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SOCIETY OF LANDSPEED RACING HISTORIANS Newsletter #12.  Websites posting the newsletter are:
President's Corner: By Jim Miller.  
  I went to the California Hot Rod Reunion this weekend at Bakersfield and got to thinking about the crossover
  between land speed racing and the drags. After a nice chat with Richard Parks it dawned on me that his dad
  took the early Muroc concept of racing multiple cars against each other over a mile and a half or so and morph-
  ed it into drag racing as we know it today.  Thanks Wally.  We gave them a sport and they've paid us back by
  trying ours too. Look at draggers Tony Waters, the Arfons Brothers or Don Garlets among others who have
  blasted across the salt.  One of the most excited guys I've ever seen at Bonneville was Nelson Hoyos, a drag
  race champion, acting like a kid after some five-mile blasts.  Hey, if you're used to going under seven second
  in the quarter mile, then 45 seconds at Bonneville becomes the ultimate E ticket ride.  Next week I'm gonna
  talk about the earliest enclosed-wheel streamliner that I have found.  Land Speed History is where you look for
  it. We car guys and gals probably spend more time with our heads stuffed between the pages of magazines than
  the average Joe.  If you're like me the little pages of Hop Up, Honk or Rod & Custom were even read at
  school between the pages of some stupid book we were supposed to be studying out of.  A lot of history can
  be re-learned by reading some of the old magazines tucked away in that cardboard box in the back of your
  closet.  From '48 on we've been lucky enough to have them cover our sport in Hot Rod Magazine.  Petersen,
  Quinn and Fawcett did a good job but what about before that?  We Know about Throttle in 1941 but land
  speed racing just wasn't well covered.  Or was it?  Recently, I did a little digging at my local used book/magazine
  shop and came up with some great finds.  I'm sure you've all heard of Mechanics Illustrated and Popular
  Mechanics right?  These kinds of mags were loaded with car stuff.  In the March '29 issue of PM they had a
  blurb on Campbell's Bluebird.  In February '46 MI featured a Jet powered LSR car on its cover. Wow!  I even
  found a posed picture with Veda Orr in the August '40 issue of a mans magazine called PIC.  These are attached
  as is an article about 'Jazzed-Up Jalopies' from the April '46 issue of Popular Science Magazine.  Yes there is
  info out there, we just have to do a little digging to find it.  Happy hunting.   Jim Mller
1) We got our first page up with the Newsletter 11 and will be doing an entire archive if it's okay to take
  them from the Oilstick.com site.  We plan on making a separate page for the archive and then add news-
  letters as we get them.  Mary Ann Lawford.  www.HotrodhotlineBIKES.com, www.HotRodTrucks.com,
  other website operators: Is it alright to cross-link your sites and to share information with other website oper-
  ators?  I'm sending Mary Ann the archival information she needs for her website, but if you can share information
  that would be a big help to us.
2) Editor's notes: The policy of the Society & Newsletter is to accept any and all letters, research and landspeed
  related material and to store this material on websites and through the newsletter with our members.  The reason
  behind this policy is to have a back-up should the original records perish and to educate the members on topics
  they did not know about.  Another purpose of the Society is to promote the work, research and discoveries of
  our members.  At times, certain topics will overwhelm us, such as the passing of Wally Parks and the material
  may be slanted in a certain direction.  I want to affirm that no material will be rejected on any subject and we
  want to know about everything that is happening or has happened in landspeed racing. My wife and I met Doug
  Harrison and his wife Ney on October 10. The Harrison's were teammates of Ak Miller, Ray Brock and others
  on the PanAmericana Mexican Road races in the early 1950's. We then went over to see Joann Brock and the
  stories that they told us were fascinating.  Doug asks if there will be a reunion someday for the oldtimers from
  the dry lakes.  I told him that there will be on November 2 and 7th as the Museum honors the 70th anniversary
  of the SCTA with a special exhibit.  While the SCTA was the biggest of the landspeed timing associations, we
  should not forget to record what went on in the other groups; Russetta, Muroc, Western, Bell, etc.  We need to
  do research and save the history of all the Timing Associations. Please send your research to the newsletter and
  in turn I will send it on to our members and the websites above.
3) I propose that we, the SLSRH members, prepare a land speed racing display featuring the pioneering
  work of your father for the Celebration of Life at the Winternationals.  I have several interesting shots
  of your dad and I am sure there are loads more that can be found.  I think this would be a fitting way to
  show just how incredibly far back your dad’s influential reached with respect to motorsports.  If you and
  David deem it appropriate then I ask President Miller to call us to arms and get busy on the photograph-
  ic/historical display that could then be donated to the museum.  Also, just so you will know, I have already
  contacted the editor of the 2008 SCTA Speedweek program and have secured an assignment to write
  about your father’s enormous pioneering contribution.  Further, my February 2008 FUEL FOR
  THOUGHT column in the Goodguys Gazette is 95% devoted to a tribute to Wally Parks with emphasis
  on his early years in land speed racing.  BTW -- I have not had a chance to post the newsletters yet, but
  will do so soon. Perhaps you should remove that reference until I actually get the data posted?  I was
  waiting until we could adopt a logo to load on my home page as a direct link.  Add my phone number
  805-445-8414 and email louise@landspeedproductions.biz.  Please ask interested parties to respond to
  me directly and I will spearhead the project. Speedy Regards, "Land Speed" Louise Ann Noeth     Dear
  Landspeed: The Society is a loosely associated group of writers, photographers, and media related groups of
  editors, historians and contributors on landspeed racing and closely related topics.  So far we don't have an
  elected board, by-laws or ways to organize events and activities, so we have been going on the basis of allowing
  interested parties to go as far as they wish in organizing on their own without being told what to do.  Jim Miller,
  as acting President, has the oversight of the group as his responsibility, but creating a display honoring my father
  or any of the other landspeed and dry lakes pioneers is a great idea.  You can do that on your own or in con-
  junction with others.  Be sure to talk to Greg Sharp or Tony Thacker at the Museum to find a spot to put it up. 
  They have been very reasonable and helpful in the past when we have asked them for space and I see no reason
  why they wouldn't agree to letting us do as you suggest.  Jim and I have the view that a group such as ours would
  work best if not put under a lot of rules and regulations.  Editors, writers, photographers and other media people
  are independently minded and loathe to be told what to do and yet if left to their own ideas and ideals, are very
  capable of great endeavors.  So we encourage you to proceed and don't stop with the November Museum ex-
  hibit, but extend it to other events, such as the Petersen, Justice Brothers and other area museums.  Jim is in the
  process of finding a place to visit so that we can make our presence known and hopefully find a home in some
  Southland museum for the landspeed collections that would otherwise be lost.  Members, if you can help Louise
  with photos and other memorabilia, please do so.  Finally, Dad did not finish his memoirs.  David and I were
  helping him, but now we have lost a great resource.  The only way we can regain much of what was lost by his
  passing is to ask everyone we can find to write their story as it concerns our father and put it together as an
  anthology.  If each of us writes a chapter on how we knew and worked with our father, then his story is not
  entirely lost. His story is also the story of thousands of other men and women who endured the Great Depression,
  World War II and the beginning of the automobile Era.  As soon as David and I finish Dad's book on the SCTA,
  we will be ready to start the book on his life and we will contact you for help.  I prefer to keep your link to your
  website on the Newsletter.  Let me know if you change the link and I will update it.
4) Tributes to Wally Parks:
  3 Oct 2007  Dear Richard & David, I met your dad over 60 years ago and from that day forward, I loved
  and respected him more than I can express. His bravery was second to none, especially when he drove the
  Belly Tank at Bonneville. I know that his first love, as is mine, is and was Bonneville. He was truly a gentle
  giant. His accomplishments are legendary. I have never heard a single person say anything bad about your
  dad, only good things and more good things. I never knew him to raise his voice. I only called upon him
  twice to do me a favor and he did not hesitate one second to grant them. I loved him and most of all res-
  pected him for the man he was and the giant footsteps he has left behind. He lived a great life and we
  should all be proud of him.  Yours truly, Andy Granatelli
  5 Oct 2007    You have no idea how much Bob and I loved your Dad.  I can not believe my two favorite
  people in the whole world are gone. Both within 90 days.  I know they are up there just chatting away as
  they always did when they were together.  I will have my laptop with me, so you can always email with
  any information you have.  God bless.  Eileen Daniels
  5 Oct 2007    I just wanted to express our sympathy to you and your family at the passing of your father,
  Wally.  It so happened we found out about his passing by chance when my children and I went to the fair
  Saturday and visited the motorsports museum.  My kids really enjoyed the museum and when I was show-
  ing them a picture of your father a worker there told us that he had passed on the night before.  The
  worker, I am sorry I did not get his name, went on to tell of the great things your father had accomplished
  for racing and more importantly what a great individual he was.  You could tell he felt his loss and I am
  sure others in the NHRA feel it as well.  I just wanted you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with
  you and your family at this time.  With sympathy, Ken Sinclair and family, Jenna and Trevor
  5 Oct 2007    We are so sorry to hear about your Dad passing away.  I had the honor of meeting him one
  night in Bakersfield at a CHHR. My Dad has always had great respect for him, as well. A true gentlemen. 
  In deepest sympathy, Susan Foshee &, Pat Berardini
  6 Oct 2007 Richard & David and families; I lost a very good friend. You have my deepest sympathy for
  your loss of your father. We had been friends since the fifties at Inyokern.  Willard Ritchie & Family
  9 Oct 2007   Hi Richard, Been on vacation and just heard about your Dad (David's too).  So very sorry
  but as many have said he did more in his 94 years than most people could ever dream of doing.  Thank
  goodness for the memories, I always wonder what people do that don't have those wonderful times to
  look back on and the many of us that knew Wally when he first started, feel so much a part of the era. 
  Love and prayers are with you and your family.  I do know there has got to be one heck of a drag race
  up yonder, I've been waiting for the thunder.  Judy (Thompson) Creach
  9 Oct 2007   Dear Richard and family: I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to all of you as to the pass-
  ing of your father. I currently am writing a piece for the 500 Oldtimers Newsletter that I publish the theme
  of which is that all of the giants who brought auto racing into the main stream of sports are now gone.
  Wally follows in death Tony Hulman and both of the Frances, Bill Sr and Jr.  Wally brought the U.S.
  Nationals to Indianapolis Raceway Park and it has evolved into the biggest event in drag racing. I got to
  know Wally quite well over the years and found him to be a kind and caring man with a wide-ranging 
  vision for his sport that continued into the last days of his life. I last talked to him when my wife Pat & I
  attended the AARWBA banquet there at the museum in 2005.  It was my great privilege to have known
  Wally and the others who were the true post-World War II pioneers in all forms of auto racing in the
  United States. Their legacies are the status of their sports in the 21st Century. -- Sincerely, Dick and Pat
  Mittman, Indianapolis.
5) Editor's notes: The following was sent in by Parnelli Jones and Jim Dilamarter to Mary Ann Lawford who
  routed it on to the Newsletter.  "We have some more tributes to your father which will be posted tomorrow. 
  We would like to keep this page up as we feel people want to talk about him.  I have been just swamped
  but will try to get the email to you tomorrow with all of the emails we have received.  Below is a nice
  letter from Parnelli Jones.  Thanks, Mary Ann Lawford"
    9 Oct 2007   On behalf of my late partner Vel Miletich's family and of course my own, I would like
    to first offer our sincere condolences to all the members of the Parks family and to the NHRA for
    the loss of their beloved patriarch. In fact in many ways, Wally was a patriarch to all of us in almost
    every form of motorsports. I believe that this man, who portrayed confidence and stature, firmly
    instilled class and brought great respect to the sport of drag racing when it needed it most, and
    continued to do so until his recent passing. On personal note, Wally also took great interest in oval
    track racing and in particular, my career both as a driver and as a car owner with Vel. Each time
    he attended the Indianapolis 500 or any other race we happened to be at simultaneously, he always
    made it a point to seek me out and discuss current events within the racing world. Also, I could feel
    he was genuinely interested in what was happening in my life by asking questions that had nothing
    to do with racing, just two guys discussing their families and personal interests.  Always, Wally
    acted like the gentleman he was when I was in his presence, and I cannot express more pointedly
    how much I truly respect the man and his accomplishments.  Obviously there is no telling what
    would have happened to street roddding and drag racing had Wally become a doctor or an acc-
    ountant instead of what became. In my mind however, no one on the planet could have forged
    those activities into what they are today without the vision and leadership of this icon, Wally
    Parks.  Sincerely, Parnelli Jones
6) Our “Memories of Wally” pages will remain on our website...and we welcome you to send us your mem-
  ories so that we can pay proper respect to one of our industries icons, a man loved and respected by many. 
  Wally Parks touched many in our hobby...we have received tributes and memories from rodders like Bud
  and Lynne and from other industry icons like Andy Granatelli and Parnelli Jones...this is a man who had
  time for all of his fans...so many people wrote about how thrilled they were that Wally talked to them at
  various events over the years...he always had time to “talk cars” with a fellow enthusiast...Read the mem-
  ories at www.hotrodhotline.com and if you have a story or remembrance you can email it to us at 
  maryann@hotrodhotline.com.   Mary and Jack Lawford
7) At the first Hot Rod show, I ran a model of a car from the Bonneville Salt Flats.  It was built by Otto
  Crocker and Bozzy Willis.  As I was running it, and sent a car down the coarse, a young guy was watch-
  ing me.  As the car left he was close to the lay out and made engine sounds.  It turned out that he was
  Norm Grabowski.  Is there any chance you can reach him and come to Wally's services.  Fred Lobello.
  Fred: I called Jack Stewart and will send you Norm's phone number.  Give him a call and reintroduce yourself. 
  I'll call you soon to do an interview on your dry lakes experiences. 
Members: Jonathan Amo, Brett Arena, Henry Astor, Glen Barrett, Warren Bullis, Gary Carmichael, Jack Dolan,
Ugo Fadini, Robert Falcon, Rich Fox, Glenn Freudenberger, Bruce Geisler, Stan Goldstein, Walt James, Wendy
Jeffries, Mike Kelly, Mary Ann and Jack Lawford, Fred Lobello, Dick Martin, Ron Martinez, Tom McIntyre, Don
McMeekin, Tom Medley, Jim Miller, Don Montgomery, Mark Morton, Louise Ann Noeth, David Parks, Richard
Parks, Wally Parks (in memoriam), Eric Rickman, Willard Ritchie, Roger Rohrdanz, Evelyn Roth, Ed Safarik, Frank
Salzberg, Charles Shaffer, Mike Stanton, David Steele, Doug Stokes, Bob Storck, Al Teague, JD Tone and Jack