I was bored, cold, and going through my NASCAR withdrawal after the Banquet. The annual Season of the Inversion in Boise Idaho had begun. Too cold and too ugly to go for a walk.
It was Sunday and I really had nothing I had to do. I did some yoga, listened to Mozart and decided I woud just go where the Internet took me. I like to do that sometimes. You never know what you will find.
I made the rule, NO NASCAR surfing. Learn something new. I decided to run my site through a google search ranking and clicked on the link thats said “See other sites like this” .
What I found next was an absolute treasure. Priceless memories and real “true from the Heart” memories.
I had landed on Dick Ralstin’s Racing Home Page.
Dick Ralstin grew up around automobiles. His father opened up an automobile repair shop in 1919. His entire life has centered around cars in one form or another with the exception of 1943-1946 when he was serving in the Navy on the USS McDermot DD677.
Dick started out his career as a journalist over an argument about how many mistakes were made in the Automotive Column that he had with the Editor of his local newspaper. The editor told him if was so smart why didn’t he write the column. Thus…the story begins.
Dick became the Sports Editor for The Kokomo Morning Times, where, (as kismet does), he had the fortunate responsibility to cover automobile racing at many different race tracks.
Dick was already a Racing Fan. He saw his first race in 1933 at a half mile dirt track. He was there when the helmets were cloth and the goggles were probably dangerous.
**I will have to ask him about that. Weren’t they made of glass that could shatter easily?**
As a member of the Press he got to hang out with the racer’s and have a beer and listen to the stories that were told. His articles and expertise were widely respected in the racing world. Kismet again…
Dick Ralstin became the Manager of Public Relations for Goodyear’s Racing Division.
Dick’s site is full of everything imaginable about racing. Pictures and Pictures and Pictures to go with each Tale. The history of the tracks, the men that drove them , the myths and lore surrounding each one. The track Ghosts Stories are awesome, evoking every emotion from happy to silly to sad. The Names in the storys… like AJ Foyt. Roger Penske, Buddy Baker, Parnelli Jones. Tales of the tests and the accidents that make our sport safer now. Tales of accident’s that were tragic and accidents that were miraculous.
I cuddled up with a blanket and my warm chai with the “good book” and read and read and read. Marvelous stories of courage and pain. Hilarious stories of fun, racin, and beer.
My favorite of all is a story about riding down Pikes Peak in Dick’s rented Mercury Cougar with Mario Andretti and Bobby Unser. I lived in Cripple Creek, Colorado in the mid to late’80′s. I know the road they went down well. Unser’s Hill. I know a back road to that back road in fact. You wouldn’t catch me driving faster than 20 ?? or so on those grades and curves.
There is a story about being at the World Speed Records on Bonneville Salt Flats on the Utah Nevada border. WOW! To have seen that must have been something. Oh! The places a good tire will take you.
Take your time looking around his site. Read each and every story. You will learn a lot. Best “Novel” I have read in years.
Dick writes so vividly…I could see, hear, feel his stories. When you read his stories about his life with his animals you get to see an even bigger picture of what kind of a Man he is. Kind, full of Wonder and respect for Nature. Appreciative and Humble.
I wrote him an email asking permission to do a shout out about him. He immediatley answered and said “yes, but he didn’t understand what the hell I could find to write about him”. **lol**
He likes to watch the counter on his site go up. Well, gang …start raising that hit count. Pass it around …forward and recommend this site to anyone you know that loves racing. It is such a treat. He is a treat.
I can find lots to write about you, Dick. I could do a post a day for a year and still not be even close to finished.
You were a true Mover and Shaker in the NASCAR world. The USAC and Indy world. The Auto Racing World, period. Your not fooling me…being all humble.**LOL**
I have a thing with quote’s. When I find one I love, one that touches my soul , I tape it to my computer screen, where I can see it and allow it to motivate me.
This is the new one on my computer…
“If I had written a script the day I was born, I couldn’t have written it more perfect that my life has been.
I would hate to be the undertaker who has to try to get the smile off my face.” Dick Ralstin
I will email you before my next trip to “our secret”. Maybe we can have a cup of coffee…better yet, a beer. You are my new favorite hideaway on the net too.