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… then for a few years I was a watchist. Now I’m a don’t-careist.
In the summer of 1969, at Onondaga Drag Strip in Onondaga, Michigan, my 1966 Chevelle SS with a one-time 396 V-8, bored out to 412 cubic inches, sporting 540 hp, turned a 10.13 second quarter mile, doing 138 mph when I hit the traps. That car could fly! I beat the NHRA National Super Stock “D” record at the time, but it wasn’t a sanctioned meet, so the elapsed time I posted didn’t count in that regard. Still, for a period of three years, I was a “racist”, either preparing for that week’s races or running in them.
When the season was over, I’d still go out looking for “money races” with the local heroes in the small towns around Lansing, Michigan. I actually had a “route” I used to find suckers with what they thought was a “hot car”. The strips would close in late fall, since a couple feet of disgusting snow is an impediment to any organized racing. That didn’t stop me from taking on the dumb farm boy with his tricked up Dodge Hemi or a tri-power “Goat”, (the Pontiac GTO). Perhaps some kid with a souped-up Muskrat, (Ford Mustang), maybe a beefed up Camaro or Chevy Nova. Kid stuff. I ate ‘em alive, getting anywhere from $50 to $100 once every few weeks in each place. (Keep in mind, gas sold for 25¢ per gallon back then, so it was a lot of money). Then I’d go away for a while, visiting the other burgs on my “route” so they had time to forget my screamin’ speed demon Chevelle. To add some class, I’d tow it with my 1948 Chrysler New Yorker Highlander, one of the original limousines. I’d park the Chrysler a mile or so out of town and chug into the burg in my red racing machine.
When I finally outgrew racing my hotrod, I watched the drags, and even stock car races, for a few years. I stopped being a “racist’ and became a “watchist”. Now, even if I hear big engines revving up, there are too many things more interesting to me. I haven’t looked at anything like that for over 20 years. I’m a confirmed “don’t-careist” all the way.
A mere 35 years later I was given the opportunity to see “racism” from the other side of the fence. It took becoming homeless to acquire first-hand evidence and examples of what it’s like in this country to be black, Hispanic, Asian, speak only a foreign language, or have a darker skin than “the in-crowd”.
If that group, “the in-crowd”, includes you, I truly hope the only way you ever get an up-close and personal understanding of the hell of living homeless is by reading these blog posts. If it ever gets so ugly YOU end up among “us”, at least you’ll know what to expect.
Maybe you won’t get that maltreatment if you encounter one of our readers. Sadly, among most other people, you’ll be treated like something they’d scrape off the sole of their shoe. I’m doing the best I can on behalf of all of “us”, a group I pray you never learn more of than as a witness.
I’ll always be a homeless guy as long as there are legal residents of this country without a roof and a bed.
I’m just sayin’.
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