Archive for September, 2016

Etched Between The Pages Of My Mind

September 29, 2016 Leave a comment

Pro Blogger is a site I visit often. I still want to be a “pro” blogger if I ever retire from my day job. I haven’t done a great job keeping up with technology-I should be doing a podcast right now-but while there are days I wonder why I am still doing this after all these years, I know I still have things to say. Even though I am not a “pro,” which means I make no money at this, I am pleased there are people who want to read what I have to say. Anyway, Pro Blogger had some advice to those like me from bloggers who are making it.


Be yourself was the first piece of advice. I try to be myself when I sit down at the keyboard. That doesn’t mean cranky, grouchy, old-fashioned, over the hill, though some of you may think so. It means I am not going to copy someone else-cover bands have never been my thing, but I am a big fan of oldies groups. Old rock stars can still provide lots of entertainment, and I hope I am a little like Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman of The Turtles, still making good music after all these years.


Consistency was mentioned often by bloggers. I have tried to be consistent in my nearly 2,000 posts, always writing from the perspective of a fan in the grandstands, not accepting what promoters would like us to believe, not tolerating things that irritate me, but praising what I see as good for the little people-yes, as big as I may be physically, from growing up on the wrong side of the tracks to this very day I see myself as one of the little people. Others may find a groove around the top side of the track, but I will always be a bottom feeder.


Only write what you are passionate about. I remain passionate about auto racing, especially those cars like no others, dirt late models. I am not a missionary. I won’t convert any non-believer. Like Louis Armstrong said about jazz, “man, if you have to ask what it is, you’ll never know.”  I know what I feel, and I am passionate about what I feel. I hate roller coasters. You couldn’t get me on one for a million bucks. Unfortunately, my life has been somewhat of a roller coaster, and this blog is a reflection of my ups and downs. But even in the downs I still love auto racing-even sprint cars, though not really B-mods.


Someone stated “Blogging is never about one post, it’s your body of work you’ll be known for.” I have over 1,000,000 words out there in cyberspace. Some I am proud of, some not so much. But all the words are me, what I am about, what I care for, what I think. I hope that when he gets a little older Henry will read some of what I wrote and say “gee, grandpa was pretty good.” Yes, that thought does bring a lump to my throat, cliché or not.


I have been “waxing nostalgic” the past few days. I thought of my best friend growing up, a friend who moved to Fairbury after his dad passed. He later moved to Alliance and worked as an engineer for the Burlington Railroad. I haven’t seen him since 1970. He was smart, probably smarter than me. He was a damn good athlete. He was quarterback in football, I was an end-but I did catch a touchdown pass from him once. He scored 60 points in a YMCA basketball game once, the most I ever scored was 6. He was a pitcher, I was a shortstop. We rode our bikes to the swimming pool at Ronin Park in the summer. Yeah, good old days.


I can still picture basketball games at the old YMCA, and baseball games at Bell Field (now the home of an elementary school), or Military Park. I thought of missing a home run at M-3 by a matter of inches. Instead of clearing a hedge it hit the top and stuck. The damn hedge is gone now and M-3 is a football practice field.


I miss the pick-up baseball games at Washington School, Miller Park, and Moller Field. I would scream at Matt if he ever let Henry out of his sight, but we would leave in the morning, not come home until lunch, and then go back to play more in the afternoon.


I miss the A & W Root Beer stand in Fremont. When I was very young, it was always a treat to go there for a root beer. An even bigger treat was when we not only got a root beer, but a Mexi Burger as well-think of it as a sentimental sloppy joe. I can see myself sitting in the back seat of our old Chevy, pulling into A & W 5th street in downtown Fremont, long before it moved to Bell Street. I see a waitress coming out to our car to take our order from my dad. And I see her bringing out a tray and hanging it on my dad’s window. I can almost taste the ice cold root beer and the spicy sandwich. Almost.


I miss their rot gut pizza too. Going to college, living in a trailer, married, we did not have much money in the summer of 1971. So buying a pizza from A & W-who threw in a jug of root beer was a good deal. It was supper AND breakfast.


Actually, I started liking pizza at Andy’s Italian Village, west of Fremont on Highway 30. Loved it, missed it when he moved to Lincoln, it was not the same when he moved back to Fremont and opened Andy’s on 1st.


Yeah, I miss Al’s Café, and the Chuck Wagon Café, Richee Dairy, and Gold Key Drive-In. I miss the Fremont Theater and the Empress Theater, and of course the Fremont Drive-In. I loved the place growing up, even worked there one summer. It was a good place to drink beer when you were only 18.


I miss working at Kelly’s IGA as a carry-out, and I hated it then. I miss walking bean fields in the summer. I miss night invoice at Hormel’s, working late, working all night, going to class the next day, and coming back and working more. I couldn’t do that now-but I still have dreams about the job and the good times too.


Yeah, I miss my dad. A lot. Every day. And wish I could talk with him even one more time. I miss his old truck he called “Teddy Roosevelt, because it was a rough riding son of a bitch.” I would kill to ride with him in that pick-up one more time, me about 10, going to the Dugout for a pop and a beer I miss our trips to Colorado, staying in Longmont or Estes Park and venturing to Rocky Mountain National Park. I didn’t like mountain highways, but the scenery was amazing. No air conditioning in the car, but hey, we stayed in motels with swimming pools.


I miss by old cars too-well, my ’60 Chevy Bel-Air, my ’64 Chevy Impala-the 2 door burgundy Impala with chrome wheels, my ’67 Mustang, and my ’71 Mustang too. Wish I had any of them. Wish I had all of them still. I think of Jane and me when we were young. Wow. I am lucky to have her, because I am not always easy to get along with. I think of Matt and Amanda when they were young. And am so proud of how they are as adults.


Sorry about all the reminiscing. I am feeling quite mortal these days, and more than a little nervous about a procedure I have coming up in October. Cancer is scary, even if the cancer you have is the most treatable, most survivable, and it was caught early. The procedure is scary too, even when you know the doctor is one of the best around. I would really prefer to keep my prostate, but I more prefer to keep living.


I still have a lot to live for and need to do a lot better job of taking care of this body, mind, and soul. I intend to keep going, keep writing, keep blogging, and keep irritating promoters and certain sprint car fans. And making my grandson proud.


Thanks for stopping by.


Categories: September 2016

Iowa-No, Sprint Cars-I Guess, Sprint Cup-Not Really

September 28, 2016 1 comment

received the following link from my friend TMC:

While it is a disappointment for Iowa drivers and fans, I suppose it is a sign of the times. No explanation was given, but the track occupies a lot of ground and perhaps the board saw that land as more valuable used for something else, like more butter sculptures.
I suppose country and western bands bring more rednecks to the fair than races do. And, there is not exactly a shortage of tracks for Iowa racers to race at. Still a shame though.
I don’t normally promote watching sprint car races on the computer, but this week is the National Open at Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Posse battling the World of Outlaw regulars is worth taking a look. Go to for more details. Races are tomorrow-Saturday.
The National Sprint League is also in action this weekend, with the 410 sprints running in the 21st Annual Queen’s Royale at St. Francois County Raceway on Friday and Saturday. You can order a PPV for this event at  Or if you stay up a little later than me, you can watch the Pat Pettitt Shootout from Ocean Speedway in California, also on Speed Shift TV and also on Friday and Saturday.
Yes, there are live sprint car races this weekend at I-80 Speedway. The ASCS 360 sprints will be racing against the Nebraska 360 sprints. I can’t believe I have mentioned three different sprint car shows in one blog. I will probably be a stay at home this weekend though.
I know I mutter every time the NASCAR Sprint Car Series races in New Hampshire. I just cannot get into watching the races at that track. To show you how not into it I was, I watched the first 30 laps, and then paid bills and read a book. I watched the last 20 laps and was happy to see Kevin Harvick take the checkered flags, but I would have been happy just for the race to end.
300 miles at New Hampshire is too many miles. Try 300K instead. Yeah, I know that will never happen. Just like Dover will never shorten their races to 400K (or better yet, 300K). Like New Hampshire, Dover is not on my bucket list.
Racing at New Hampshire is a lot like Dodge Street weekday mornings. “Rush hour” is an oxymoron, especially on my commute. From Elkhorn on there is too much traffic, and by Village Pointe Shopping Center I can see three lanes of bumper to bumper traffic for several miles in front of me and several miles behind me. When the sun is blinding-and it seems to be rising right over Dodge Street these days-the traffic slows to something less than a crawl. It took me 20 minutes to go from 180th Street to 144th Street this morning. Yeah, that is three miles of more stop than go. And the tangle stretches all the way to I-680 and past, another three miles. Amazing.
Anyway, my definition of “oxy” is all the morons speeding down on ramps at 168th Street and 156th Street only to have to slam on their breaks because Dodge Street is full of cars. BUT, I have a soft spot in my heart for these oxy-morons, just like I do sprint car fans. I always let 3-4 of them cut in front of me at each on ramp. Just the kind of guy I am.
Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Birthday Matt Plus Knoxville Redux

September 23, 2016 1 comment

Happy Birthday to the father of my grandson, the person who has been going with me to races for over 30 years. It has been quite a few years since that day, but I still remember it vividly. There have been times he has done his best to drive me crazy, but I have always been proud to call him my son. I hope you have had a great day Matt.

While the Knoxville late model nationals are history for 2016, I just received this email from someone who attended all three nights of the event.
“The racing was great all 3 nights.  The track is always good there.  The efficiency was mind boggling.  I understand other specials I attend have sun and heat issues.  I understand lots of money is made at the concessions.  But last weekend, they were almost too effective.  When the feature is over at 10:00, well, 11:00 would have worked for me.  When I say you are done too fast, you’ve done something special.

I loved hearing Jim Wilson’s comments during the Friday seminar at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.  He mentioned things I never thought of (NASCAR insurance issues, etc. for the demise of the series).  It was cool seeing Ed Sanger there.
It was also cool getting to stand in victory lane Saturday night as the winning driver got out of his car.  What is even cooler is my story from Thursday night.  After Matt and I left the track, I went to the Casey’s on the south side of town (only one open).  A very friendly gentleman with a Southern accent was in the store shopping at the same time.  He was buying donuts, pizza, and cookies.  He said to me, “I think they’ll appreciate me for this”.  I smiled and said, “I know I would”.  He was in line, but moved and aside and told me to go ahead of him.  I thanked him, walked out and thought “now that’s a nice race fan.”
You should have seen the look on my face in victory lane on Saturday as this “nice race fan” crawled out of the driver’s seat of the winning car.  I just smiled and shook my head.”

Thanks to this anonymous race fan from Auburn for that commentary. Of course it makes me even more jealous that I missed Knoxville this year, and determined not to miss it in 2017. I enjoy the ride over and back with Matt, I like the breakfasts at Hy-Vee across from the track, and I have fun watching Matt and the anonymous commentator race go-karts at Slideways Karting.

The NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour was always a favorite and I would have enjoyed hearing Wilson, the Kosiski brothers, and others talk about this best ever regional series. I can remember Ed Sanger coming to Sunset Speedway in the 70’s and kicking local butts-well, he kicked butts everywhere he went-and I every much would have liked to talk with him. And of course watching the best of the best dirt late model drivers race on the famous Knoxville oval would have been the icing on the cake.
Right now I have three events penned in on my schedule for 2017-the Silver Dollar Nationals on July 21st and 22nd, the Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury American Legion Speedway on July 28th and 29th, and the Knoxville Nationals on September 15th and 16th. I am also hoping for a spring or fall Friday trip to Kansas Speedway when the NASCAR Sprint Cup tour visits.
For now though I am looking forward to lots of nights at TROTD Speedway watching PPV’s-starting with Septemberfest from Beatrice tonight, and maybe going a night of the Cornhusker Classic at I-80 Speedway. Actually, what I would really like to do is talk my son into going to the Cornhusker Vintage Nationals at US 30 Speedway on Sunday October 2nd and taking Henry with us-no need to worry about a too dry track with the old coupes and sedans racing, and I would love my grandson to see what hooked his grandpa on the sport. It won’t be crowded, and I am sure Henry would love it.
Thanks for stopping by.



Knoxville-Marshalltown-Knoxville AND Marshalltown

September 18, 2016 Leave a comment

TROTD Speedway was the scene for some great racing this weekend. On Thursday I night I watched from Knoxville. Friday was Speed Shift TV from Marshalltown. Saturday was more Speed Shift from Marshalltown, and the feature races from Knoxville on Lucas Oil Racing TV. That was almost too much of a good deal, but as my friend TMC pointed out, when our September birthdays come around, racing season is winding down. So I’ll watch everything I can the next couple of months.

The racing at Knoxville was good on Thursday, and that was even before the feature and with Scott Bloomquist a no-show for the opening night of the Knoxville Late Model Nationals. 69 cars were on hand, and except for the 0 car, all the stars turned out to race on the famed Marion County Fairgrounds oval. The over 40 brigade started the evening right with Jimmy Owens, Steve Francis, Darrell Lanigan, and Billy Moyer all winning heat races. Jesse Sobbing had an impressive run in the heat Moyer won-until his weekend went up in smoke while leading the heat. The A feature was all Moyer. The Iowa native thrilled the crowd leading every lap of the feature, and collecting the $7,000 first place prize money.

After helping Jane watch Henry (Matt was in Knoxville and Steph was at the NU volleyball game), I decided to take in the Marshalltown action. I enjoy the IMCA Hobby Stocks, Stock Cars, A-Mods, and the quarter-mile track hosted plenty of each class, with plenty of past-national champions and drivers from around the US on hand. This is a bucket list event for me, though conflicting with the Knoxville Late Model Nationals makes stopping in “Motown” a little difficult.

As I said, I watched both events on Saturday, switching to Marshalltown when there was no on-track action at Knoxville. Random thoughts:

-30 cars started Saturday’s feature at Knoxville, but only 13 finished. Drivers love to race there, but it is far more than punishing on equipment. I wonder if a 75 lap feature might be better for everyone than the current 100 lapper. It won’t happen, but I still wonder.

-After watching the best of the best Late Models racing around the ultra-fast Knoxville track, the cars on the quarter mile Marshalltown oval seemed to be going in slow motion.

-I thought Josh Richards would run away with Saturday’s feature, but it was Mike Marlar who had the field covered. Marlar was not exactly an underdog, but if I picked 10 possible winners I don’t think he would have been on my list.

-the crowds on the preliminary nights did not seem to be that good. I don’t know if it was the threat of bad weather or the date switch and the fact that the event came just a week after the World 100. I couldn’t go this year-work and Jane’s upcoming knee surgery and my as yet date unknown procedure keeping me from heading to Knoxville. If track officials don’t mess with dates again, I will be able to attend next year.

-Big Ack, aka Lee Ackerman said that Saturday’s crowd was much better than the preliminary night’s crowds, and from what I could see on Lucas Oil Racing TV I think he was right.

-The camera showing cars coming off turn 4 gave the best action shots I have seen on any dirt track PPV. Simply awesome.

-Someone should start a Billy Moyer 2017 Race Fund on one of the “Fund Me” internet sites. Get enough money to fly Moyer from home to some of the Crown Jewel events so we can continue watching this legend race and he would not have the “windshield time” that has become such a grind to him.  He can still race-10 feature wins this season, plus a second place finish at the Silver Dollar Nationals. He was up to third last night before Bobby Pierce and Shane Clanton got by him on the last lap. A fifth at Knoxville is still a great finish.

-Scott Bloomquist on the track is amazing. Off the track, well, his story of late would make a good soap opera. You have to use Google to find out what I mean.

I am going to make Speed Shift TV a second home. Tonight after going out to eat with my family to celebrate the three September birthdays-Henry, Ron, and Matt-I will tune in for the Iron Cup finale from Park Jefferson. Next weekend will be the Septemberfest races from Beatrice Speedway. Speed Shift has 10 nights of racing in October. has 8 nights of PPV’s scheduled, including the Gateway Classic indoor races in December. The season may be winding down, but there is still a lot of racing to be watched.

Thanks for stopping by.


Categories: September 2016

Little Bobby Says It Means The World To Him To Win The 100

September 11, 2016 Leave a comment

Bobby Pierce won the 46th Annual World 100 at Eldora Speedway last night. And that is all I have to say about the Illinois driver’s victory.

Once again race fans were reminded that the sport they love is a dangerous one. Local driver Shane Unger was involved in a second heat pile-up and taken to Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater, Ohio where he died. Unger was 33. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Dennis Erb Jr. finished second to Pierce last night and won The Dream in June. At least for 2016 he is Mr. Eldora, claiming $120,000 in feature earnings at the track.

Billy Moyer did not make the field in what may have been his final World 100 appearance. Moyer finished 4th in his heat, with the top three qualifying for the feature. Moyer started on the pole in one of the consolation races and stayed in the top five for 14 laps of the 20 lap event, but faded to 7th at the finish. I realize I am a sentimental fool and what I am about to say will sound hypocritical given my stance regarding Silver Dollar National provisionals. I think Eldora officials should have given the Hall of Famer a provisional last night. If they were afraid of setting a precedent, they could have called it the 6 Time World 100 Winner’s provisional. It will be a long time-if ever-before someone else can claim it.

Billy Moyer Jr. had his best run ever at Eldora, finishing 4th. I predicted a Josh Richards win, but a flat tire relegated the West Virginia driver to an 11th place run. Jonathan Davenport continued a season of so-so results, coming home 18th.

One of the 108 drivers at the World 100 had a wrap promoting a Presidential candidate. My immediate thought on that was “no.” I don’t care who you support for President, I still say no to such things at the race track. I don’t care if it is a candidate for Senate from Kentucky, a candidate for Governor of Nebraska, or even a candidate for Mayor of Auburn. No. We are bombarded with political advertising 365 days a year, the months before an election are simply worse than the other months. I go to the races to get away from everyday life, I don’t need politics there.

I did watch the Thursday night preliminary event on a PPV. I watched from 5:30 p.m. until 11:35 p.m. Until about 9:15 p.m. I watched a slow motion version of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora. OK, it was really just track packers driving lap after lap (after lap after lap after lap after lap after lap) trying to work the track in after rain showers late in the afternoon. I wondered if the track packers would need a pit stop for fuel-they ran hundreds of laps around the big half-mile oval. By 8:00 p.m. I was sure the ghost of Earl Baltes was whispering in Tony Stewart’s ear “tell those sob’s that any driver not on the track packing in 10 minutes ain’t racing tonight.” Unfortunately Stewart didn’t listen and it was 9:15 p.m.-10:15 p.m. in Ohio-before time trials began. I watched the time trials and first five heats, but I get up at 6:15 a.m. to get ready to go to work, and awfully late and very early don’t mix well for my tired old body.

After that misfire I did not purchase Friday’s PPV, though Matt did and said it was good racing. I started to watch the John Seitz Memorial from River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and actually made it through the dozens of heats of B-Mods, A-Mods, Street Stocks, Sprint Cars, and Late Models. It was more entertaining than the Sprint Cup race from Richmond last night.

Next up for many of the super late model drivers is the Knoxville Late Model Nationals, September 15th-17th. It breaks my heart to miss this event-it irritates my posterior that Knoxville moved to a one week earlier date-but those are important dates for my job and I just can’t miss work to go this year. However, the Thursday and Friday night races will be shown on PPV’s, and the Saturday finale will be on Lucas Oil TV, so I will be able to watch all the action.

I hate to miss the Friday forums at the Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville. I would have skipped the Bobby and Bob Pierce morning event-sorry, I just am not a fan-but really would have enjoyed Lee Ackerman’s afternoon program on the old NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour.

Actually I will miss all of this Friday at Knoxville. Friday has been a fun day for Matt and I at Knoxville-start with breakfast at the Hy-Vee across from the track, head to the Sprint Car Hall of Fame for the morning forum. Lunch at Pizza Hut with friends. An afternoon at Slideways Karting watching Matt battle our friend Tony Anville. Apparently Slideways has added a miniature golf course and while I can’t defeat Matt or Tony in the go-karts, I have no doubt they would lose to me in miniature golf. Anyway, then it is back to track for a night of watching the best late model drivers race.

I watched the Richmond NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Normally the Richmond race is one I enjoy. Normally is the key word. Last night was not normal with a record setting 16 cautions. My thoughts:

-it is probably a good thing Tony Stewart is retiring at the end of the season. For the second week in a row he was involved in a crash that appeared to be deliberate.

-when reporters stick a microphone in the face of an angry driver, no one needs to be shocked at what comes out of his mouth. Ryan Newman showed that last night.

-while Hendrick Motorsports is not close to being as bad as Roush Fenway Racing, it also is not close to being as good at Joe Gibbs Racing or Penske Racing. Even Hendrick satellite team Stewart-Haas Racing is faring better. I don’t see Jimmie Johnson picking up his 6th Sprint Cup championship this season. I don’t see him even making the final four at Homestead. It would not surprise me if Chase Elliott does not make it past the first cut.

-yet again, the only good thing about a Denny Hamlin win is it means that  a Penske Ford of Brad Keselowski or Joey Logano did not win.

-will a Roush Fenway Racing driver ever make it into The Chase? None has since Carl Edwards left RFR after the 2014 season. Will an RFR driver ever win another race? With its current drivers that is a fair question.

-on the 12th caution last night my wife asked me if the race was ever going to end. I wondered the same and there were still four more yellows and lots of laps until the race ended.

I’ll have to give some thought to how The Chase is going to play out. I’ll think and think and blog my predictions which have a 95% chance of being wrong, very wrong. I am to predictions what RFR drivers are to wins.

Thanks for stopping by.







You’re Right Louis Armstrong-What A Wonderful World (100) It Is

September 7, 2016 1 comment

According to my friend Steve Basch, I am not up to World 100 social life. Too old, too boring, etc. OK. I won’t make the trip to Rossburg, Ohio then. I will stay home and watch all the activities on PPV’s. Thursday and Friday prelims are $23.95 each, while Saturday’s grand finale runs $39.95. Astute observers will note this is just one shiny nickel cheaper than general admission tickets at the track. Why? Well, because the track dictates the price and apparently Tony Stewart does not have enough money already.

Coverage begins each day at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, 4:30 p.m. in this part of the country. In addition to pre-race activities, coverage includes multiple cameras, instant replays, driver interviews, and live scoring. Reporters include James Essex, Ben Shelton, and Dustin Jarrett. I have purchased Eldora packages in the past, and yes, they are worth the price of admission.

With Scott Bloomquist suspended by the World 100 sanctioning body-and also suing the track for millions, who will be the favorite to capture the 46th running of dirt late model racing’s biggest event? My heart is saying Billy Moyer in what might be his final appearance at the Eldora high banks. That would be the story of the year, and I am sure that most of the 20,000 or so fans on hand would be agreeable to seeing the 21 car in victory lane on Saturday.

Hey, Moyer finished 2nd to Jonathan Davenport in this year’s Silver Dollar Nationals, so it isn’t like him winning his 7th globe trophy is that far-fetched. Still, there are other younger drivers with a better shot at claiming a win and the $49,000 check that goes with it. Top of that list would have to be Josh Richards. He has had a record breaking WoO season (yes, I agree the WoO is not as tough as the Lucas Oil series), and like every other driver would love to add World 100 winner to his resume.

Jonathan Davenport may be more Clark Kent than Superman this year, but no way could he repeat a season like he had in 2015. However, Davenport won two Lucas Oil races over the Labor Day weekend, and has won both the Dream and the World 100, so he knows his way around the track.

Dennis Erb Jr. won this year’s Dream and that car has been sitting in Erb’s shop waiting for the World 100. He has had a decent season, even without winning dirt late model’s richest race, actually he has always been a tough competitor, but since his 2015 switch to a Black Diamond chassis, he has been even tougher. And I am partial to drivers I have written articles about.

Young guns like Brandon Sheppard and Bobby Pierce would not be surprise winners. Veteran Dale McDowell does well at the southwest Ohio speedrome. Other long-time racers like Don O’Neal, Darrell Lanigan, and Earl Pearson Jr. could be factors.

So, who will be the best in the World? I so want it to be Moyer, and if not the Batesville, Arkansas Hall of Famer, then Davenport. That comes from my heart. My head says it will be Richards gaining his first Eldora win.

I will be watching starting tomorrow night, and as I said before, even though the PPV is a little pricey, it is money well spent.

Thanks for stopping by.

Old Rockers

September 4, 2016 Leave a comment

I went to my first rock concert in 1968, The Turtles at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha. Not long after, The Turtles came back to Omaha and I took Jane to her first concert. Years later we saw lead singers Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan as The Turtles at the Orpheum Theater-along with Gary Lewis, The Grassroots, and The Buckinghams-or a few members of each of those groups. 48 years later we saw Volman and Kaylan again as The Turtles as they were the feature act of The Happy Together 2016 Tour that appeared at the Ralston Arena last night.

Also on the bill last night were Spencer Davis, The Cowsills (well three members of this big family), Gary Puckett, Mark Lindsay, and Chuck Negron-once of Three Dog Night. I know that some reviewers pooh-pooh oldies concerts. Well, those reviewers can KMA. The music was good, the humor was Boomer appropriate, and I think everyone in attendance enjoyed themselves. What more do you want from entertainment?

A ticket to that first concert cost-well, my mind says $5.00, but it might have been $4.00 or $4.50. Last night we had 4th row seats, and the tickets each cost as much as a Silver Dollar Nationals two day ticket. Art imitates life, and on the way home from the concert we stopped at a McDonald’s-just like we stopped at the McDonald’s at 82nd and Dodge years and years ago. And unlike most races this season, we were home long before 11:00 p.m.

My how these rock stars have aged. Gary Puckett is 74. Spencer Davis is 77. Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman are both 69. Mark Lindsay is 74. So is Chuck Negron. The Cowsills ranged in age from 57 to 67. I guess I have aged a little too. So had the rest of the crowd, plenty of pounds and artificial knees and hips since the glory days of their youth.

Kaylan was rolled on the stage in a wheel chair. I tried Google to find out his ailment but surprisingly there was no information. It could be that 56 concert dates this summer-Ralston was the last of the tour-might have taken a toll. The most poignant moment of the concert was provided by Volman. Eight months ago he was diagnosed with throat cancer. After radiation treatment he is now free of the disease. He told members of the audience to call friends suffering from “CA” to give them a call and tell them how much they are loved. You can just email me. Oh, and “CA” must mean cancer to doctors as when I saw my doctor on Friday a paper he gave me for a procedure this week stated “has prostate CA.”

Anyway, it was a wonderful start to the weekend. Today we are going to Bounce-U in Omaha to celebrate Mr. Henry Ross Meyer’s 5th birthday. Jane calls Henry an angel, but I leave it as he is pure magic. Whenever I see him a smile breaks out, and all my cares and concerns seem to go away.

Later is the Something-Something Corporate 500 from Darlington, South Carolina aka the biggest gathering of rednecks north of Talladega, Alabama. It used to be called the Southern 500 in the pre-naming rights days. I guess it is now the Bojangles Southern 500.

Tomorrow? Tomorrow will be a day of rest. I definitely can use that.

Thanks for stopping by.