This is the day designated for us to remember those who paid the ultimate price by giving their life for our freedoms! It is a day loved ones visit graves to remember family who has lived and gone on before us.
In the racing world, did you know Jim and Claudine Penney would take this day and visit the graves of Central Auto Racing Booster Members and racers who have gone before us? Many year ago Vi Eli suggested they receive a lifetime membership to the Central Auto Racing Boosters. Vi explained what Jim and Claudine had been doing for many years and naturally they easily were elected for this award.
As I have been described as a person who makes it happen, an action guy, let me state one of the reason for starting the Central Auto Racing Boosters Hall of Fame, it was to remember those who gone on before us. When we first started the Hall of Fame I envisioned tying together the racers from the past with the racers of the present. I thought it would be an opportunity for the past racers to teach the young racers, not just the racing secrets but the racing etiquette. This etiquette included carrying on what Jim and Claudine Penney have started.
When we created the 501c3 version of the Central Auto Racing Boosters Hall of Fame and we added the museum group it was not intended to be two separate groups as it now functions. It was intended to bring the past into the present. My vision was to see everyone working together, remembering the racers past, racers of the past teaching the younger generation, the younger generation accepting the tutelage of the past racers. What we got though is racers past living in the racers past, and racers present on thinking only of their current racing program. If only they could see they will soon be the racers of the past.
It does not help we have separate events attended only by the separate groups. The oldtimers/legends will soon have a dinner, how many current racers will be in attendance? The original group has a September racer appreciation dinner/picnic, how many past racers will be there? What if they got together and had one event for both? Only to dream of our original goal!
We have also seen selfishness creep in, egos creep in, and we have seen separatists creep in. I have heard through the infamous grapevine one of our two current presidents was actually working to ensure the two groups are and remain separate. That would be contrary to the first requirement of the Central Auto Racing Boosters, “To promote interest in and understanding of the Auto Racing Sport in Missouri and elsewhere among the general public. To induce cooperation between Fans, Car Owners, Drivers, Track Officials, and the General Public. To encourage better sportsmanship at the racetracks”. And last I knew you had to be a member of the Central Auto Racing Boosters to be a part of the Hall of Fame and Museum group.
I would suggest we remember Memorial Day for the freedoms we have and I would suggest the current Hall of Fame and Museum Board take on the actions first started by Jim and Claudine Penney and visit the graves of those inducted into the Hall of Fame and leave a C.A.R.B. decoration as Jim and Claudine have done. They could lead the way in one of the original visions for creating the Hall of Fame creating a bridge between the past and the present.