August 2006

August 1 -   A bittersweet day today. Firstly, it's my anniversary and I am very happily married to my lovely wife of 19 years, Roxanne. But, I hate to see August come because it is in that month I have to go back to school and, therefore, my time working on racing stuff becomes limited. There was some big news over the weekend. First, I spent considerable time on Sunday with Jerry King, The Rutland Rocket, who ran at Pico, Stateline, Vergennes, Mettowee, Fairmont, Devil's Bowl, Fonda, and more. Jerry has generously let me take his album home to scan and we will have some precious Pico Raceway shots soon. Look for updates to the Stateline Speedway page today.

Courtesy of Jerry King

King at Pico around 1951. The retaining wall was straight - the photo album was not.

       I saw Darrell Tucker over the weekend twice. Darrell comes from a race car  - building family [Royce and Lee Tucker], and he is an avid race history preservationist himself, as well as a car owner. I promised him I would stick this photo in today. Anyone know who this is or where the track was ? It looks like Vergennes except the graphics on the car are not reminiscent of any businesses or locations anywhere in the region. Looking at some photos that a friend of Darrell's took off this site and printed, I am brought to wonder how good they are to print. I think you will have real crap if you try to blow them up large. I am taking all shots, from now on, and keeping the larger versions for printing purposes, but the ones on the site ought to be printed the way they are originally downloaded or they just smell the joint up.

Courtesy of Darrell Tucker

 Who is this and where are they ? Can you help ?

         I thought I had hit another gold mine on Monday because Darrell has copies of the thought - to - be - lost Malletts Bay pictures from the late Red Dooley. Unfortunately, Darrell's are paper copier items and no good for scanning. Sharon and Steve, if you check this site out, I need to scan your originals, if that is all right.

August 2 -  I have begun putting on the photos from Jerry King. He has the beginnings of a Jerry King page now. I also updated the Site Navigation page a bit. I added a link to the Three Wide Picture Vault on my Links page.

August 7 -  I had the good fortune of running into Biggy, columnist from Caledonia County, and he sent me some rare photos from the ancient Webster Flats race track between Lyndonville, Vermont and Sheffield. The track looks to be very informal and quite unsafe. I will do a small Webster Flats page. Thanks Biggy.   
    I brought my Fairmont Speedway album to Devils Bowl Sunday night. We had quite a few of the old hands gathered around one of the picnic tables reminiscing. Dave Wood said exactly the same thing Darrell Tucker always says when he sees these kinds of shots: it gives him goose bumps. We had Dave Wood, David McMahan, J. C. Hyde, Terry Morris, Mike Richards and a bunch more guys I didn't know.

Bill Ladabouche Photo
A 45 year mystery was solved Sunday night when Dave Wood pronounced that
this little nightmare belonged to his brothers, Ronnie and Lennie. Talk about
fabrication technology !

It was most amusing to see the younger guys look at the pictures and you could see them wondering who the hell would want to drive one of those things. Hyde said it best - racing was just more fun back then.

August 8 -  I had an inspiration and created the Art Rousseau page - for those from the Southern New England area. I followed comments from Dave Morse and Cho Lee, and I was able to use the Terraserver satellite system to find the old Concord race track in Concord, Vermont.
    Can anyone help with who this number 6 might be ? The car is seen at Stateline and Pico speedways in the early 1950's.
At Pico Raceway in Rutland, around 1951        At Stateline Speedway, North Bennington, 1950's.

August 10 -  I made an adjustment to the All - Star Sportsman Shows information on both the Fairmont Speedway and Otter Creek Speedway pages. In reference to Darrell T

August 13 -  I made an additions to the Fairmont Speedway page. I added a 1964 CVRA calendar front, a Jerry King photo, and a Ralph Soulia photo. I was saddened to hear of the death of Dicky Moody, Wes'  and Kathy's son and former Airborne driver. I am not sure when I will see Wes again, so I hope someone can express my condolences to him for me.

August 13 -  I made a few updates on dates and information on the Malletts Bay Speedway page. Nothing too earthshaking.

August 20 -  I want to thank the people who are regular visitors to this site. It makes me feel really good. Things will be a little slow here for a while because I have a daughter getting married this week. Although school is starting up soon, I will try to keep updating as best I can. Thanks, Bill.

August 27 -  The Saturday night show at Airborne yielded some unexpected successes in the long pursuit of racing history - especially keeping the history accurate. I had headed over to the hauler of Warrensburg's Terry Hayes, in the hopes that he was actually related to a driver I believe came from Warrensburg in the 1950's and 1960's - Sonny Hayes. That ended up in a dead end street. However, in Hayes' hauler was a veritable treasure trove of new potential data.

                 Bill Ladabouche Photo                                               Cavalcade of Auto Racing Photo
Ralph Palmer with one of his earlier cars, when he lived in Pittsford, Vermont.

                First, I met Bruce Keith, who knows a lot about the history of the old Warrensburg track. What's more, Bruce's mother is one of those women who, in being an active race scorer in the old days, kept a lot of data and materials from the era. If that was not enough, it just happened, by pure coincidence, that this night was the one and only time Queensbury, NY's Ralph Palmer had decided to drive up Interstate 87 and see Airborne. Palmer was a very active figure in the late 1950's and 1960's  - around Fairmont, Lebanon Valley, and all the other tracks in that region.
               Between Bruce and Rapid Ralph, we should have a bunch of new info. I have considerable more to do on the Pico page, the Jerry King page, and I might have a Ralph Palmer page. I want to apologize to the readers of my column for the condition of some of the photos therein. I have only recently discovered how to avoid screwing them up for print quality. I have put Ralph into the Fairmont page, as well as a few other photos. In particular, I added a shot of early CVRA officials and one of Ray Richards, brother of CJ..
                    Tonight, I have put up some of the most exciting pictures I have received in two years - the Pico Raceway track pictures given to me by Jerry King. Anyone who knew Pico or realizes how miraculous it is to actually have pictures from what we thought was a totally forgotten race track can share in that excitement. Catamount fans, try not to be discouraged. I will try to put up some stuff on those pages soon. That area of the site is so big, it is hard from me to know what shots I have acquired have not made it in yet.

August 28 -  I just received the sad news that Quebec [and all of us in the racing world] have lost Francois Chausse, the man I called "The Beaver Dragon of Quebec". Chausse was always a quiet man around Catamount, probably because he spoke little or no English. But, the loudest testament to his greatness and the esteem with which he was regarded is the fact that his is one of the largest sections on Pascal's "Les Pistes et Les Pilotes" site which covers the history of Quebec racing. I never actually met Francois, but I admired him and I extend my deepest sympathies to son, Andre and the Chausse family.

Photos from the Pascal "Magnum" site, Courtesy of Christian T--Gaz Genest

The photo on the left is how I remember Chausse best, with the Beliveau #B45. The righthand photo is a promo for the Martinsville race around 1978.



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