Help Me Keep My Home Of 30 Years
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With each year, it seems like the history of our short tracks fades further into obscurity. Some of the tracks people loved to visit as kids aren't even there anymore. Other tracks still continue, but even the people promoting these tracks don't remember the history of their race track.
However, there are Facebook pages and web pages being created by those who wish to remember the histories of their beloved tracks. A few tracks and racing organizations have been fortunate enough to have talented authors who have endeavored to write incredible history books.
This still leaves other race tracks that are in need of somebody to put books together with stories and pictures and as many interesting statistics and facts as possible. At the top of my list is the track I went to for over 25 years, Antioch Speedway. While I was there, I compiled statistics and researched the track's history. I even did a weekly publication for several years.
I would like to begin telling the story of this track's wonderful history going back to the very beginning all the way to the current day. I would also like to do this for other tracks, including Merced Speedway and Petaluma Speedway, and the carbureted Spec Sprint Car group. I also have much history on Vallejo Speedway and would like to put something together for that track. I have other tracks in mind as well.
I think it would be a shame to let this history fade away, left only to people's memories with photos and a few statistics to back it all up. To do what I have in mind would be a full time operation that would take many months to complete and would encompass several books. I will be going over all of the notes I have, making visits to libraries to copy archival stories and would need to be able to maintain a base of operations to do all that is needed. Given the limited budget I maintain, I can not possibly do this without help.
The money raised here would go towards the completion of this project and would help maintain a base of operations. Donors would be kept updated on all of the progress made and would be receiving copies of the finished book or books depending on level of contribution. At one tenth donation level, work will begin on the first book, which I anticipate to be in the 300-500 page range and cover at least one decade of racing at Antioch Speedway. More books would follow.
I recognize the figure is high, but I have to be honest. A good portion of it will go towards maintaining a place to complete the project, and the rest will go towards producing books and making sure the donators receive their books. As Antioch will be the first track covered, I will also be listening to ideas on what to cover next and accepting any materials offered towards making these books the best they can be. All loaned materials will be returned once scanned properly.
So, if the history of racing means something to you and you like the idea of books being created that will be filled with lots of information and include week by week (as much as possible) stories of the racing seasons, I am ready to make it happen. I am ready to make this a full time effort to the best of my ability. I think you will like the results. If this is something you think you can support, please fund my effort. You won't be disappointed. I am ready to tell the wonderful story of racing past.
It should be pointed out that this could potentially expand to become a multi year project with visits to cities of other race tracks to conduct newspaper research, the creation of a web page with special donor member perks and possibly even the creation of a Hall Of Fame committee with an eye on inducting racers from several California tracks into a special Hall Of Fame, complete with banquet and dinner. Where any of this would go would depend on what the people want. For now, the focus would be on the books.
Once I am funded, my commitment is to work on preserving the history of our great sport as much as possible and to the best of my ability. The goal has been set with the idea of rewarding the top donators in mind. Also, I wanted you to know that all funds will be used in the way I have said they will.
$1000 Investor Status: First ten books, exclusive updates (racing talk phone conversations when available)
$200 Gold Status: Copy of first two books, exclusive updates
$100 Silver Status: Copy of first book, exclusive updates
$50 Bronze Status: PDF copy of book, exclusive updates
$25 Valued Supporter: Exclusive updates
Any Suppoort is appreciated...
* Exclusive updates will come in the form of .pdf files or audio updates.
The first ten books (tentative, but I will be starting with Antioch Speedway)
Antioch Speedway 1990's
Antioch Speedway 1980's
Antioch Speedway 1970's - 1960's
Carbureted Sprints (From California Dirt Cars to Spec Sprints)
Petaluma Speedway 1980's - 1990's (could become two books)
Merced Speedway 1980's - 1990's (could become two books)
Watsonville Speedway 1980's - 1990's (could become two books)
Vallejo Speedway 1961-1979 (could become two books)
Bakersfield Speedway 1990's (Possibly 1985-2005 and could be two books)
Obviously, there are other tracks on my radar, including Marysville, Porterville, Hanford and Santa Maria. Also, there is early history going back decades for some of these tracks. I know there are also people with ideas on where I should go with this, and I will be listening.
It is my belief that by strengthening our knowledge of the past, it helps make the present more meaningful. We paint a picture of how much racing has meant to the state and how much it still means today. It is our hobby and what we love(d) to do. I don't want to see this history get lost, and if you feel the same, support the cause.
Thank You For Your Support
The reality is the money they give me for it will barely cover first and last month’s rent on any apartment around here, and rent will actually double if I lose this place. I will not be able to stay afloat in that situation and will end up out on the streets. I’m really in a difficult place, and that led me back to the one situation I thought I could help, auto racing. I don’t really want a hand out. I want to contribute using my talents and earn money like anybody else.
Many of you know my back ground in racing as a writer and announcer and overall historian as well as the things I tried to do to make a positive difference in the sport. I’ve spent the year basically offering all of my work for free to management to help the cause, and the debt has just gotten worse while I did that. There are indications that I may be able to land a job at the track, but I still have to resolve this debt and stabilize my situation.
If this doesn’t happen and I lose my home, I’m out on the streets within a few months and will also be losing all of the materials I have that are part of the documented racing history that I have. I have other needs here that I will have to address, including a major plumbing issue, but the first need is $4000 as soon as I can raise it. I don’t really have a lot of time to raise it either. The minute I have it, I will be giving it to them.
This has been a stressful situation for me, and going it alone makes it even harder. I feel overwhelmed at times, and the only relief I’ve had are the moments at the race track and when I’m writing. I’m willing to continue all of this for the long haul, but without the help I need now, it will cease. So, I’m asking for help, if you can give it. Whatever you can do is appreciated.
The books I plan to write are still in my plans and will be loaded with information, stats, pictures and history. Without the help I need, they will not happen. In fact, there are few people out there who even know much of this stuff. One PR person I recently spoke with didn’t even know who J.D. Willis was. If racing history matters to you, consider helping me out here and I will do what I can to honor that history as I always have as well as continuing my work covering the current situation.
But, I can’t do anything without a home. If you can contribute anything, it will be greatly appreciated. Without the help, I may be forced to walk away and decline the opportunities I am being considered for in racing, which include being PR and announcer at a race track. Thank you for racing. Please consider helping me if you can.
As of this Friday, the proceedings will begin to take away my home of 30 years. I have one chance now to stabilize this situation. I have to pay them the debt that has accumulated. The total as of Friday is $3700. I am leaving the immediate goal at $4000 to ensure that site fees here are covered too.
At this point, the money donated has gone towards reestablishing internet, maintaining insurance on this place and groceries. Believe me, that is at a bare minimum too. All contributions go towards stabilizing my situation and keeping me in my home.
I'm not sure where the books stand now, but here is my simple pledge. If I am able to hold onto this place and keep myself here, any donations past or present of a minimum of$25 will get a free PDF copy of a forthcoming book. The one I have in mind should I make it to the season's end is a yearbook that would feature Antioch, Merced and Chowchilla.
Basically, the $4000 I would hope to raise by midnight Friday morning would go towards settling this debt. Should we exceed that goal, it goes towards keeping this place AND maintaining my commitment to cover the races the way I have so far with articles and audio and an eye towards books.
I'm still hoping to land a position at a race track that could use my writing and announcing ability. The return of a prominent racing publication could be possible as well, but I don't want to speak out of turn here.
In a nut shell, the History Preservation Project is now a project to preserve my situation in order for me to maintain my home, continue to cover the sport AND eventually start working on those books.
I recently held a copy of Best Of The Blog And Beyond, and I'm impressed with how Lulu printed it. The pdf looked good when it went to Lulu, but the print quality of that 532 page book is amazing. So, the print quality of these books will be top notch.
I'm very willing to continue to put my time into covering the rest of this season and beyond, but I need help to maintain the level in which I do it I need to be able to keep a roof over my head and maintain possession of the material I will use for any future racing history books. Should I lose that, the books will be lost for good. I've outlined further down what the plans are for those books.
Anybody who knows me knows my passion for the sport, and I think I have proven this year that I can still do it. So, if you like what I'm doing and want to see me continue, please contribute to this campaign. I'm aiming for $4,000 by Friday midnight which would mean $4550 has been contributed.
Any support will be greatly appreciated and any donations of $25 or more receive a free pdf of the next book. Plus, I may just throw in something else special from my digital collection.
Thank you for your support...
I have been going to the races and supporting the current cause with articles, photos and audio during the week as I try to work into an official position at the track(s). I'm still hopeful of joining the track in an official capacity.
The books are still something I intend to do, but at this point, I need to get out from under the pile of bills. To do that, I am in need of some help. If you like what I've been writing lately and want that to continue... If you want these books to eventually happen, consider donating to the project.
The goal to stabilize my situation is $4000.
It's needed as soon as possible. Without it, everything I do will come to a halt. With it, I will continue to put every effort I can into supporting the current cause and trying to make sure the heritage of racing at our short tracks is honored and remembered.
If you would like to see me continue doing this, please consider donating to the project today. Thank you for your support.