More Bakersfield Memories
By Wayne King, Robbie Andersen, and Big
Welcome to Bakersfield! – Wayne King
I was just among some of the sport's drag racers from Bakersfield. It
all seems so crazy that here we sit, 40 years later, talking about old
times. Yet, it seems like last weekend that we were all at Bakersfield and
Lions. The friendships that we made are still alive. Except for the ones up
in the drag strip in the sky. I'm going to miss you, Jim Herbert. Your
memory will always be with me when I think of the Northern Cal bunch. The
4-car match races at Fresno still come to mind. Jim drove in a couple of
Wayne King, AKA "The Peregrine"email@example.com
The Makeshift Fire Suit and the Soup -- Robbie Andersen
This one is from way back, so hang on kids. Deist had a
flat top back then, so you know how old this is going to be... Wells,
McCloskey, and I were running fuel in the Flathead, and tech told us we had
to have a fire suit. I was in the Navy and went to the parachute loft and
"big dealed" a fire suit (like they fight airplane fires with).
That was pretty good, but we thought the pants were too bulky. Off to the
I went with a pair of Levis (one size fits all) and had
the guy sew some fire-retardant, chrome looking material on them. We had
taken up smoking cigars and while at Bakersfield, waiting in the fire-up
lane, Wells fell asleep on the hood of the truck in the "chrome
pants." McCloskey took his cigar and lit the pants on fire...guess the
tower was watching and brought us to the line only to shut us off and have
words with us...
The next day we were at Deist's shop, fire suit shopping.
Jim said he had two fire suits, one with our name on the back and one
without. We couldn't afford either one, so we asked if he liked soup; we
would give him some money and soup. He said he liked soup and we brought him
SOUP. I think we went a little overboard because he used soup cases as
tables. The word got around the racing industry that if the Wells,
McCloskey, and Andersen guys needed parts, don't let them bring as much soup
as they took Deist...
About ten years ago I was at Bonneville with Jack
Mendenhall. Jim caught me and wanted some more HAMBURGER soup. Andersens has
not made hamburger soup in 30 years!
"Thru the Time Warp" (c)
The Surfers Even it Up -- Big Gene Townley
I have a short story about the Surfers. Everyone knows how clean those
guys were but they were honest also. They were one of the few teams that
Reath gave credit to and I know it was not because of their firstname.lastname@example.org
When they won Bakersfield and ran that 7.34 it was very impressive. The year
slips me (‘65 or '66), but not what they ran.
I was down at Reaths on Monday morning after the race. They came in and gave
Del the check they got for winning the race and they got just a very little
bit back. Del told me after they left that they were one of the few she gave
credit to that she never worried about. For the ones of you who know Del
Reath, you know she does not waste her time giving compliments. Del is a
nice lady but she is all business.