7 years. We have 7 years of stuff or crap or pristine top of the line items for sale this weekend depending on who I am talking to. It is funny how feelings and memories come to us from the objects that surround us. After saving literally every piece of clothing and toy that did not get destroyed by 2 boys, our last 7 years sit on old doors on sawhorses and 6 foot party tables. It’s the strangest items that bring back a lost memory. A pair of socks or slippers, a lost tire from a toy car, or that baseball card from my own youth. These items are a living document of our past and for 75 cents you can have it all!
I was at Slinger this past Sunday and I observed similar occurrences as my mind reminisced on the 28 plus years at the track. Peeling the largest paint chips off the seats, walking down the hill in Section C formerly Section B looking for the Row 33 written in sharpie. Checking to see if I could still see the spot on the track where Tony “the Tiger” had his big fire the one week I missed that season. Walking down the big hill to find my boys in the 2 hour line to get an ice cream and glancing at the office to see the points sheets I grabbed each week. Seeing the tall black guy with the afro and wishing he’d throw his metal chair down the aisle one more time. Remembering the times I had a few too many and all the time meeting new friends and hanging out with old friends and family.
Short track racing, for me, is like time travelling to your best and sometimes worst moments in life. Just as I picked up that onesie and remembered the day I left the hospital terrified of being that responsible for the survival of a living humanoid, one starts to recall not only what happened on the track, but what was going on off the track during that time. In just under 2 weeks we all get to rummage through our Nationals memory banks, and I can not wait!
Rich Zimpel has been attending local race tracks for the past 30 years.