, "You looked like a little Chipmunk in the
car." Great, so now I suppose that name will stick with me. I wish I could have looked like a tougher animal, maybe a badger or something like that, but NO, a
I never got to see any T/F runs, just heard 'em. I did
get to see two of the Nostalgia guys run. So I missed most of the racing, and took hardly any pictures at all to share with you all, but I got stories and memories, laughter and tears. And that was worth it. So, take the time to enjoy these tales of drag racing, told by the Nitro Knights, for they won't be around forever.
As I drove home I thought how hard the trip was to make, but it was well worth it to see and hear the stories that we all long
for, told by the drivers of the diggers from the sixties. If you listen long enough and close your eyes, you can just visualize
those drivers, nestled in their cars, silver firesuits, brightly colored helmets, and a sparkle in their eyes that can be seen through the goggles. Warriors of the track. Yes, it's all the long journeys that make the trip worthwhile. Thanks to all
who made this yet another special memory for me.
Laurie "The Chipmunk" Watts...