Recently saw a short discussion on this very subject on Facebook. Some will say it was me, some will say it was Mike Johnson, some will say it was Marc Olson, some will say it is the Racinboys, some will say it is the Central Auto Racing Boosters, some will say it is my wife, Diana, some will say it is the Lowrey brothers, some will say it is the current president of the C.A.R.B. Hall of Fame and Museum, and some will say it was someone else. Is it split, my answer would be yes, who split it, now that is a matter of opinion.
There will be some who do not want me to write this stuff, others will be willing to learn, still others will make accusations. The truth sometimes hurts, sorry, but everyone has to stand by their actions. Someday we will all be responding about our actions on the day of judgment.
There have been several events which have led up to this split. To ensure we don’t miss anything we will start with a history lesson, of who, what, when, where, and the why will be left up to us to ponder and make our own opinion. This will be a series of blogs because several items led to this point.
We begin in 2000, Joan Ellis and Diana Green begin a project of reviewing the history of the Central Auto Racing Boosters. They would visit Vi Eli, the club historian, and make notes of the history found in the history books. This led to a committee, a committee of volunteers working to publish a book. Interviews were done, our basement became a collection of papers, pictures, and notes. We would write, Adrienne Malinowski would proof, we would rewrite, all the while making progress toward the book the First 50 Years of the Central Auto Racing Boosters.
The neat thing about the book, it created camaraderie within the racing community and within the Central Auto Racing Boosters. We were all working towards one goal. Past racers wanted to see the book and see their name in it. The current racers wanted to learn more about C.A.R.B. Those working on the book were happy busy working people, we had each other’s back, we had a passion for what we were doing and we had most of all, a team! The goal was simply to prepare a book, review the book, print the book, and publish the history of C.A.R.B. It started as a 100 page goal and ended with a 200 plus page book.
To save cost we would work, we wrote, we had proof readers, we finalized, we took a few pages at a time to Don’s Printing in Excelsior Springs, he would print and we would collate, putting the books together in sections. When it came time to bind we needed help and up stepped Clyde Ellis to cover the cost of binding in the form of a loan. Our goal was to have the books ready for the Snake Saturday parade and we made our goal!
This book led the organization to discover n 1969 then President Lee Fagala had suggested a Hall of Fame. At that time the Central Auto Racing Boosters belonged to a larger organization, the National Association of Auto Racing Fan Clubs (NAARFC). This organization still exists but is centered on the Indianapolis 500. They had a Hall of Fame of which Pappy Taylor and J.O. Pop Hartman are inductees. President Fagala was suggesting the same type of Hall of Fame in 1969 for C.A.R.B.
Every year NAARFC would send C.A.R.B. a package requesting our nominee(s) for their Hall of Fame. Starting in 2000, Joan Ellis and I wrote a nomination for Clyde Ellis and we would submit each year. Every year we submitted Clyde’s nomination the award would go elsewhere. This became very frustrating for C.A.R.B. to the point years later we would vote to no longer be part of NAARFC.
So back to who split the local racing community, are there any answers here? Maybe, it could be Joan Ellis and Diana Green, or the team who wrote the book, or Joan and I for writing a nomination for Clyde, or who knows, in truth, everything done was up and up and actually brought camaraderie to the racing community. Nothing here in my opinion, but again that is only my opinion.
Next we look at the events of 2003. As we move forward from these years and including upcoming announcements I learned about today the picture may or may not become clear.