Was in Country Club bank this morning and the manager and I were talking about all the changeover going on. Hobart Mason retired from NKC Beverage and was replaced by Steve Snelling. The Community Center has been replaced by the YMCA. For that matter I replaced Mickey Finn as President of Northland Festivals. Yes there has been quite a bit of turnover and the originals have set the bar high for those of us that follow in the footsteps.
For 28 years Mickey Finn spearheaded the Snake Saturday events, the Grand Marshal Celebration, the Lad and Lassies, the Charity Cookoff, and the parade and festival. He did not do it alone he built a team and then he let the team do their job. These events would not be what they are without the team, yes they need a leader for guidance, but guidance is all. Many times in my years with the Central Auto Racing Boosters that is exactly how we did all we have done, build a team and let them work. Yes Mickey is a tough act to follow but I welcome the challenge.
Another tough act to follow is the history of Lakeside Speedway. The Ellis family and the original owners created this great venue for racing. Ted Carlson brought the seats from the Denver Bronco stadium and really made it successful by putting dirt over the asphalt at the insistence of Marc Olson. Marc Olson brought a dynamite schedule to the track teaching everyone to keep things special, do not schedule too many specials, let what you have be special. He also ensured the cars always looked different per class. The Johnsons brought a super smooth and tacky track, an exceptionally clean facility, in fact Water One and Jim Knetter both have praised them for the outstanding work they have done in cleaning up Lakeside Speedway. The grass was mowed in many places it had never been mowed before, it was mowed every week, the pits were swept every week, and the trash was always picked up. Water One was looking forward to cleaning out all the ditches this next year to really spruce up the area. Now it is the Marrs turn, what will they bring to the track for improvement, only time will tell but all those are tough acts to follow. The bar has been set high for the racers and the fans by all the previous owners.
The Central Auto Racing Boosters have followed the same path. Yes there were years where they held steady instead of improving but look at the recently successful sold out Bowlathon, a whole new younger generation headed it up. Changeover is occurring even in that organization. Look at the history and how this organization has grown and how it added a Hall of Fame and then a museum and then split the club so the organization could take advantage of the 501c3 IRS tax code. Yes the bar has been set high by previous caretakers, the current caretakers are putting their stamp on the organization, and they must set themselves goals to push the bar even higher.
Isn’t that truly our life’s’ goal, not to maintain what someone created but to do it better, to improve the product to leave what you are the gate keeper of in better spot than what you started. Yes life is fleeting, time passes by, but all we can do is improve on what our forefathers left us. Let’s set the bar high and keep pushing it up, it is better to try and fail than to never have tried.