Yesterday was just a typical "day at the races" for the Columbia Speedway.
Jerry Sims
Sunday April 26 2009, 9:30 AM
Typical for me in the fact that........................there was something going on at a track and I just had to be there...........working hard to get the cars ready and loaded in time and still showing up late................getting to hang out with old friends and make some new ones......................crashing a few cars and bringing them home in pieces, but only about 6 LOL....................Looking forward to the show while loading up to go.................dreading the unpacking when you get back home as you load everthing back up for the tripback home.................Sharing a wonderful day at the track with some of the greatest people in the world............And last but not least, after remembering that I was at this same track on opening night forty years ago, learning some fifty plus years ago, one of the great truths, that there's NO better people in the world than racing people!My son and I want to thank Jeff and the whole gang for inviting us and for him and everybody else making us feel so welcome yesterday. I had a wonderful day manning the model display and meeting and talking with all the people that stopped by to visit and bench race. My son had an even larger time (if that is possible) hanging out with all the racing pioneers and shooting pictures of race cars and racing people. I guess it could have been his second time at Columbia Speedway too. The race I attended was the season opener in '69 and he was born about 9 months later. You could maybe say "he wasn't big as a minute" the last time he was there and really be right on the money, LOL.He has succeeded me as track photographer at the two race tracks he grew up at and, even though I might be just a wee bit prejudiced, he really takes some great pictures, with race cars his speciatly. He promised me that after he has a couple of days to get everything downloaded and posted on his site that he's got a boatload of pics from the Reunion to share with ya'll.And since I manned the display ALL DAY and didn't get to "walkabout" and see everything (hey son, you feel guilty yet? LOL) I too am looking forward to seeing them.One of my old racing driver friends once summed it up for me in a way that I will always remember and be grateful for, spending the rest of my life trying to live up to. While looking over my model display he looked me in the eye and said, "fate picks what happens in life and I'm glad it picked you as the "keeper of the flame". So many would try to make money off these memories but you just want to keep them alive." Just so that you won't think that either of us were "putting on airs", he also told me and several others during the course of the show we were working that, speaking of the current crop of drivers, " this new crop of drivers with their fancy rigs and big purses were soppin' up today's gravy with the buscuits that the oldtimers cooked."Again, thanks to everybody who came by and bought a photo disc, checked on us to make sure we felt at home and to the ones who just stopped by to say hello and check out the models. I enjoyed everyone who stopped by but, as usual, the ones I appreciate most are the kids, from just staring to walk to all the way to the young at heart walking with a cane. They come by and stop at the showcase with a sense of wonder in their eyes and an innocence of the heart as they are either awed by all the little cars they see or lost in the memories of all the good times and good friends that the models bring back.We really enjoyed hanging out with ya'll on a "Chamber of Commerce perfect" weather day, I guess that God must be a race fan too, and look forward to the next one and hope we get to participate. Thanks again to Jeff for looking out for us and, because I'm lousy remembering names and don't want to leave anyone out, thanks to the whole crew who not only made us feel so much at home but totaly ressurected the "Finishing School of Competition" that so many great driver honed their skills at, called simply, "COLUMBIA SPEEDWAY"!
Devin
@devin   13 years ago
Hi Jerry,It was great to meet you and see your collection. I have over 100 photos to go through as I'm sure your son does. Some are digital and some have to be developed later today. I will slowly add them during the next few days.I am looking forward to viewing "Echoes of Thunder" today! Thank you for being here.Take care.
Jerry Sims
@jerry-sims   13 years ago
I really enjoyed meeting you and getting in some "bench racing". Hope you enjoy the "Echoes of Thunder" pictures. Let me know if you liked them.
Curtis W Vaughn
@curtis-w-vaughn   13 years ago
JerryMany thanks to you again for the CD and for adding your display to help make a great day for us fans to revisit a place that has so many fantastic memories. I could just imagine some of the days when the real cars your models depicted cranked up in the pits & headed out onto that famed dirt oval.
Jerry Sims
@jerry-sims   13 years ago
I am very glad that you enjoyed the CD but it is I who owes the thanks to you and to everyone who worked so hard to make the day a success. It's been a long time since I have displayed my cars and even if I need to build some new cases it was really a pleasure to get out among racers with them again. I had almost forgotten just how much fun it was. I'm already planning on starting some new cases and cars in a few days so I'll be ready for next year.
Mike Sykes
@mike-sykes   13 years ago
Jerry I to did not get to walk about a great deal but I didnt get to see you and I regret not getting to talk to you. Hopefully you can come to Hillsboro NC in August 29th show and stay for the OTRC banquet.
Jerry Sims
@jerry-sims   13 years ago
Mike, I really hate I missed you. I still have pics and wonderful memories of the very first OTRC awards banquet (my OTRC license plate you gave me is hanging in my den in a place of honor) back in the early '90's and would love to come up. I just checked the I-77 Speedway schedule and that is an off weekend so I'll start making plans immediately.I'm planning on some new showcases for the models and new packaging for the photo CDs so let me know if you want me to bring the cars. The photo CDs have around 2000 images and we can work up an arrangement to sell them and donate a portion to the club if you want.