Kids can’t see. Good or bad?
Being a relatively new member of the old timer’s league, I find it quite enjoyable enlightening (boring) my younger friends with stories of past times. At work I am the old guy. I’m accepting it more and more every day that I am out of touch with the younger generation; but with every full moon or so, I relate to them a story that actually seems to interest them. So being a race fan, I wanted to spread my joy of storytelling to the URFWI community.
As with most of us, we all had a parent who introduced us to racing, and my mentor was none other than my father. He worked as a heat treater and was a second shifter which made it very difficult to become close with my dad. Fortunately, we frequently patronized Hales Corner’s Speedway, State Fair Park, and Slinger Speedway in its dirt track days. I was a smaller kid and besides having to inhale cigarette smoke from those sitting next to us, I always had a rough time seeing the action on the track. I would have to standup on the bleacher and even then it was an obstructed view for a short guy like myself. The stands were filled to the point that this was a problem no matter where you chose to sit. People came weekly to the tracks in those days.
And those days did continue to the time of myself mentoring my own children. That brings us up to the anecdote of going to Slinger and my son Rich having trouble seeing. I have always enjoyed making stuff in my basement woodworking shop and one could find me solving any problem with plywood, screws, nails, hinges, glue, clamps, etc. I wanted to give my son a better experience when we attended the racetrack so I made him a booster seat out of wood. When we would walk into the stands, people would see me unfold the contraption and clamp it to the bleacher seat. My race buddy would climb up and take his seat which allowed him and myself to look eye to eye; this compelled neighboring fans to give me a thumbs up and a smile. The best part is that Richie COULD SEE all the action on the track! This was necessary until he grew up and we became regulars in section B at Slinger.
Today my grandsons are traveling with us to tracks throughout Wisconsin. But things have definitely changed; booster seats don’t seem to be necessary in these present times. This must be related to track attendance. Our lives have too many other entertainment options these days. Technology, among other things, have improved racing in general, but they have also taken away interest in the sport my son and I love so much.
Let’s all promote the sport of racing at the local level and get those stands full again to the point where the KIDS CAN’T SEE. This is without a doubt a GOOD thing that can happen to the sport of auto racing in this state and elsewhere as well. If your children can’t see, build or get them booster seats; and if they can see, ask your family and friends to join you in taking the time to enjoy our freedom of attending a local short track venue. Too BAD kids can see when they attend auto racing events. This trend can be reversed if we all include on our calendars time to be AT THE TRACK.