Today... I turn 54. I never thought I would make it this far. My old man only made it to 36. I've outlived a lot of friends, cousins and one of my kids.
All in all, I could easily hate life... but I really don't. I am a lucky bastard. Not because of fame, fortune, or whatever else comes in that lineup. Moreover because I survived and overcame. I would only change one thing, yet the rest would be left intact. It's been a pretty good ride and hopefully there will be many more miles.
The people I have met over the course of life, business and my passion for the automobile, are very diverse. I try to learn something from everyone I meet, paying attention to their details and stories. Attention paid, can sometimes be a fortune spared. In it's simplest form, fortune is usually considered to be the almighty dollar. In my terms, on a deeper plane, it is the vastness of quality in life. This week, we lost a somewhat legendary figure in racing, Joe Jacono. Now, I only met Joe once for a very scant few moments in 2008. My oft referred to" Ugly Twin Sister" Bob Rosetty, was responsible for coaxing Joe out of retirement to drive his former funny car ( restored by Rosetty) "Rollin' Stoned". Bob told me many stories about Joe and his graciousness and stand up demeanor. You could tell when you met Joe, he was one hell of a man and his presence was subtle, yet you knew this cat was the real deal. Happy Trails, Joe.
The Hippo, it's sitting in Wichita now, getting its new clothes. Unfortunately, it won't be making Barona for the inaugural Nitro Revival. I'd rather have to stall it's reappearance in the interest if a quality restoration, than to rush it out there in a less than acceptable state. So maybe, it will make the Taco Party after the March Meet in 18. This topic allows me the segue into my rant. I have purposely stayed away the last few months, from most net based forums, due to the maddening influx of people who have no clue what they are looking at or commenting on. Now, before I get labeled as a heartless prick, let me clarify. We are all fans of the pretty, shiny things and not so pretty shiny things. My beef are the window droolers who have no knowledge whatsoever about history, builders or a timeline of how things happened. Some guy will post a picture of his"barn find", of which he has convinced himself to be the greatest thing since the Mood Ring. Usually some home-built job that will never pass tech and has no business existing beyond yard art. Once our hero has announced this find to civilization, 274 people will like, love, adore and praise his find as the epitome of dragdom. His first musing is usually who may have built it, drove it, etc. The crew of experts who wouldn't know Woody or Hanna in they stepped on their toes, throw out their names as possible creators of the piece de crap. Somewhere in the midst of all this posting, pole waxing and admiration society... A builder or two, knowledgeable on the topics will chime in on some possible issues the death trap may have. These guys are usually met by a barrage of admonishment from the aforementioned mouth breathers. Being called names, having their lineage questioned and ultimately having their expertise ignored. Here's where, if you are one of the participants in these attacks on the real experts, YOU need to pay attention. Consider the input they give. While you were busy watching shows on Velocity and fantasizing you are a bike, hot rod, truck builder.... these guys have been in the shop actually getting dirty, cut, burned, bandaged and eventually rolling completed projects out the door.
When, your pals post a mediocre job that looks ok in photos, these guys aren't going to kiss their ass and tell them it could win the Ridler or Pebble Beach. More often than not, their trained eyes will be able to see something either mechanical or aesthetic that could use tweaking. Wether it be for safety purposes or just to make it look trick... they are being honest. If you are content with a Maaco paint job and a set of rims, so be it. If you are looking for adoration among the mouth breathers... that isn't hard to find either. BUT, if you really want to stand out amongst your peers. If you want to put a restoration or recreation out there, to wow the troops. Humility and taking criticism , by those in the know, is something you need to learn to take in stride and thank a guy for... when he feels generous and offers it. I know quite a few guys who don't even bother anymore, because of the fanboys. If you are overly sensitive, maybe you need to find a new hobby.
The political and social climate in this country, in the present day, leaves much to be desired. I'm not going to swim in that pool, only visiting it to express an opinion. Car people, are truly an integrated bunch. I think we need more politicians who are versed and vested in the hobby. We know how to make things work, when no one else can. We know how to stretch a buck and spring for the good things when we have to. We can appreciate a wide range of makes and models . Colors are our forte, and sometimes, the more the better. We're good bullshitters, but know it only goes so far. We;re the original recyclers and "repurposers". All in all... we need more car guys and gals! Take in a car show sometime, or a race, with someone who has never been. Afford them your knowledge and maybe they won't be like the mouthbreathers!
That's all I got.
Be good to your momma
NOSTALGIA DRAG WORLD - By Eddie Buck