His name was Billy Young. He hailed out of Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. He always showed up at the track with his son, whom he
called Little Huck, if my memory is correct. He ran an AA/FD called
Green Onions. He was an African American and looked to me to be about 6
foot 4 inches tall. At one point in time, Little Huck did the driving.
Billy was a unique character who never seemed to get ruffled at the
He towed the trailer with a big station wagon with NAACP lettered
across the doors. This was about the year 1961 or ‘62. The NAACP had
printing under the big bold main letters that read, "National
Association for the Advancement of Chrysler Plymouth." Green Onions
sported an early Hemi. Billy and friends also had a great sense of
humor. Green Onions was a fairly good running car, but seemed to be
plagued with the little things that allow the competition to go by you
for the win.
I remember one time when Huck was driving. The car sounded healthy
and left the line fairly hard. It was on a good run and I saw Huck shut
her down. I'm watching for the chute, but there was none. I notice the
car hopping around on its tires as Huck tried to get it stopped. Off
into the cornfield goes Huck and Green Onions. It appeared that he
wasn't in serious trouble, just knocking down some corn stalks as he
disappeared into them.
Billy's standing on the starting line with me watching the action.
The track's rescue team is off after Huck in the ambulance. I asked
Billy if he wanted to jump in to get to the bottom of the track. He
calmly smiled and said, "What for? He was all right when he left,
we didn't build it to stop." After the car returned, I saw that
everyone was OK. No damage done.
The next time Billy and the crew showed up at the track, we had
scheduled a wheelstander for the folks between the qualifying and actual
race. Wouldn't you know it? The guy breaks, and we have no so-called
half time show. What to do? The track decides to run a foot race for its
1320-foot racing length. We announce the foot race, and open it up to
anyone who wants to compete. First prize was a trophy and a few bucks to
About 40 or so guys and gals show up for the race along with Billy
Young. One of the guys who came to the starting line was the local area's
high school track champion. We line everyone up as best we can and we
flag them off. All I can remember to this day is Billy trucking down the
track in his engineering boots with his pants legs rolled up, right
behind the local track star who's decked out in shorts and sneakers.
Billy's right on the guy's heals all the way to the finish line. He
comes in second. I don't remember the times turned by the winner. I just
remember Billy's long legs with boots churning down that quarter mile. I
never laughed so hard in my life.
Joe McNally does the work to schedule a yearly reunion at Vargo's
Dragway. This past October, he told me that Billy was supposed to be
there. Unfortunately, Billy never showed up. Hope everything's OK. This
year, Joe is planning on the reunion again, and is hoping to have the
Lehigh Valley Timing Association members attend. It will be the 50th
reunion for the group. They started drag racing in the Lehigh Valley
area and ran at Vargo's Dragway.
So if you're available and in the area, put this one down on your
calendar. I don't think the date has been scheduled as of today. Keep
your eyes open, it will get posted on the web somewhere I'm sure. If
Billy shows up, we're not going to run another foot race. Not that we're
all too old, it's just that we'll all need to look through our piles of
junk to see if anyone has the starting flag.