Saturday, March 04, 2006

Page two

Day Two, and beyond. I lived the farthest away of all the employees, so was the first to arrive each morning. Bob would get there about six am, followed by me at seventhirty, to start a eight am day. One of the first things I noticed about him was that he would meet every employee at the time clock every morning. He knew that I was paying huge amounts of child support every week, based on what I made up north, so he let me have a lil overtime each week to keep food on the table. When I arrived, I would be greeted by him, with a fresh ten dollar bill to run and get doughnuts from across the street. When I got back with our treats, he would have the first pot of coffee done. The first coffee and doughnut were consumed while he asked me how things were in my world. I learned about a million things during those fifteen minutes we had each morning. One thing I didn't know I was learning that he taught me was how to be southern. It is more than words, but a way of thinking, and seeing the world around us. Eventually, I would become known as Bobs Yankee. I knew I was Midwestern, but didn't mind. It was about two weeks into the job, I received the first of five raises I got the first year. So much for two raises a year. Bob's roots were the very roots of NASCAR, back in the day when they drove all kinds of tracks, dirt too. It was another bond we shared, him a former racer, and me an engine builder. He used to tell me stories about my heroes, Curtis Turner, Fireball Roberts, and of course, The Earnhardts, Ralph and Dale. He was buds with Jim Hunter, of Darlington raceway, now the head of public relations of NASCAR. He told me of a tale, one day Jim called him, and asked if he would like to ride to the airport to pick up one of the stars for the weekends race, I think it was at Dixieanna speedway. The man was stoned drunk when they got there. They collected him, and a bottle, and took him to the race. Poured him into his car, where he went out and WON the damn thing, still drinking! They poured him onto a plane, and went to get some comfort of there own.(continued)

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