Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More about my Daytona Days of 1948

Hello To Many:
I am trying my hand at coping & pasting: Bob James.

Hello Ken,
I know it was Bill Armstrong that I helped work some on his Indian Sport Scout Racer. Erle "POP" Armstrong was my Instructor at the Indian Factory School. Jackie Armstrong was about my age and Bill was like 30 some years of age or more in 1948 and was married and had at least two children. Bill was working on the Indian Factory assembly line putting the flywheels in the cases when the class was being showed how it works to put an Indian Chief together.
Bill and his family lived in the duplex house with Pop & his wife in the other duplex. One weekend when I was helping Bill and it was getting late and colder outside, Pop came down to the basement and later Jackie & one of his buddies had also showed up. Jackie & his buddy past their bottle of booze around and I refused to drink with them. He ask me if I was some kind of Jesus Frick and I told him; "No, I just don't drink." I just kept working on Bill's Racer. Pop even had his drink with him. So, soon Jackie & his buddy left and Pop went back upstairs. Along about midnight,, Pop came back down to the basement and told Bill & me that I just as well sleep in Jackie's bed instead of getting out in the cold and walking the distance to Fritize Baer house where I was staying.
I should had called Mrs. Baer because the next day when I findly showed up she was worried about me. They hadn't seen me since Friday when I & another young man had rode to the Indian Factory that morning with her husband, Fritize Baer and his son Bobby. Fritize was some kind of BIGSHOT for the Indian's.
Well, Anyway I slept in Jackie's bed like Pop has suggested. Jackie had won a 50 mile race on his Indian Race up at Laconia last year and BOY did I feel special of getting to sleep in his bed! But I took a dislike to Jackie for calling me a Jesus Frick.
Even down at Daytona I didn't like being around Jackie Armstrong. I can't remember the names of the two pit-man for Bill Armstrong. They didn't seem to care much for me being part of the pit crew, so I kind of went my own way the day of the Saturday race for Jackie and Sunday race for Bill. I did let Bill borrow my stop-watch however.
I met Dayton Cooper & his girlfriend from Denver and spent some time watching the races with them. I made a trade with Dayton & his girlfriend at his request. I let her have enough of my bus tickets to get het to het grandmothers place in another state and I rode back to Pueblo with Dayton on his Harley and side hack. Said my GOODBYES to Bill and his two man crew after the Sunday race was over and them Dayton saw his girlfriend off on the Bus and him & I took off on his Harley and drove all night I think and all day until we finally got a motel somewhere maybe along the Gulf of Mexico near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We stayed south until it was time to drive north to Los Alamos, New Mexico to visit with our motorcycle friend Boyd West and his wife Thelma and their small son for two nights. From there it was to Pueblo where Dayton & I pulled into my folks yard on his Harley with a side hack. We would take turns driving & sleeping. I figured out that I could sleep on the Side Hack pretty good and so Dayton gave it a try. One time we had to adjust the chains on his machine and one time we got caught in a hail storm in New Mexico and got down inside of a coveret under the highway. It turned cold then before we got in at Santa Fe and on up to the hill at Los Alamos. It was a GREAT experience for me at 20 years of age.
This is getting too long, so will stop for now. Time to go BOWLING!

Take Care, Dad.

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