Saturday, June 27, 2009

Something that I had sent to Carl Edeburn

Hello everybody,
Back when Carl Edeburn was getting material for his book :"Sturgis The Story of the Rally", he ask me to write some of my motorcycle history down and send it to him. Of which I did.
Carl in turn used a small part of it in his book.
Carl did send me by e-mail his rewrote version: SO, here it is:


Carl, Ken & Kay, I can’t remember if I ever sent this to you.

Robert (Bobby) James an early racing participant from Pueblo, Colorado spent the week with Clarence & Pearl Hoel enjoying the 1985 rally. James, who bought his first motorcycle in 1944; a 1931 Harley-Davidson 30.50 CI single. He began competing in 1946 on an Army surplus 1942 Harley-Davidson 45 CI that he bought at the F.O. B. price of $415 from the GENUINE Harley-Davidson Dealer; The SASSO BRO’S., of Pueblo, Colorado.
James said his first trophy was won at the Colorado Gypsy Tour of 1946 and his first money was won at Rocky Ford, Colorado of that same year. He was competing with the Harley-Davidson Dealers, Gif Henderson from Denver and Vern McMullen from Colorado Springs along with Malcolm Sims from Pueblo and Pete Wood from Colorado Springs. All of them were older and experience in Dirt Track, Hill Climbs and Tourist Trophy Racing from the Pre-World War ll era. Bobby said he ate dirt in the two races from Gif & Vern but the other two contestants didn’t give him any problems.
Shortly after this, James teamed up with Indian Dealer, Walt Timme from Pueblo. Walt & Bobby started winning races and hill climbs in Colorado. In 1947, it was time to go to Sturgis to spin wheels with some of the best Dirt Trackers of America.
As a Novice at Sturgis in 1947, he did good enough to move on to Norton, Kansas where he had his hands in the money bag both days of racing on this half-mile horse track
By 1948, Bobby James, 80N, Indian Racer was making a name for himself along with his Sponsor and Wrench, Walt Timme. He was even getting pointers from Jim Tagaris, of Harry Motors of Denver during these two years of racing. It was at Sturgis when Bobby won an Amateur Heat Race that his picture was taken holding the Checker Flag while setting on ‘The Chrome Job” and shaking hands with Mrs. Harriett Anderson. This is the same young lady that is featured in my first book on page 69 with Chuck Basney and Pappy Hoel. Before the two days of racing was over, Bobby had picked up some more points towards becoming an Expert for 1949 as well as enough prize money to race at Norton, Kansas once more and build-up his much needed expense account for the Springfield Mile. His pitman was his brother, Raleigh and Ray Magan.
Bobby told me, “It was a great feeling when Pappy Hoel greased my palm with a twenty dollar bill.”
Bobby told me that he felt that he was on his way to race Springfield for sure in 1948.
Carl, I even had a girlfriend by the name of Wanda E. Dibler. I sent her telegrams both nights from Deadwood, South Dakota, telling her how I had placed in the money.
By the time that Sturgis of 1949 was approaching, Bobby & Wanda were married and expecting a baby sometime in February of 1950. The baby turned out to be TWINS.
Teaming up with Jim Tagaris for all the racing and Colorado Hillclimb along with a shift job at Pueblo Power Plant didn’t fit in very well with his racing career. But Bobby had made an agreement with Jim to race for him and just maybe Springfield would be his apex in racing. His job at the Power Plant was placed on the back burner with reluctance from everyone.
Carl, my racing at Sturgis as an Expert for the two days of racing was fair. My racing at Norton, Kansas was just as fair. I felt that it was best not to spend anymore money chasing a dream of ever racing at Springfield, Illinois. So, I told Jim, let us go back to Denver and race the T. T. at Pueblo.
My next time at Sturgis was not to take place until Bob Larratt told me about the White Plate Trackers Monument that was going to be built.
I’ll work on that next and how I became one of the Executive Directors of the WPFTA. Bob.

ENJOY, By Bob James, 80N.

Friday, June 26, 2009

An old letter of mine

Hello everybody,
I am still not sure how to do this. That is why I have not posted. Bob James.

OK! I wanted to say something about Ed McComish, but I will first see how this old letter goes to press.

The first word that I received about the White Plate Flat Trackers Association came from my friend, Bob Larratt on September 10, 1980. He gave me the letter that he had received. I wrote a letter on September 12, 1980 to the WPFTA in care of J. C. Hoel. Telling him that I was glad that this organization had been formed and I sent a $25.00 check. On October 5, 1980, I wrote back to “Pappy” after receiving the acknowledgement that he had received my $25 check. From that time until Pappy took sick and couldn’t write to me, we exchanged many letters with each other. I finished paying my donation and then some. Received my uniform and some extra t-shirts before the next meeting.
At the meeting of the White Plate Flat Trackers Association of August 13, 1988, I was nominated & voted to be the Executive Director. My term was over on August 9, 1991.
I wrote lots of letters before, during and after being in this position. I’m not sure of which number I happen to be.
Bob Moore was given the title of President when it was first formed in 1980. Neil Hultman was Vice-President; Richard Creed was Secretary and Jerry Malcolm was Treasurer. On the Advisory Board there were J. C. Hoel, Don Rice and Bill Gikling; for the first Board of Directors there were Al Burke, Chairman, Neil Keen, Al Nelson, Dan Duebler, Bill Tuman and Joe Doyle.
In the letter from Al Burke of December 1981, he told us that Jim Sprik of Denver, Colorado is our new Executive Director. So maybe Jim became the Executive Director the same day when we dedicated the Monument on August 6, 1981.
In the letter from Al Burke of January 1984, he told us that Jim Sprik stepped down as Executive Director and Norm Tietz was elected for the coming year to replace Jim.
I have a letter dated March 25, 1984 from Norm Tietz , Ex. Dir. So, I assume that Mr. Tietz served until August of 1984.
In a letter from Pappy dated as received on March 20, 1985, I am informed that Norm Tietz is no longer in his former official capacity, in place is Don Vodden of Harker, Texas.
In this same letter, J. C. Pappy Hoel informs us that due to health reasons, he is resigning as of June 1, 1985 as Financial Secretary.
In this same letter he suggested that I write to our President, Bob Moore about how to get more names on the memoriam panel.
In all of the letters that I received from Pappy from 1980 until I became the Executive Director it showed that Pappy is the Executive Director or the Financial Secretary.
After me came our youngest Executive Director, Jeff Dietz.
The present Executive Director is Denny Kannenberg.

Carl, maybe this will help you some about the White Plate Flat Trackers Association.
If you need what I have about Jim Spirk, I could fill you in on him since he died on Nov. 5, 1999.
Time to retire, Bob.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bikers run Roeder Memorial, possibly for last time! Sports Article
BY DON HOHLER - Reflector Sportswriter
Saturday, June 13, 2009 1:27 AM EDT

JEFF VAN NATTA/REFLECTOR Aaron Sheid from Willard competes in the open amateur class at the George Roeder I & Don Martin Memorial 1/2 mile flat track motorcycle racing show Friday at the Huron County Fairgrounds in Norwalk.

It very possibly was the end of an era at the Huron County Fairgrounds Friday afternoon. The 20th running of the Don Martin-George Roeder Memorial Race may well have been the last.

Although two of the sons of George Roeder, Geo and Jess, were present, neither rode. Both are now business partners at what was the original Harley-Davidson dealership in Monroeville.

A fine crowd witnessed a regional event that had 79 entries.

Article source:


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ed McComish Jr. -- Rest in Peace

Edward McComish Jr., Phoenix
Edward F. McComish Jr., 82, Phoenix, died Friday, June 5, 2009, in Phoenix. Memorial services will be held in Phoenix. Burial will be in Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, in the fall.
Arrangements are under the direction of Hansen Mortuaries, Phoenix.
Edward F. McComish Jr., 82, Phoenix, died Friday, June 5, 2009, in Phoenix.

Memorial services will be held in Phoenix. Burial will be in Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, in the fall.

Arrangements are under the direction of Hansen Mortuaries, Phoenix.

He was born in 1927 in Mitchell to Edward Sr. and Amanda (Moorman) McComish.

He served as a Seabee in World War II.

He worked at several newspapers in this area before he moved to Brookings where he and his wife built and operated the A&W Drive-In.

In 1972, they returned to Mitchell and developed and operated the KOA Kampground.

He retired to Phoenix.

He was a lifetime member of Lions Club.

He is survived by his wife, Ramona; three children: Linda Nilsson and Jean Doering, both of Phoenix; and Bruce, Mitchell; six grandchildren and a sister, Mary Lou Andrews, Mitchell.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Lions Club or a service organization of your choice.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rapid City 1/2 Mile & Sturgis Races 2009

Anyone headed to the Black Hills for the Rally and need information on the races, here is a couple links for information.

Click For Jackpine Gypsies Schedule

Click For Rapid City 1/2 Mile

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

WPFTA June 2009 Newsletter

The June 2009 WPFTA Newsletter is now available with a big thanks to Kari Kannenberg for all her hard work and dedication.

The newsletter is (Click_Here) to download a copy to read on your computer or to print a copy to save.

Ride Safe