We're racing through history!
In Feb of 2011 I walked through the doors of a place that "I've always wanted to check out". When I walked into that building, I stood there flashing back to a time in my life when I didn't have mortgages, family responsibilities, careers.....all the things that happened when I was forced to grow up. I was suddenly in a place where it was okay to be young again. As a matter of fact, the contents and the people INSIST that you bring your memories with you.
For every story I could tell I've heard a hundred more so I can't add any overwhelming tales. Mine are the same as all of the people I met. Hydroplanes always has been associated with festive occasions and my family history in the Seattle area back in the day revolves many times around either being at the races or watching them. But that's where it ends with most of you as far as I'm concerned, because It took me till 54 years old to chase a dream. And that is to be able to participate in Unlimited Hydroplane Racing.
When I showed up I was all hot to trot on being a part of the restoration crew of the 58 Bardahl.......weeks later I had to admit to Greg and others that my body wasn't holding up very well and that I couldn't do that kind of work safely. Ken noticed I was feeling kinda down about it and all he told me to do was to "hang in there and wait till the schedule starts filling up and you can jump on board in another area". So......I showed up at a few HARM events and before I knew it I was shaking hands with people I used to idolize. And so many more people that I've either seen, read about or heard of. How great is it to meet someone you've always admired with a hearty hand shake and a smile? So I decided right then and there the best place for a big mouth like me is at the Merchandise Tent.
I made each and every road trip with HARM and I want to thank each and every one of you for making a new guy feel welcome. You took care of my questions, you allowed me to share some laughs with you. I attended some of the banquets and there too.......you made me feel welcomed. I was proud when the boats were "Crankin" and I hurt right along with you when you saw too much beach. I got to relay a lot of information to people on behalf of you folks and the museum and it was easy to put out that kind of effort after watching how much you men and women put into your crafts. I truly hope I was helpful and that I didn't ruffle too many feathers.
I loved our own events for obvious reasons.......but I also loved paling around with H1 in Tri-Citites and Seattle. Tri-Cities got a great show whereas Seattle chose to ignore it's own history. (still not bitter am I?) Because of that association I got to be an H1 official at Bayfair at Mission Bay. How crazy is that?.......February I have a broom and dustpan at the Museum and in September I'm mounting on board cameras onto the turbines. But I have to say without question.....the BEST road trip was Coeur d'Alene. You men and women who made that trip put on a fantastic show there. I was very proud to be a part of that.
Thank you's to:
David Williams for giving a loudmouth a second chance
Ken for not letting me get down on myself
Bob Senior for his friendship, generosity and thinking enough of me to attend some important functions
Park for tolerating this new guy
Denise for keeping me in the loop and encouraging me
I am grateful to have been able to work side by side with all of you. You allowed an old battered hydro fan an opportunity to go back to my youth and enjoy something that I've always wanted to be a part of.......The Thunderboats!!!! I'll see those that'll be at the Qatar slumber party there.....jammies on and ready to rock.