here's my golf cart...Saturday.
I was in total awe at this event.
Ron Huegli, Bobby Frey, NovaJoe, Pam and a couple others mentioned it to me, months ago, I figured I'd wanted to go since the very first event. Bobby offered to book us in with his group, so I had no excuse not to go.
I'd read all the accounts over the years and since I get off on weirder paths more and more with this stuff lately. I figured ...why not. They're all a cool bunch to hang out with. You could do a lot worse bummin' with them and guys like George, Goldy, Gordy and Freddy Frey.
When I was privvy to info that Jungle was going to have a strong presence ,and was encouraged to bring mine (not far enough along for my liking) I felt this was a must to attend. I will admit, I had gotten quite a bit done in a couple months. But I am a stickler, so photos of every angle had to be scrutinized and there were a couple parts that looked good at first, but ended up in the dumpster. Plus, my business has been humping and I was fighting a losing battle. Maybe next year.
So...Thursday... I cut the Jungle decals, at 1 in the morning, went home, slept and was back up in a couple hours so I could let the guys at the airport look at my shoes. We hopped our plane, met up with Randy in Dallas, landed in Burbank at around 2 that afternoon. Rented a fine automobile and found a place to eat....back on the road and we were in Bakersfield in about an hour and a half. The Frantic Ford guys were right behind us, I labeled their staff wagon and all was well. Caught up with Pam and Bill at the bar on the corner, enjoyed their hospitality.... beer always tastes 6 1/2 times better when someone else has paid for it. We headed over to Hooters and there was the Bob and Ginger show.... finally got to meet John Hale, (I wish your advisor would make the trip). The week of no sleep finally had did it's damage. We headed back to the hotel for a peaceful night's sleep ...I will revisit this misconception later.
Wife and kids were out for the count and I figured the last few hours of my life were pretty sweet. I was in California, at an event I should have made years ago.
The next morning , I shuffle off to the hotel breakfast, greeted by the Frey crew. I had to get my coffee ,or three and scarf some food because that good night's sleep never made it. All of a sudden I start sweating like a pig and feeling a bit nauseous. A couple minutes later, I feel like a new dog, look up to watch Fred busting Beadle's balls.Just taking in a few other legends milling around , this will be great. We gather up Randy, pile into the rental and follow the Frantic Fred Shuttle. I'm taking this all in. First thing I see, a Rain For Rent sign on 5, Warren and Coburn's sponsor in the 70's.... take the twisty 65 through oilfields and cattle, turn on to Famoso Road. Couple of miles and there she is.
Park the rental... Hey look! Bob and Ginger!... get the kids squared away and see Valhalla on wheels before me. I am a fool for real FED's ... not the modern stuff. In my search for Ron, I am going down aisles of the stuff dreams are made of. Ewald's cars, Herm Petersen's Northwest Terror , Creitz and Donovan. I was in overload . After a while, still hadn't found Ron, but Big Bob comes to the rescue I asked if he's seen Gaynor "Yeah. follow me!" Off we go through the maze. Mister Gaynor I presume. good to finally meet up with him. I was thirsty by that time, but he didn't offer any Koolaid.
My trusty guide Bob shuffled us off to the Tiki Jungle, where we finally find Ron and crew and there's the trophy! two new fish but everything else was still there! Good job guys. Standing in the trailer, talking to Ron... Herm Petersen pops his head in, introductions all around.. damn, I just met... this happened a lot over the weekend. We head off to the Grove for a personal tour of Jim. Installed some decals and from behind I hear a decidedly English accent asking if I am "Eureka" , turns out to be a couple members who've built a twin engine rail back in England...very cool.
The Fred posse are rolling and we fall in. More and more nuggets are at every turn. The caliber of cars are astonishing Frantic Four, Burkholder brothers, too many to name. Somewhere amongst the walking and yelling at my youngest not to touch anything , I think to myself, no humidity here.... why do my legs feel like this? Spencer ! No ! you can't stand on that!
Friday was sensory overload. Too much to digest. Kids were getting edgy and I wanted to get back to town for the doins at the Doubletree. We found Randy, let him know the plan and he opted to stay at the track. Back at the hotel , the kids were at the pool with the wife, I decided to try that sleep thing again. It worked. A couple hours later I head up to Doubletree. Call Gaynor... nope he wasn't gonna make it. Walked around the lot, back down the street and back in bed. I wasn't liking this.
Really crappy night of sleep, woke up at about 5, went down to the hot tub and stayed in it for an hour. What's up with this? Went down to get some coffee, there's Fred , eating, again. Anyone seen Randy? Call Randy. No answer. Call Ron ... Randy went back to track with them. damn I'm sweating again... must be allergies. Round up wife and kids, stop at Denny's on Merle Haggard Dr. ...cool. get to the track rent the cart . As Nova Joe says, only way to get around. Made the rounds, had the 5 dollar hat on and cooler full of ice and covered the place. Funny car qualifying was up . Hopped on the cart and busted a move down to the shut off area, I love the way they sound when they are shutting down. Plus it's cool seeing them turn off the track and watching the guys get out. Couple delays made it about a two hour stay. We head back to Ron's, hang out with Pam and Bill a while, Nova Joe and daughter show up. He wants me to run over an meet Ewald... off we go. Ewalds not there, whoa.... what's up with my head? Stop and talk to Tracy Hrudka, look for Ewald... what's up with my legs? Joe says, lets go back. No debate from me. Back at Rons, told my wife I was going to duck off into Ron's coach for a little rest, still had the cacklefest ahead. Why does it feel worse when I close my eyes? This isn't working. I'll sneak off to the car. Walk back out and my wife kids and the cart all pulled a Houdini. No problem. I'll walk to the car... just over there....where are the keys.... damn she has them to. Situation quickly eroding... track wife down... she's with Ginger. Bring me the keys. Go back with Ginger if you want. I'm crashing in the car. Let's just go. Check the cart in ... back to the hotel. Kids want to swim figured I'd crash to the sounds of Nascar Whatever 400. Laid there a bit and felt fine. What the hell? Ended up falling asleep. Sunday morning we go down and have breakfast, as usual my youngest is the entertainment , while his brother is the kid who is off in space somewhere with toast crumbs on his face. Gonna be a good day. Partly cloudy, I know where all the dragtsers I want to get photos of the boys with are located and figure the crowd won't be there yet. Get outta the car and there's Joe . Hop on, Vic wants to meet you. Cool I was just gonna walk but if Joe wants to shuttle me around, right on. Got to Vic's and there's Goldy. Really amazed at the shape that Vega body is in. Immaculate. Vic says he thought I was taller. I told him not today. We hop back on the fuggedaboudit wagon and make our way up to Electric Slingshot Land. Look there's Ewald. Joe introduces us, which his record for introductions on my behalf were quite lengthy and almost impressive
we wandered up to the starting line and watched as Cacklers were pulling into place. Hey look Ron's gonna run ...after he backs up from his light tripping burnout. Ah smell that. Better wander over to the stands so we can catch funny car. Pam and Bill, Bobby, Fred . Gang's all here. Sunday Morning Cacklefest.... all the church any believer needs. Top fuel runs...meh... Funny Car. Yeah. pretty decent runs, let's go get more pictures of the boys with cars. Run over to Ron's and grab some water out of the cooler and head back out. Oh no, the back thing again. Got a fever too. I'll carry the cooler to the car, take pictures of the boys with these cars and that one over there. Meet at the car. Say goodbye to Pam and Bill , Joe and the ever well kempt George too. I need to eat a big steak. Maybe that will do the trick. Big steak ...potatoe... greens... nope. Roll into the room around 2 pm Sunday. lay down for a bit, surely I can shake this. get out of bed at 11....Monday... to leave for plane. Track Randy down tell him we need to get going.
Land at STL 1130 Monday night haul ass home. Get up Tuesday go to urgent care Any part of body used in breathing process severly infected. Along with ears and sinuses. Screw it. I went to Bakersfield. nuff said