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A Trrue Story: Part 3


Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:24 pm
388 Posts
A True Story. Only the Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Guilty.

The Driver

Well, I now have a race car (sort of) but I am still missing one major ingredient before I am off with my car to the race track: A Driver.

Now the city I grew up in had a population at the time of around 20,000, and was about 10 miles away from Fonda Speedway, which had started this whole trek many years ago. The city is located in the Adirondacks, and besides hunting and fishing, racing at the speedway was the major entertainment of the area. So needless to say, there were a lot of race cars that came from this city and the surrounding area. This meant that there were a lot of drivers about. Or one would think. The problem was, every driver had a car to drive. And others quite frankly, wanted nothing to do with The Sneaker.

What to do...what to do?

As I noted above, there were a lot of race cars coming out of this area. And it seemed that almost every garage/gas station had a car that they sponsored or raced themselves. One of these garages was located on West Fulton street, and I passed it many times going to the local Dairy Isle. Which meant that I spent a lot of time stopping into the garage and chatting with the owner regarding his car, and trying to soak up as much knowledge as I could as my car experience was virtually nil at the time. I had wanted to take auto shop in high school, but nooo, they wouldn't let me. I was to “smart” and needed to go to college where I would do great things! Right! With what money I would use to go to college was never really explained other then “Work hard and get a scholarship!” Right! As long as science and math weren't required, perhaps I had a shot. Me and my “C” average. Right!

OK, I am going to digress here for a brief funny side note. They had a scholarship day at the school where various schools sent in representatives and some were actually representing several schools. They would post applications for us “suckers” to fill out and submit. And, as it would happen, we, the students, were required to submit 3 applications. Now seriously, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life at that point (besides race. My baseball career went down when my elbow went down). My guidance counselor told me” Go with liberal arts! Then you can change your major when you are sure of what you want to do!”. So I randomly picked 3 applications without really looking to see what school it was or where it was located, but they had liberal arts,  and I filled them out and sent them in. Three months later I received a letter from one of the schools. It was John F Kennedy College in Wahoo, Nebraska! And in the letter it told me the following (paraphrasing here as I no longer have the letter): That they would like to welcome me their college. That their college, until that year, had been a female college only (!), And that they felt I (!) would make a great candidate to start their male/female integration and were offering me a 100% scholarship! Alas, I passed up on this great opportunity.

Now where was I? Oh yes, looking for a driver. Anyway, this garage that I “hung about” at times had a mechanic by the name of Rocky (not his real name). Rocky was a rather large man, around 6”2”, 220 pounds. One look at Rocky and you were sure you didn't want to bump into him in a dark alley at night.  The funny thing about him was, that as intimidating as he was to look at, he was very quiet spoken person. And he never made me feel like a total idiot with some of the questions I asked. During one of our conversations just bullshiting about, he had mentioned that he used to drive at Fonda and that he had several wins under his belt. Now I found that damn puzzling. He worked at a garage that had a race car. The owner of the car was Rocky's boss, yet the owner of the car actually had someone else drive the car. The guy currently driving the car was no great shakes. So why was Rocky not driving for him?

Well, I later found out why. And you know what? It just followed the script that was being forged for The Sneaker.

Now that the car was built (and look, I had no illusions to what I had for a car) and that I needed a driver for it, I stopped at the garage to see if I could get Rocky to drive the car. Or rather, readied myself to get turned down again, but hey, I was used to it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? So I waited until Rocky was alone and asked him if he would give my car a shot as a driver for it. My jaw damned near hit the ground when he looked and me and said, “Sure. Why not?”

I had a driver!!

Well, I know dear reader, that you know something bizarre is about to be told, so here it comes.

All excited that I now had a driver, I stopped by the local tavern that my dad used to stop at every night  after work (yeah, I had to drink soda. Still only 17 and he didn't need to know about my fake ID.) and gave him the news.

“Hey Dad! I got a driver for the car!”

“Really?” he responded.

I wanted to say “No, just kidding. I like to make things up” but instead I answered, “Yep, Rocky from the garage on Fulton Street. He used to drive, I asked him if he would mind driving mine, and he said OK!”

“Rocky?” he stated flatly to me. “Rocky?”

“Yep” I responded.

“Do you know the story about Rocky?” he queried?

“Yeah, he used to race before and had some wins.”

“Chief”, that was his long standing nickname for me, “Be careful around Rocky.”

“OK, I'll bite. Why?”

He then went on to tell me the history of Rocky. It goes something like this:

One night during the spring of 1965, two police officers were called to a domestic dispute at a local house. While trying to quell the dispute, one police officer pulled his gun out trying to subdue the male who was not settling down quietly. My Dad speculated the gun was pulled due to size of the officer versus the size of the unhappy male. A scuffle broke out between the male and the police officer, and the police officer took his pistol and slammed it against the head of the male. Enraged, the male struggled with the police officer, and during the struggle, the gun went off, killing the police officer. The male then took the other police officer hostage, and using the police car that they had driven to the dispute, took off with the hostage police officer in it. The car then led local police on a multi-city car chase before pulling over and surrendering to police.

Yes Dear Reader, that male that I referred to was Rocky.

So how was it he was available to drive for me? Read the following headline:

Roar sounds at Not Guilty verdict

That's correct, he was found not guilty based on his attorney's position of “self defense”. And interestingly enough, the roar was not of outrage at the verdict, but rather just the opposite. People cheered the Not Guilty verdict.

A couple of years later after he drove for me, I ran into Rocky again and I brought up the question of why he wouldn't or couldn't drive for the garage he still worked at. He explained to me that even though he had been found not guilty, many people harbored a grudge/hatred toward him, and the garage owner didn't want the negative publicity that he feared would occur if he had Rocky drive for him. And then in a move that surprised me all to hell, Rocky thanked me for giving him one last ride.

And to my knowledge, The Sneaker was Rocky's final ride.

(to be continued one more time)

Handle every stressful situation like a dog.
If you can't eat it or play with it, piss on it and walk way
Wed May 06, 2020 12:40 am
152 Posts
Good and interesting  reading Larry.

Richard Hildebrandt
AKA Corvette-fan
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Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:06 pm
12 Posts
Good Story Larry.

Greg Artlip

ASR 2015 LMV2 FIXED Series Champion

ASR 2016 CWS14 FIXED Series Champion

ASR 2020 GengBR15 FIXED Series Champion
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:25 pm
152 Posts
Was that part Three Larry?

Richard Hildebrandt
AKA Corvette-fan
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Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:48 pm
388 Posts
Yes it was

Handle every stressful situation like a dog.
If you can't eat it or play with it, piss on it and walk way
Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:22 am
35 Posts
Well how did Rocky do?
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