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.

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