Land Speed Racing Newsletter #388

Land Speed Racing Newsletter #388
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THE SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS Newsletter.  Issue #388. 
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Mary Ann Lawford, www.landspeedracing.com   
PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY: Jim Miller, 1-818-846-5139
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Richard Parks, [email protected]  
PHOTOGRAPHIC Editor of the Society: Roger Rohrdanz, [email protected]
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA REPORTER: Spencer Simon, [email protected]
FIELD REPORTER/HISTORIAN: Bob Falcon, [email protected]
HISTORIANS: Anna Marco, Dick Martin, Burly Burlile, Jerry Cornelison, Robin Millar, Ora Mae Millar
IN MEMORIAM: Wally Parks, Tex Smith, Tom Medley, Lee Blaisdell, Eric ‘Rick’ Rickman (editors and photographers)
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GUEST EDITORIAL, by Dan Warner.
     Issue #387 of the newsletter is okay except for two things I saw in the Callaway story.  George is not a member of the 200 club at Bonneville or El Mirage.  There is a sentence referring to Eddie Miller Jr.  The comment in the article indicates that Jim Miller is Eddie's father, and it really goes the other way around.  Dan Warner
President, Bonneville 200 MPH Club.
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     Sadly Ed Newett passed away in his sleep last night (January 10, 2016).  Ed ran a roadster in SCTA in the late 1940's with the Outriders Club.  Later Ed brought back the Outriders as a street rod club.  Ed also ran a roadster #808 SCTA/BNI with the Eliminators Club.  Doug Wilson
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------George Phillips October 27, 1946 – December 26, 2015 
     George LaMarche Phillips of Upland, a retired racing and publications manager at the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), died December 26 at the age of 69.  He was born October 27, 1946 in Los Angeles.  He graduated from San Fernando High School in 1964.  He enlisted in the United States Air Force and served as a survival instructor. He was honorably discharged in 1970 with the rank of Staff Sergeant.  After attending Los Angeles Valley College he completed a bachelor’s of arts degree in journalism and mass communications at San José State University in 1975.  George married Catherine “Cathy” Bergesch O’Hara in October 1977. 
     After college, he worked at his father Pat Phillips’ gas station until he read a 'Bits from the Pits' article requesting applicants for an editor position at the National Hot Rod Association's publication National Dragster.  During his career at NHRA he traveled across the US spring-boarding the Junior Drag Racing Program.  He made two trips to Japan helping develop drag racing there. George was an accomplished, self-taught cabinetmaker.  He and Cathy loved a variety of live music, attending festivals all over California.  They also enjoyed deep-sea fishing and made trips to Baja California, Southern California and Alaska. 
     He was preceded in death by his parents Pat and Georgia Phillips of Pacoima and his brother Wayne Phillips of Simi Valley.  He is survived by Cathy Phillips, his wife of 38 years, his children Kathy O’Hara and Michael Phillips, and sister Leah Frankenberg. In addition, survivors include nieces Dawn, Dori, Jenny May, Sara, Beth, Georgia May and Candice, and nephews Jeff and Randy.  A celebration of life will be held January 9 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Life Bible Fellowship Church, 2426 N. Euclid Ave., Upland 91784. George requested informal and colorful attire at his celebration — think dolphins with sunglasses.  In lieu of flowers, friends are encouraged to donate to a favorite charity or one of those listed on the NHRA’s website: http://www.nhra.com/community.aspx.  Friends who wish to contact the family with questions may send messages to [email protected].
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     My race truck will be on display at the Grand National Roadster Show in January 2016.  It will be part of the SCTA land speed display.  It was quite an honor to be selected and should be great fun.  If you think it is a good idea, please let the other members know that the Gold Coast Roadsters and Racing Club will be represented.  Charlie Burns (sent in by Evelyn Roth)
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     My younger brother and only sibling, David Lee Parks, passed away on 8 January 2016, at his home in Corona Del Mar, California.   Here are some tributes to him that were sent to me.
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     Oh dear God!  So so so sorry.  Al and Jane Teague (SCTA)
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     I am just without words to describe my surprise and dismay to hear of your brother David's passing. As always, words are insufficient, there is nothing that I can say that would help to lessen the pain you are experiencing now. I never had any siblings, so I have no idea what the emotions must be regarding David's tragic loss, but I do know the anguish of losing someone close, and you never become indifferent, and it never hurts any less, no matter how many times we are forced to repeat the grim and final scenario that we call death.
     I will be eternally thankful that you brought David to our shop Christmas Party, it was great seeing him, and spending time with him reminiscing about days at OCIR, and I think that David really did have a good time while he was here that evening.  We had some really good laughs over some of his comments when I'd pick up time slips at the time slip booth. I'd come back from a run, and since the cool down area was right adjacent to the time slip booth, I'd pull the race car up to the grates, open up the hood, or take the hood off, depending on what type of car it was, get the water started to cool the engine down, then go over to get my time slip. 
     David would hand me the time slip, but not before he would comment on it, because he knew that since I was running Super Stockers, and in those days, with NHRA, we didn't have class indexes like they use now, we raced off of the National Record for that particular class, so the farther under the record you could make a car run, the better off you were when it came time to qualify at a National event.  David knew and understood this, and he knew how important that time slip was to us, it told the story right then and there, if we were headed in the right direction. Or not. David's comments would run the gamut; it was either "well, you got it runnin' pretty good, huh?", or; "looks like you've got a lot of work to do!" or; "c'mon now, I know you can do better than that!", "if you go any faster with that thing, all it's gonna need are a pair of wings for the takeoff!". But always with a smile. Like you, I'm going to miss that smile.
     One of my main regrets in this life is that we lose too many too soon, and how much we would love to go back in time to be able to regain some of the moments that we spent with them.  I can't share the moments that are important to you with regards to David, but I can tell you that I held the same admiration for his strength of character that you do, and can only wish that he were still with us.
     Godspeed, David, you were one of the good guys.  Bob Small (dragracer)
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     My great sympathy for you and your families - Truly too much hardship for you.  God bless you and your family - Spencer Simon and family (car guy)
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      I'm so saddened to hear this news. You and your family are in our prayers. Sincerely Brian Brennan (car editor)
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      Please accept my sincere regrets for the death of your brother David. It does not matter that I had not known him. We all feel your loss. As John Donne said, Every man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Take some time off from the rest of the world. Tom Condran (car guy)
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     I am so sorry to learn of Davis's passing.  I will remembers him in my prayers this morning.  Bill Bader Senior (dragracer)
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     So sorry to hear of David's passing Richard.  I remember spending time with David at El Mirage with Ak's Firebird or Camaro years ago.   Dick Martin (car writer)
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     I'm so so sorry to hear about your brother David. Big bear hug squeeze to you. Much love to your family.  Anna Marco (car writer)
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     I am deeply sorry for your and your families loss in your brother.  I have lost my parents, but not yet a sibling, so I won't try to pretend how it feels, but I do know you will miss him dearly.  Please extend my condolences to all involved.  Bernard Degruchy (friend)
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     Again.....an ole saying with lots of truism built in: "Acorns do not fall far from the tree that gives them the gift of life."  Fortunate are those who come from "strong trees"! I and my family have recovered from the deep grief & sadness of the loss of significant family members by replacing sadness with the celebration of the life well lived. The legacy of the support system that has been part of your family from its origin will be a comfort to you as you adjust to life without the benefits derived from the loss of this important family member who received the benefits of "falling close to the strong tree that gave him life." Heartfelt Best Wishes for you and all your Family, Claudia Hanlon (friend)
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      Sorry to hear of your loss. Joanie and I will keep you and your family in our prayers.  Take care of your health, Dan Warner, President, Bonneville 200 MPH Club (SCTA)
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     I’m so very sorry to hear the sad news.  I can’t imagine what all of you are going through right now.  I know that David will be missed by his loving family and friends.  63 is much much too young to pass.  I’m very sorry, but words just aren’t enough at a time like this, but please know that I’m thinking of all of you.  All my best, Leila Fenberg (NHRA)
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    Your brother's sudden passing is heart breaking.  Concentrating only on the good memories that you shared with David may be consoling, but nothing will ever ease the pain of losing him.  A part of him will always be in your heart.  Our sympathy and condolences are truly heartfelt over David's passing.  We are here for you if we can do anything to comfort you and your family.  As always, Carole and Gunther (friends)
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     Paulette, Gina and I are saddened to hear this news as well as surprised as you must have been. If we can do anything to help at this time please let us know. I have transferred your email to a Word Document and stored that under Tara & Mike’s file on my hard drive so they can have a personal copy back-up to theirs if they make a copy. I appreciate your advice about writing a personal story. Like you and Epi, this month I celebrate 72 years on this planet.  While we have done much in Personal History of deceased relatives with their stories, we have yet to complete your advice to David for ourselves. Because of this event, and the unpredictability of life, we will move that project to the front burner. So sorry for your loss. Greg & Paulette Hafen.  (family)
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      We are so sorry to hear this news.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.  Fondly, Elaine and Steve Hale (family)
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     I am so sorry to hear this.  I lost my former wife on Thanksgiving day and my longtime friend Richard Heath (Full Throttle News) last month, it has been a rough two months and your loss is very personal.  Let’s hope that the rest of 2016 will be kinder.   Stormy Byrd (dragracer)
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     Words cannot convey the feelings of loss as well as you have written.  Thank you for sharing David's story.  I, too, have a younger brother, David Gale Howells.  Perhaps your mom named David Lee after her Uncle, my grandfather, David James Howells.  (My middle name is Lee as well.)  A bit of commonalities over the years and miles.

     May the sweet memories you share give solace to the hole he leaves in his passing.  I pray that the knowledge of eternal life will also soothe.  Blessings to you and the rest of the Parks family, Naida Lee Howells Webb (family)
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     We are shocked and extremely saddened to hear of David's passing.   Keeping you, Barbara, Mari, Tamara and the whole Parks Family in our thoughts and prayers.  If there is anything we can do please ask, we are here for each of you.  With our deepest sympathy and love, Bob and Laura Parks (family)
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     So sorry to hear about your brother!  Best wishes to you and his family!  Megan Abbott (family)

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    Shocked and saddened at your loss. Thank you for all your efforts to keep family together. It's greatly appreciated.  John and Joan Hulihan (family)

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     I'm so sorry to hear about your brother, David.  Our condolences and prayers go out to you and David's family.  Had David been ill long or what happened?  I remember David, but unfortunately didn't have much interaction with him, although we were close to the same age, he being one year younger than me.  I was always a bit jealous of him living only blocks from the beach.  Thanks for sharing his life's story.  You are right in saying we all need to write our life's story, since we never know when our time is up.  Thanks for all you do.  God bless you all.  Dan Farley and family (2nd cousin)

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     I'm so sorry to hear of David's sudden passing!  I hope all the family will be comforted.  Love, Janie Ward (family)

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     Sorry to hear of your loss.  I look forward to reading your brothers bio.  Jeff Garvin (friend)
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     We send our love to you at this very sad time.  Our mortal life ends abruptly sometimes, and then, other times, days, months and often years of suffering.  So many of our friends are gone, a reminder to live each second with joy and gratitude.  We will never forget David.  Loved reading his story, thanks for sharing. John and Diane Ziebarth (family)

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      UGH!  So sorry. Dave Wallace Jr (car photographer)
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     Another sobering loss today.  Wally Parks' youngest son, David Lee Parks, died yesterday at the age of 63.  His brother, Richard, passed the news along, but gave no specifics.  David did not have much to do with NHRA, but did some dry lakes and Bonneville racing.  He and Wally were much closer in later years.  Sad news.  Steve Gibbs (NHRA)
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     We are so sorry to hear about the passing of your brother.  I know that he will be greatly missed.  I hope it will be some comfort knowing that you have many wonderful memories of good times together.  Our deepest sympathy is extended to you and your family.  Carolyn, Henry, and Bryan McCoy (Parks family relative)

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     I am deeply saddened to learn that your dear brother David has passed away.  We are close Parks cousins, and the loss is felt by all of us!  God bless you and your family and help you in your grief.  Thank you for sharing your wonderful biography. 

Charlotte Ostadal (family)

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    Thank you for the newsletter and biography of your brother.  I am so sorry to hear of your loss.  It is so difficult to lose a loved one.  Sincerely, Jean Churchill (Parks' relative)
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     I am so sorry to hear of Dave's passing.  He will be missed by all.  God Speed David.

Glen Barrett (SCTA)
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     Our heartfelt sorrow of the news of David.  What can we do to help you through this tough time.  You were here for us when dad passed.  That meant so much.  Our heart, prayers, love to all of you.  We love you.  Robin and Orah Mae Millar. (car people)

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     So sorry to hear of your younger brother, David, passing away. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of the Parks family.  Racer Roy C. Morris (car writer)
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      I am so very sorry to hear the news about David.  He always had a kind word and we would enjoy a chat whenever we ran into each other.  Last time I saw him was at the Mojave Magnum with the famous Plymouth, doing one of the things he loved to do.  That is how I will remember him.  Deepest condolences to you and all the Parks Family.  Jerry Cornelison (SCTA racer)
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     Sorry to here about your brother. Dema Elgin (cam grinder-car guy)

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      I'm sooooooo sorry you lost your brother so young.   Thank you for taking the time to write us.  Della Wood (drag racer)

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     So sorry to hear about your brother; my condolences to you and your family on the loss of your brother.  I never met David, but I understand the grief you are experiencing. It's never easy to lose a loved one, as I can attest. Lee and Judy Kelley (car editor)

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     So sorry for your loss.  You have my deepest sympathy.  Betty Richards (Parks relative)

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     Sorry...Ken Walkey (SCTA)
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     My sincere and loving thoughts go out to you and all of David's family.  Someone so young to be taken from his family is truly a sadness that will be hard to endure.  I know the Parks' family will share in this time of mourning with the many stories of his life. Again, my thoughts and prayers are with you at the loss of a dear brother.  Alice Hanks (Sam Hanks widow, Indy 500 winner)
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     So sad, David was here last spring working on dad's Plymouth, he looked great.  Now this, so very sad and you and the family have my sympathy.  Do you have an address where I can mail a card to?  I will be unable to attend the service as I am going to another service for my assistant from McMullen-Argus, she died Christmas of heart problems.  Hugs, Carmen Zig (Price) (Zig Magnetos)

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     I was so saddened to hear of David’s passing.  Quite unexpected, but again, don’t get to see David as much as when your Dad was alive.  Is there any favorite charity or anything other than flowers the Museum can send?  I will not be able to come to the service personally, but the Museum does want to send something to you and the family. Sincerely, Rose Dickinson (NHRA)
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     My deepest condolences to the family on the loss of your brother.  It saddens me when I hear of the demise of one so young.  I  trust that the family can cope and understand that we are not the judges in our births and deaths.  Sincerely and fondly, Rory Leveroni (family friend)

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     Dear Parks family, I am sorry to read this.  Please accept our condolences.  Fr James Thornton (family friend)

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     I'm really, really sorry to hear of David's passing.  Alex and Helen Xydias (Wally's good friend)

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     Rest in peace David.  Take care.  Albert Wong (car guy)
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     My deepest condolences to you and your family on the loss of your brother.  Sixty three is indeed far too young to lose a sibling.  My older sister was that age when she passed several years ago.  Thanks for letting us know.  Best regards, Ken Parks (relative)

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     Sadly Ed Newett passed away in his sleep last night (January 10 2016).  Ed ran a roadster in SCTA in the late 1940's with the Outriders Club.  Later Ed brought back the Outriders as a street rod club.  Ed also ran a roadster # 808 SCTA/BNI with the Eliminators Club.  Doug Wilson (car guy)

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     Sincerest condolences to Barbara and children for the loss of David.  Shocked to receive this news.  Thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time.  May God Bless.  Cathie Pa'ala (Epi's cousin)

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     I am saddened to hear that news as I have a great respect for the Parks family.  Back in 2009 or 2010 David’s daughter Tamara won her first drag race in my 1977 Camaro (she beat a big block 1972 Chevelle SS). I heard she was going to be at the races that weekend and I couldn’t wait to meet her. This was a year or so after Wally had passed away and I never had the chance to meet him so I figured meeting Tamara and allowing her to make a run in my car was as close to meeting Wally as I would ever get, boy I was wrong. A few weeks after Tamara won her race, her Parents (David & Barb) along with sister Mari Bell came to Ketchikan Alaska to visit Tamara (she was working here for the summer). The next thing I know they are all coming out to the shop to see the car that Tamara drove. David especially liked the car because it was very similar to the car he drove at Bonneville. We were very excited to meet the Parks family and enjoyed our time with them tremendously, they are wonderful people. Again, my sincere condolences to the Parks family. Sincerely, Gary Webb (Alaskan family friend)
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     So sorry to hear of David's passing.  We will try to come to the funeral.  Love, Paula & Lois & family.  (Howells relatives)
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     Condolences and prayer sent.  God Speed.  Steve Baker (cars)

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     R.I.P. David!  Go Fast w/Angels!  Viola Arnett (SCTA and Drag racing)
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      I’m so sorry to hear of this tragic news.  He was so young.  Our deepest sympathies go out to you and your family, please accept our deepest, heartfelt condolences from my brothers, Cary, JC Jr and myself.  It’s just so sad.  We are deeply saddened by the loss of your little brother.   Chris Agajanian (oval track racing family)

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     So sorry for the loss of your brother.  God bless you and all of your family.  Please take care.  The Hartelt family.  Susan and Ron Whitney (SCTA and dragracing)

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     So sorry to hear of his passing; our deepest condolences to the entire family.  Love, Ron & Anna Winship (racing family)
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     Dang, so sorry to hear that.  It certainly was way too soon.  I guess we can only console ourselves with memories of the good, interesting, and, sometimes, challenging times we've had with our loved ones.  My thoughts are with you and your family. Benn Karne (racing)
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     Sorry for your loss, thoughts and prayers to you.  RIP.  Phil Whetstone (pinstriper and artist)

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     Please relay this to his family: The passing of David caught everyone off guard, seems like yesterday he was here in the magneto shop telling us about restoring his dad's Plymouth.

Our prayers go out to his family and he will be missed in the industry.  My deepest sympathy

Carmen, Don Zig's wife

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     Very sorry to hear that Richard.  My condolences.  Howie Zechner (motorcycles)
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     So sorry to hear of your loss; with sympathy.  Mark Brinker (rare car collector)

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     I'm sorry to get the news about such a young man's passing, but we are glad you took the time to let us know.  If there is anything you need, just let us know.  Regards, Dicken Wear, CEO Competition Engineering & Dana Marino, (John Force's Sister).

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     I was sorry to hear of the death of your brother.  It is always hard to lose a member of a close family, but I think it is especially hard to lose a younger sibling.  It seems sort of out of the normal order of things.  I lost my only sibling, my sister who was two years younger than me, some years ago now.  I was with her, holding her hand, when she died. It was a very tough time for me, as it was for her three grown children.  I was glad I could be there for them at that time.  I'm sure you are, and will, go through a lot of that same stuff with the death of your brother.  Time heals of course, but I believe that as long as one is alive in someone's memory, that person is still with us.  And you are absolutely right about writing one's own life story sooner rather than l ater. My thoughts are with you and your family.  Lethene Parks

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     I had just read this news a few moments ago.  I was saddened to learn of David’s passing, and would like to offer you and the family my sincerest condolences.  Best regards, Steve Cole (cars)
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      I am so sorry to learn of your family's loss.  I'll pass it on to my club brothers and sisters in the San Diego Roadster Club and the Road Ramblers of San Diego.
Sincerely, Gordie Clausen, Pres. of the Road Ramblers/member of SDRC

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     Sorry to hear of your loss, my condolences to you and your family.  Sincerely, Daryl Boothe (drag racer)

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     Sorry to hear of the passing of your brother Richard.  Please accept  my condolences.

Ken Berg (racing historian)
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     I was out of town and did not have your email address with me when I heard the news. I tried to email you but for some reason it would not work.  I am so sad over this. You know I loved David.  I hope you are doing ok.  I have been told your health is not good either.  I hope you can make it better.  I am still doing what I love with NHRA and other organizations. I am very busy.  Doctor says I will live to be over 100 as I keep my brain very busy. I hope so.  I am 80 and will turn 81 in April and still going strong.  Take care my friend, and again I am so sorry for your loss of your brother.  Eileen Daniels
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     I am so sorry to hear of your loss.  You and your family are in my thoughts.  Best to you, David Dickinson (car writer)
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     I'm very sorry to read about your brother passing. My condolences to you and his family.  Doug Clem (car guy)

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     This is a shock to the Land Racing community, I sure enjoyed knowing David for many years, he will be missed and never really replaced, I worked with him some on the SCTA Coupe/Sedan race committee for many years, his knowledge and wisdom can not be replaced.  My prayers and condolences go to his family and friends, respectfully, Dave Bloomberg 

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     I am so sorry to hear about your brother's sudden death.  Please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.  Joan Denver (cars)

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     Alex Xydias called me today and told me about your brother. To say the least I am in complete disbelief and shock. I just took him for a ride in my new truck last week. I spoke with Mari and got the details for Saturday. Alex asked me to tell you that with Helen in poor health he cannot attend but he told me that he really liked your brother and they spoke often after your fathers passing. Of course our family extends sympathy to your family and please let me know if I can do anything for you. David and I had great plans for our years ahead as neighbors at 711 W 17th and lots of fun projects to complete. I will miss him.  Best Regards, Charles Rollins

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     So sorry.  Mike and Jeri Chiavetta (Huntington Beach car guy)

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    I am so sorry to hear of the sudden loss of your brother.   You have my deepest condolences.  You and your family will be in my prayers.  I pray that you will be consoled by your friends and family and all the good memories you have of your brother.  I know he will be watching over all of you from above and will be in your hearts forever.  We will post something about him on our FB page this week.  With deepest sympathy, Robin Broidy (movie producer)

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     Very sorry for your loss.  Kathy Weida, Las Vegas, NV (Dan Gurney Racing)

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     I'm so sorry to hear of your family's loss.  You have my deep sympathy.  Catie Burke (Bill Burke's widow dry lakes days with Wally)

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     I am so sorry for your loss.  I just don’t have the words.  James “Grumpy” Donoho. Bungholers of Hollywood.

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     I am so sorry to hear your news of David's passing.  Our prayers go out to you and the family.  Jana and Rick Yost (Chic Saffell's daughter)

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      Sorry for your loss.  My condolences to you and the family.  Warm regards, Dan Fleisher (writer)

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     I am sorry to hear about your family loss.  My condolences to you and the family in your time of mourning.  What a grand reunion it must be for father and son to reunite once again.  I am sure he will be missed but not forgotten.  Truest regards, Chris Eichert (cars)

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     So sorry to hear about your brother; my condolences to you and your family on the loss of your brother.  I never met David, but I understand the grief you are experiencing.  It's never easy to lose a loved one, as I can attest.  Please take all the time you need; I'll still be here when you're ready to continue.  Lee and Judy Kelley

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     I'm so sorry for your loss.  My sincere condolences.  He died way too young!  Ken Freund  (editor and writer)
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     So sorry to hear about David.  I will keep him, his family and yours in my prayers.  I was thankful for the time we got to spend together.  Sincerely, Bob Frey (TV announcer)

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     I can't find his bio on that site.  I could also use a photo please.  Send more info?  Thanks.  Andrew Hartwell (AARWBA editor)

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     I am so sorry to hear about David, and please accept my condolences on the loss of your brother.  I always liked him, and appreciated his unassuming ways.  We shared a common bond in “Schneider,” the 1967 VW bug I traded your dad for (I got a VW dune buggy out of the deal, but it really was a piece of Barris-built crap) and David drove the VW for many years.  I would have attended the service out of respect to your family, but will be out of town.  Take care.  Bill Holland (writer and PR consultant)

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     I was saddened to hear this news ... wish you and your family all the best during this most difficult time.  Take care, Mike Jones (OCIR)

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     Sorry for your loss - may he rest in the Peace of the Lord!  "I don't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul," TobyMac.  Bill Johnson, Ohio (car and boats)

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     I am so sorry to hear this sad news. My condolences to your family for your loss. I will remember David fondly from when we were children. The Lords blessing be with you all.  Duane "Buck" Heath (Old Laguna Beach Ward member and son of Ruthellyn Heath)

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     I read with deep understanding about your sense of loss.  If I were closer, I’d come give you a hug.  Until I see you again, please accept “cyber” version temporarily.  All I can offer is that as long as you continue to tell his story, keep him relevant to your life somehow, he will poignantly touch you still.  Speedy Regards, LandSpeed Louise Ann Noeth (land speed personality)

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     My sincere condolences on the loss of your brother.  Tim Kennedy (journalist and writer)

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     I am very sorry for your and your extended families loss.  I met your brother more than 40 years ago.   He had a wonderful sense of humor and a good smile.  Tim Kraushaar (Weed, car guy)

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      This is very sad news.  I am totally stunned.  My sincere condolences to you and his family.  Thank you for this notice.  I unfortunately will not be able to attend the service, I travel tomorrow to the Chili Bowl and on Friday will accept the induction of my dad and uncle into the Midget Racing Hall of Fame.  Not too long ago, I don’t remember exactly when, I told your brother about my earliest memories I had of him working the starting line with Buster Couch.  In fact, he is in the background, sometimes blurred, in a number of pictures I shot back then.  Your brother had my sincere respect, as you do.  It hurts to lose a friend and I feel for his wife and children and the pain they are feeling.  I’m sorry for your loss also.  Life is way too short.  God Bless.  Edward R. Justice, Jr, President & CEO of Justice Brothers Car Care Products

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     My deepest condolences!  Alan Pinho (drag racer)

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     I am shocked to hear this.  My sincere condolences.  Kind regards, Ron Phelps (SCTA)

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     So sorry to hear about your loss.  Thoughts are with you and yours.  Harry Pallenberg (PBS Producer)
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     63 way to young,  So Sorry.  Be safe.  Bob Painton (Canadian hot rodder)

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     So sorry for your and our loss.  Best Regards, Ross Ireland (NorCal hot rodder)

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      VERY SORRY TO HEAR THAT; what a great guy!   Geoff Bloomington (cars)

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     I am so sorry to hear of your brother's passing.  That was too young for such an important person.  I do not know him personally, but feel I know him through you.  Let this be a reminder for us all to enjoy every day we are here and get the most out of what time we have on this little rock.  My condolences to you and your family.  Sincerely, Arne Hansen (Solvang)
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     I understand your deep feeling on your brothers passing.  I have lost both of my parents, both older brothers and older sister.  I am the only one left of our family.  It is very painful when you lose an older member but I can't imagine what it's like to lose a younger one.  You and your family are in my prayers.  Take good care of yourself.

Rob Roy The Great Scot (Paul Hamilton-hot rodder)

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     My heart is with you and the whole Parks family.  A very sad news...it really shocked me, I haven't seen David for a long time but in September last year our ways crossed by sheer luck...he nearly crashed his car (stopping and U-turn) when he saw me standing with my camera...and he was so happy when he figured out that I had also the luck to join meanwhile the Bonneville 200 MPH Club.... he was so helpful all the years....it is tough that he gone...far too young....I will miss him...but he will never forgotten. as you wrote - you never know when it is on you to say bye..... You stay crazy and upright All my best wishes in this hard time to you and the family Thomas "Pork Pie" Graf (German land speed racer and photographer)
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     Sorry for your loss Richard.  Stay well my friend.  Stanman (Stan Goldstein, LSR team leader for Craig Breedlove)

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     Thanks for the info!  Jerry Grobe (racer)

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     Thank you for sharing the news with us, of David's sudden passing.  Penny and I send you and your family our most sincere condolences.  I went up on your website and read the biography that you prompted David to write; you two were obviously close and it is evident in his writing.  I knew David from the time he was a teenager, and it is so sad to learn he passed away at such a young age.  Please stay in touch.  Harvey and Penny Palash (Wally's NHRA partner in Diamond P)

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     You and your family have my condolences on the loss of David from your lives, and I only wish he could have been with us longer.  Bob Small (hot rodder, drag and motorcycle racer)

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     (phone call) I was so sad to hear of your brother's passing.  I'll be there if I can.  Stan Adams (long-time NHRA official)

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     My condolences to you and the rest of the family.  I met David last year.  I think it was at the SEMA Show where the Suddenly Plymouth was displayed.  Great to read that story. My parents also divorced when me and my two brothers were young.  Lived with mom too.  Tom Posthuma (racer)
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     We'll attend the service in spirit!!!   Della Woods (lady drag racer)
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     I had already heard about this.  My deepest sympathy to you all.  David Maset (hot rodder)

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     I am so sorry for your loss, Bill Kennedy (land speed racer and Gear Grinders president)

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      I would like say how sorry I am for your loss.  God bless your family, Dan Warner

President, Bonneville 200 MPH Club

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     Very sorry to hear...my condolences to you and your family.    Kent Riches (SCTA)
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      My sincere condolences for the loss of your brother.  I'm sure he is in a better place.  If I was in your area I would certainly pay my respects.   Bernie DeGruchy (friend)

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     So very sorry for your loss.  Curt Rigney (car guy)

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     So sorry for your loss; my deepest sympathy to you and your family.  Mary Ocampo (Al Ocampo's widow, oval track racing)

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     Condolences to you and your family.  Jeff Foulk (dragracer)

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     I am so sorry.  God be with you and yours.  Evelyn Roth (LSR Black Rock)
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     I offer my condolences for your loss.  I have read several of the posts on the internet about your brother.  May I offer a possibly different view than others might give you.  Take special pride and happiness that you were fortunate enough to have a brother.  I was an only child and can tell you that I longed for a brother or sister but it was not to be due to medical problems my mother experienced soon after my birth.  Some people say how it must have been great not having somebody to bother you or break your toys and such.  I can say as I look back on my life, I would gladly accept those and other moments.  I can only imagine how deeply your loss is and how much you miss him.  I have 7 children of my own and often remind them how lucky they are to have brothers and sisters.  All of them are grown now and can see what i speak about is true. 

     I notice that his service will be held in an LDS Chapel.  Are both of you LDS or did he convert?  I ask that because I joined the church 39 years ago and have found great comfort and joy in my membership.  As in all LDS services, someone will speak of the Plan of Salvation.  If you have not heard of it, please listen and take comfort in what will be said.  Tex Smith and I were good friends for over 40 years and for the first fifteen or so neither one of us knew the other was LDS.  We both laughed when we discovered that fact and grew even closer.  I have a few emails we sent to each other as the time came when we both realized that his time was upon us.  We wrote about the plan and he looked forward to be joined together once more with his first wife Pegge.  It was a deep comfort to him.  I've not shared that with anyone else but thought you should like to know.  I cannot be there but will keep you in my prayers.  If you are attending the GNRS, I will be driving my roadster in on Saturday and I try to park between Building 4 and your dad's place.  Please stop by for a chat if at all possible.  My warmest regards, Doug McHenry (hot rodder)
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     Please accept our condolences.  David was a true gentleman who always had time to chat when we saw each other.  Donna & I hope you and the Parks Family find solace in the fact that David is with his Maker.  Joe & Donna Timney (land speed racers)
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     I am sorry for your loss.  I will keep his family and yours in my prayers in this difficult time.  Blessings,   FAITH GRANGER (Filmmaker)

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     My most sincere condolences, and thanks for the phone call (I was at the Drag Strip for Thursday Night Thunder).  As we both, know, that is way too young to be leaving.  He’ll not be forgotten, that’s for sure.  Doug Stokes (car racing Public Relations)  

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     Sorry for your loss.  My prayers for comfort to the entire Parks family during time of bereavement and mourning.  May David Parks' spirit forever soar with the angels!   Jon Lundberg (LSR Sweden)
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      My condolences, Don Garlits (dragracer)
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     So very sorry.  Jack and Pattie Frost (racing family)
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     What a great loss may he rest in peace.  Martin Twofeather (photographer)
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      So sorry for David's passing.  He was a great guy and sustained the history of the Parks family.  Sincerely, Lee Thyer, High Desert Racers

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     We are sorry for your loss and hope you have many beautiful memories to remember. Waldo and Denise Stakes (land speed racer)
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     Thank you (for notifying me).  I'm forwarding to PWA as well.  John "JT" Towle (SEMA)
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     I am so sorry to read this.  I do not remember meeting your brother.  He was a young man, only 6 months younger than me.  It is rough trying to stay focused with tragedy around us.  Please try to remember our Heavenly Father's plan.  Take care my friend, Otto Ryssman Jr. (car guy)
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     Sorry for your loss.  Eric Studer (Public Relations)

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     I am so sorry for your loss; my prayers are with your family at this time of sadness.

Dana Marino

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     Thank you for the info about you and your brother.  Dema Elgin (cam grinder)
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     Sorry to hear about your loss.  My sympathies.  You know, our father's were best buds.   Gary Medley (son of cartoonist Tom Medley who was a close friend to Wally Parks)

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     So sorry for your loss.  I lost my brother at the age of 59 and I know just what you're feeling.  If there are any words of encouragement I might offer all you need to do is ask.  With deepest sympathy,  Michael Kacsala (Cleveland hot rodder)

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     I am so sorry for your loss.  Linda McCoy Murray (LA Times writer Bill Murray's widow)

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     Very sorry to hear the news- please accept our condolences.  Shelley & Pete Haak

FVCARSHOW

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     I want to express my sincere condolences regarding your brother's recent passing.  I know firsthand how the loss of a family member can be so very devastating.  Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.  God Bless you and your family.  Sincerely, Jerry Mull, 1929 Ford Roadster "Fresno's car"

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     I am sorry to hear of your loss.  I extend my sincere condolences to you and the rest of David's family and friends.  Terry Shaw (Santa Ana Drags)
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     My deepest condolences to all.  Sam Auxier Jr (radio racing show host)

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     I am so very, very sorry to hear of the passing of your brother, David. Although we have not spoken in a long time, I just want you to know I am thinking of you during this difficult time, and praying for you and your family. I will let my mom and dad know as well. Kind Regards, Lori McKinley (daughter of Bob Anderson an oval track racer)

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     I don't like funerals.  However I thought the service for your brother was as well done and uplifting as any I have ever attended.  If there is ever anything I can do for you please let me know.  Tim Kraushaar (aka) Weed

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     Our sincere condolences.  May David R.I.P.  Darwin & Pat Doll (NHRA)

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     I took my Saturday job off to come over to see you at your church this morning - when we received your notice for the funeral.  I had planned and was ready to leave at three am to come over to see you and pay our respects but my wife said it's too dangerous to go during this extreme dangerous weather that we have here (in Northern California).  We know that your brother was one of important people in your life.  We are truly sorry for your loss.  We hope for the best for you and your families, with much affection, Spencer Simon and family.  God Bless You and your family.  (car guy)

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     Condolences... in New Zealand racing at Festival of Motor Racing two weekends.  Ernie and Elaine Nagamatsu (car collectors and racers)
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     It has been a while since I last responded to one of your emails, but with the below news, I must send my condolences to you and family.  David was much too young to have passed away suddenly!  I must attempt to better keep in touch. None of us are getting any younger, and there will come the day when we are also no longer around to keep in touch.  James Close (sports car racer)

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     Very sorry to hear of your brother's passing.  Randy Colon (Eastern car guy)

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      We want to extend our sincerest condolences and tell you how saddened we were to hear of your brother's death.   Our prayers and love for you and your family.  Bud and Lynne Rasmus

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     Nita said you called.  Hope you brother's services went well.  Jack Underwood (car guy and land speed racer)

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     We were saddened to hear of the passing of your brother.  Your family has been the leaders of rodding and racing for our generation.  We will see you in Pomona late next week.  John MacKichan, Curator Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed 

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CARD: We are so sorry for your loss.  May our Lord see you and your family through this very difficult time.  Man David's soul rest in peace.  Mike and Armida Phineas and family.  (friends of Epi)

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CARD: With our deepest sympathies.  Richard and Sandie Forteville.  (Mant family)

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CARD: We just want you to know how very sorry we were to hear of your brother's passing.  We know how difficult this must be and we want you to know that our thought and prayers are with you.  Our love, Tom and Leslie Borgquist and family.  (Ward members)

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CARD: With deepest condolences. Kelli, Don, Christy and Uncle George.  (friends of Scott)

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CARD: We are with you in our thoughts.  Roger and Judi Rohrdanz.  (friends of the family and hot rodders)

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CARD: We are so very sorry to hear about the loss of your brother.  Please know that all of us at NHRA are thinking of you and your family.  Sincerely, Peter Clifford (NHRA president)

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     I must apologize, words have completely escaped me during this time. I was very shocked to hear about David and I very much feel for you and yours and David’s families.  Death is very difficult to deal with, but I believe in my heart that we will see our loved ones again one day. I truly believe this, however, I know that it doesn’t lessen the pain that all of you are feeling now.   God bless you and your family.  Take care, Leila Fenberg (NHRA)
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     It was so good of you to talk with me at the memorial service for David. His absence is starting to sink in. My deepest condolences to you and all your family. Although we knew David was a social creature, the extent of his reaching so many groups was truly a revelation. He will be missed, but never forgotten. Below is the little piece I wrote to represent his college buddies:
Eulogy:
     I first met David at Cal Poly. He and Craig and I became room mates shortly afterward at an establishment we called Toad Hall. To paraphrase Kenneth Grahame, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in cars. 
     I'm not going to tell the story about the time David rode his Yamaha down the stairs of Toad Hall. I'm not going to tell the story of the time we test drove his turbo Corvair down the back alleys of Corona Del Mar. Dave was always remorseful about all those trash cans. I'm not going to tell the story about the time we did not dazzle with brilliance, but did baffle with horsefeathers the Los Angeles County Sheriffs, not the ones we shone the spotlight at, the other ones.
     As we went on to graduate and carry on with our lives, we stayed in touch. The Davis family became a common point about which we revolved.  Again, the car connection. We all did a little backpacking together. David had been to Mt. Whitney as a Boy Scout. He and I went up there twice. We were planning to do it once again when our friend, too soon I think, pulled into that great garage in the sky.
     David loved his family deeply. We have five daughters between us and we spent many an evening trying do figure out what we could do to ensure their happiness. Sometimes that involved a little lubricant to help the thinking process. Every year, a mutual friend, Ron Pfenning, sponsors a little get together in the desert. Dave would bring a telescope and some ordnance to entertain the kids young and old. We're going to miss that part next spring. My wife tells me she doesn't think he had an unkind bone in his body. I agree. He has been a good friend for many years and I'll miss him every day.  Stefan Berlinski

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      Shirley Bunce, long time secretary in the NHRA called to say how sorry she was to hear of David's passing.  She also lost a younger sister and knows how hard that can be.

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     Our hearts go out to his family, know that our prayers are with you.  Eileen Howard Prior (Hulihan relatives)

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     I wanted to extend my condolences at this time.  It's always harder when someone passes unexpectedly.  We have just had a dear friend do the very thing.  I send good wishes for a smooth and healing transition to you all.  I will also try to send a picture I took of a 10 Yen bill that your dad sent to my dad from the Philippines.  I came across it a few months ago.  It was such a special find.  Be well and best to your family, Karin Spurgin (daughter of a land speed racer who knew our Dad)
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      I am very sorry I was unable to attend your brother's funeral services.  Murphy told me it was well presented and several people spoke about him.  I hope you are doing ok.  Take care.  Billy Cruce (oval track racing)

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     (from a phone call) I am so sorry to hear that David passed away.  Our families have been friends ever since we moved into Rivera.  Dorothy Durham
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      (CARD) Our condolences to you and your family on the loss of your brother.  Mike and Helen Uribe (Bean Bandits)

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      (CARD) With our deepest sympathies.  Richard and Sandie Forteville (relatives)

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      (CARD) Dear Ones, my loving wishes for peace in your hearts.  Always, Maudie Whyte (family friend)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Gone Racin’ to the 14th Annual CHRR.  Article by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz, 30 September 2005.

 

   The California Hot Rod Reunion (CHRR), sponsored by the Auto Club of Southern California, was originally conceived as a onetime event that would bring together all the original hot rod and drag racing enthusiasts for one last party. But an idea that has merit cannot be stopped, and the demand for more reunions became a thundering appeal. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum located on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona, California, and the Auto Club of Southern California, now work diligently to make this a continuing annual event. The CHRR seems to have a mind and will of its own. The event is scheduled for three days on the first Saturday of October. 
     This year the CHRR opened on Friday, September 30, with class inspections, qualifying and exhibition runs, a regular workday for the nostalgic racecars, crews and staff. The festivities begin in the evening as a long line of hot rods leave the track and head into Bakersfield, for the reception at the Double Tree Hotel. Hot Rodders simply overwhelm the hotel parking lot, with some of the best street rods and hot rods around.  Inside the banquet hall, fans, drivers, owners, sponsors, manufacturers, rodders and just about anyone and everyone in the sport of drag racing and hot rodding gather.  They are there to honor the men and women who have been chosen as the 2005 CHRR Honorees. 
     This year they are: Dale Armstrong (Grand Marshal), Leon FitzGerald, Dick Landy, Shirley Shahan, Bill Simpson, Dave Uyehara, and Dave Wallace Sr. The banquet room holds about 400 guests, with Dave McClelland holding court as the emcee. The hallways are jammed with just as many people who are meeting friends and rivals from long ago. In the parking lot there are another 500 hot rodders who forgo the speeches inside, in order to concentrate on the fabulous array of cars on display.
     On Saturday, the crowds return to the Auto Club Famoso Raceway bright and early to watch the beginning of the qualifying runs, and to go through the pits and see a dizzying display of activities. The Swap Meet is on the East Side of the track and appears to be growing larger every year. Bob and Eileen Daniels’ offered us a ride on their cart and took us through the pits. They came all the way from Leesburg, Florida, in their black ’39 Ford Deluxe 2 door Sedan, caravanning across the country with their good friends, Linda and Larry Long. On “a cruise of a lifetime,” they went north to the NHRA Nationals, over to the Navy Pier in Chicago, and followed old Route 66, the Mother Road, all the way to the beach in Santa Monica. They stayed in the Wigwam motels, and other offbeat places that give Route 66 so much charm. 
     The Daniels’ are long time NHRA track operators and officials. Jack McClenathan represented the Bean Bandits of San Diego, and stopped by to say hello. George Phillips, race director at Pomona Raceway was on hand to help the reunion. Sam Jackson, director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, and Greg Sharp, museum curator, are responsible for organizing the reunion. Bob Daniels pointed out the rat rods parked among the hot rods. Rat rods are hot rods that sport no adornment at all. They are a throwback to the days when a hot rod was all muscle and stripped down of any excess weight, in order to go fast. Rat rodders prefer primer or bare metal, and chrome is anathema to them. Daniels said that the CHRR has increased the rat rods by at least three times over the last year.
   I left the Daniels’ when we came to the Nostalgia car section. The Drag CARtoons tent beckoned and Orah Mae and Robin Millar showed us what they have been doing.  Before Pete Millar passed on, he accumulated his work and put it on 7 computer disks, some 2200 pages of drag racing cartoons that Pete or other cartoonists drew over the years.
     The Millar’s donated a 12 page CARtoon Newspaper, free of charge, to every person who attended the reunion. Next door was the 1320 Club tent where committed drag racing fans hang out. Paula Murphy, 2004 Grand Marshal, and her best friend, Suzy Beebe/Kelly were there to greet us. Paula had a storied career in motor racing, driving anything with wheels, and pioneering the way for women to follow her into drag, land speed, Indy and other motor car racing. Suzy wrote a racing column for National Dragster and is the widow of legendary drag racer Tim Beebe. Bill Holland and Dan Kaplan, among others, came by to say hello. Ed Justice Sr and Jr were working their tent, promoting the benefits of JB Products. They are a major sponsor of the reunion and many other racing events around the country. Thomas McKernan was there to represent the Auto Club of Southern California, the CHRR Reunion’s main sponsor.  McKernan has repositioned the ACSC and brought them back into auto racing in a big way, since the 1950’s. 
     All of Motorsports has benefited from ACSC’s efforts to get kids to do their racing on the sanctioned racecourses and not on the streets. Louie Senter, Bob Leggio and Jim Miller were on hand to represent the land speed racers. Tim Huddleston was working the Justice Brothers tent. He is the new Irwindale Late Model Stock Car West Coast Champion, his first in 17 years. But he won with a flourish, as his 2-car team won 13 of the 16 events contested this season. He brought his children, Hailey, Tanner and Trevor with him to enjoy the reunion, and to see the races. Tim said that he doesn’t want to go back east to race in the NASCAR series. Racing on the West Coast allows him to bring his family along and to invite his customers to see him race. He is the JB Products sole distributor for California. Tim is also the son-in-law of Roarin’ Oren Prosser, who has won over a thousand races in the last 50 years and is still active in racing. Tim said that it is sad to see western racetracks, like nearby Mesa Marin, close down. “All the racers are going to Irwindale now.” 
     A special place at Auto Club Famoso Raceway is Memory Lane, where trees have been planted in memory of so many great people in drag racing. Each one bears a plaque with the honoree mentioned.  Between the trees were nostalgic drag cars from the past, such as: Bill Pitt’s Magicar, built by Kent Fuller; Larry Anderson’s Vagabond; the Shubert-Herbert TFD; Jim Frye’s Olde Timer; Big John Mazmanian’s Fuel Altered coupe; the Weekly, Rivero, Fox & Holding Frantic 4 TFD; Martinez and Miller AA/FD Poison Ivy; Dennis the Menace A/GS; Mondello & Matsubara AA/FA; Marcellus & Borsch Winged Express AA/FA; Rich Guasco Pure Hell AA/FA; Justice Brothers Special; The Samurai; the ’57 Bob Estes Special Indy 500 car, owned by Tony Martinez, and many more. Gorgeous hot rods, race cars and specialty cars lined Memory Lane and spilled out into the pits, and then into the parking lot. You can rent a golf cart for the day, and it will save you a lot of walking, for the exhibits went nearly to the end of the track, about a half-mile. 
     Walking back and forth to see everything will give you a serious workout. You should rent a cart early before they are all gone. Bring comfortable shoes and shade protection. Leaving Memory Lane I came to the tents and the vendors’ area. Nearly all of them told me this was the best reunion yet, both in numbers, cars, spectators, and they were buying. James Ibusuki was displaying his acclaimed hot rod paintings. David Dovidio, owner of Double D Enterprises, came from Arizona and was pleased with the event. He said that with the history of the area, it is a must for vendors and spectators alike. 
     Bob and Debra Walker came all the way from North Carolina to display their early Hemi parts. Called Hot Heads of North Carolina, Debra said that most of their business comes from the west and they need to be here. Bob said that he came for a vacation and the CHRR is a working vacation. They also attend the Eastern Hot Rod Reunion at Bowling Green, which is much bigger than the West Coast reunion in size, although the heritage of the western reunion is very special. Hot Rod Memories is owned by Ron Martinez, and he said that he has over 500 movies on video for sale. If you want to relive the ‘50’s and see those fabulous B movies of hot cars, fast guys, bad girls, sand, sun and fun, then you have to stop by Ron’s tent.
     Jim Deist walked by with his famous cigar, which he never lights up. His well-known safety apparel goes back to the early dry lakes. A favorite among racers for his help and assistance, Jim can be found anywhere a race is being held, even on a remote desert dry lake. Jim, David May, Mousie Marcellus, David Parks, and others were discussing the news and rumors going around the area. Mesa Marin Speedway may or may not get a two-year reprieve before closing. Irwindale Speedway may be sold to a group led by NASCAR racer, Kevin Harvick. Action Die Cast was being sold. Fontana Dragway may have a new look. Will Ventura get another extension or not? Meanwhile the drag cars were roaring down the track as the stands were full of spectators, the sun set, and nighttime racing took full force. Later that evening the Cacklefest of nostalgic cars lined the track and started their engines to the roar of the fans and the power of the Hemi engines. Sunday, racers and fans opened the day with a prayer service, then watched a full day of racing, the way it was when we were young, and the way it will always be.
     In the Finals, Brad Thompson beat Denver Schutz for the Nostalgia Top Fuel crown. In other categories; Mike Austin defeated Kin Bates in A Fuel, Sean Renteria edged Ed Moss in AA Gas, Rich Raymond took the Nostalgia Eliminator title over Bobby Runyon, Mark Mahood won in A Gas over Steve Castelli, Jon Haire outran J.D. Zink in Junior A Fuel, and Bud Hammer got by Don Enriquez in Junior B Fuel.
Gone Racin’ is at [email protected]  
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY SEASON OPENER.  By Tim Kennedy, Irwindale, California, January 23, 2016.

     The 17th season of oval track racing at Irwindale Speedway kicked off the 2016 season Saturday night with the first of four scheduled “Night of Destruction” events presented by Pick Your Part. The 5,920 spectators also watched 14 Irwindale Race Truck Series drivers in a competitive 40-lap race on the half-mile. Then the wild and crazy-type events took center stage and littered the third-mile and infield to the delight of fans.
     Irwindale Event Center President/CEO Jim Cohan released the IEC 2016 schedule through July earlier Saturday. Announcer Bruce Flanders read the 2016 schedule to fans over the PA system prior to the first race. Irwindale will host racing through July and has booked 33 Thursday nights of NHRA eighth-mile drag racing, a Thursday night drifting event, and 13 Saturday nights of oval track racing.
     Specifically, 18 NASCAR Whelen late model stock cars (including twin-races), super and mini stocks, plus Irwindale Race Trucks, SW Tour Trucks, INEX Legends and Bandoleros, and Racecar Factory spec late models (formerly SRL S2 cars) reflect 2015 season scheduling. Special events include the March 19 pairing of two touring series--NASCAR K & N Pro-West stock cars and local series, plus the April 30 appearance of Spears SRL SW Tour stock cars and Lucas Oil Modifieds on the banked half-mile. RCF spec late models (S2) will be the third series in action that night.
     Four Pick Your Part Night of Destruction events will be held with the remaining dates being March 12, May 7 and July 2. Final scheduled race dates are July 16 for the oval track and July 28 for the Irwindale Drag Strip. The opportunity to finish the full 2016 calendar year with oval and drag racing in Irwindale is undetermined at this time. The current IEC lease with the property owner is for six months.
     ENDURO: A track record 38 four-cylinder front wheel drive compact cars opened racing Saturday two hours earlier than normal at 5:00 pm. They raced in a 30-lap Seidner's Collision Centers Enduro cars main event on the third-mile. K-rails lined a kink on the backstretch through the infield making it a five-turn course. A ten-minute break after 15 laps allowed teams to change to a backup driver if so desired. Five teams did so.
     The 19-minute race had three leaders and four lead changes. Jeremy Queener led the first three laps. Matt Feron led laps four and five. Then 21st starter Ryan Partridge, the current NASCAR K & N West driver and past Irwindale late model and truck champion, made an outside pass for the lead. He led laps 6 through the lap 15 intermission. He held a half lap lead at the break.
     Dan Souto, a newcomer from San Diego, started 25th and reached second position on lap 13. He ran the fastest lap of the race at 23.894 (50.172 mph). Partridge opened a straightaway lead by lap 20. Souto began closing quickly in traffic. On lap 26, Souto shot past Partridge on the inside in traffic leaving the final turn; he won by 20-yards (2.923 seconds). A surprised Partridge later said, “Where did he come from?” Robert Rice, newcomer/Long Beach resident Joe Furlow, in a Pontiac Sunbird, and Neil Himes rounded out the top five. All completed 30 laps. Queener, James Bolinas, Mark Thompson, Jeffrey Best and Travis Mooney finished sixth through tenth with 23 of 38 starters still racing at the finish.
     IRT 40: Fourteen Irwindale Race Trucks used the half-mile oval in the second of five events. Fastest qualifier/2012 IRT champion Connor Cantrell, 25, started inside row three in a five-truck inverted lineup. Outside front row starter Andrew Porter led the first 16 laps. Then pole starter Lucas McNeil, 22, made an inside pass leaving turn four and led lap 17 to the lap 40 checkers. Cantrell saved tire wear early and ran in positions seven to nine. A two-truck crash on lap 25 involved P 9-10 drivers Nico Mongenel and Philip Lauck. Both drivers escaped injury but their damaged trucks were towed to the pits.
     Cantrell took second position from Porter entering turn three on lap 31 and closed rapidly on leader McNeil. He made his final passing attempt on the inside leaving turn four with the checkered flag waving. Cantrell's effort fell half a length (0.065 seconds) short. Six-year veteran and first time IRT feature winner McNeil ran the fastest race lap of 19.965 (90.158 mph). The winner has finished on the podium numerous times. Ten trucks finished the 27-minute race and nine drivers completed all 40 laps. Porter, Dennis Arena, Ken Michaelian, Lawless Alan, Jeff Williams, Ken Brown and Kenny Smith completed the top nine.
     SEIDNER'S SKID PLATE CARS: Twenty-six four-cylinder Enduro cars, using metal skid plates instead of rear tires, started the 20-lap race. Robert Rice, the 49-year old father of IS skid plate racing in 2009, started fourth and led the first two laps. Mike Digregorio, in his usual No. 18 Honda Accord, came from 18th starting slot in the two-by-two lineup and ran away to half a lap advantage. He won by 15.258 seconds over newcomer Joe Farlow's No. 39 Pontiac Sunbird.
     Robbie Salcido's Honda started eighth and finished third, with his mentor Rice fourth. Fifth place Ken Palmer, from Los Angeles, was a lap down and earned fifth. Seventeen of 26 starters finished the all-green light; 14-minute race that averaged 27.260 mph. Digregorio ran the fastest lap at 38.882 seconds and scored his record tenth SPC feature triumph. That total is two victories more than the next best driver, Sean Brennan—his brother-in-law.
     DEMO DERBY: A Pick Your Part demolition derby with eight Enduro cars took place between large truck tires on the watered infield and third-mile front straight. After smashing and bashing each other for 11-minutes, Jonathon De Stefano, of Glendora, triumphed over Jeffrey Best. Joseph Palmer placed third.
     TRAILER RACE: The fan-pleasing, destructive 20+ lap final event was a 20-vehicle trailer race on the third-mile. Only a recent 21 vehicle trailer race topped the 2016 season opening total entries for the event. Doug “River Rat” White led the first lap. Cars towing various cargo, boats or mobile homes battered each other while making laps. Robert Rice led lap 2 on but at one point his car ran up and onto the empty trailer of Adam Ditto's No. 14 trailer. Rice's hood was obscured from view and he lost several laps. Then he backed off the trailer and resumed making laps with his boat still attached to his back bumper.
     Drivers drove through loose boats and mobile homes to earn “entertainment value” points from laughing and cheering fans in the crowded grandstand. After 16 minutes the starter waved the checkered flag for the four remaining contestants. After two rounds of fan voting for the winner, loud cheers determined Jim Schoening's No. 60 1960-era Chevy Impala and trailer (loaded with long-gone empty cardboard boxes) was the winner. Robbie Salcido was second and other drivers were “also-rans”. Smiling entertained fans departed for home shortly after 8:20 pm.
     The next PYP Night of Destruction will be Saturday, March 12, with SW Tour Trucks racing on the half-mile oval as part of the event. On Saturday, March 19 the NASCAR K & N Pro-West 150, Whelen late models and Racecar Factory spec late models (formerly SRL S2 cars) will be the three events on the half-mile.

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