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Oct. - Nov. - Dec. 2013  

1st Qtr. 2013  2nd Qtr. - 2013  

3rd Qtr.-2013


Christmas Family Photos

Alive and Kicking in 2014!

A friend asked how I was doing today, and I have to say I am GREAT! The new year is treating me just fine so far and I am looking forward to a very good year.

I want to wish all racers and their families a very blessed and happy new year. All of you that are spectators and just readers of these pages, I want you to be blessed too!

Thank you all for the support you have shown in the past, the nice comments about the site and our car. I enjoy doing what I do. Taking photos, writing, driving and talking with all of you and the occasional help I get from many of you. That is what's great about drag racing. the overall majority of racers are there for each other in times of need to make it to the next round. But that same racer will line up and try to beat you in that next round! We still remain friends after the win light comes on!


Reunited with Friends and Family!

I found a cousin on Facebook on New Years Day. We had not talked, or seen each other, in over 20 years. He is a news reporter on WBBM-TV in Chicago. His son was just admitted to the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. What an honor!

I also found an old friend, or I should say, my friend found me with an Internet search. This was an old shipmate of mine from my days on USS Snook (SSN-592) out of San Diego, in 1969. This young man and I worked in the engineering dept. where he was a 2nd Class Electrician's Mate. He selected for a special Navy program that sent him to Oklahoma University, where he earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and got his Commission as a Officer in the U. S. Navy. He come back to the submarine force and served on 4 nuclear powered subs A Weapons Officer and Navigator before retiring with 20 years of service. He lives in Little Rock, AK. We plan to meet and have a few long conversations and get our families together.
Jan. 3, 2014


Gift Cards Galore, Food & People!

I got gift cards to Outback, Don's Seafood, Shoe Station, The Mall of Louisiana and J. C. Penney's! As I said before, I have no idea how much each of them is worth. When I go to the store or out to eat, it will be like a Scratch-Off! Let the spending begin! I also got some clothes, which was nice.

We had guests like rolling thunder yesterday. As soon as one group would leave, another set of people would come in. We had more people eating my Gumbo than ever. Good thing I made a big pot. Our grandson, Ryland, who was home from his ship in Mayport, FL, called late last night and said, "I'll take everything that you have left back to the ship with me". Barbara had already cooked him a big pot of Red Beans & Rice on Tuesday. That boy can eat!

We had a great time. The great grand boy got an electric car from his Aunt Lizzie. He also got a host of other gifts from all of his kin-folks and parents.

The kids pooled their money and purchased their step-father a very nice electric range for his home. We also gave him a set of pots and pans.

Granny-Barbara was the big winner, outside of my cache of cards. She got all kinds of clothing, Victoria's Secret, Jewelry, money, items for her car and gift cards. All in all it was a good Christmas.

We started off the day at 7:00am Church. The sermon was about the Christmas Story, but from a different prospective. One of our assistant Rev. had done some research into the events and genealogy leading up to the birth of Christ. For once we were not looking at out watches saying, when is he going to end this thing!

I cooked the Gumbo, Dirty Rice and Collard Greens (with good old heart attack Ham Hocks!). Once per year, maybe twice, we can go overboard. Barbara did the green beans, corn bread, rolls, dressing, lots of rice and we also had a small TurDucHen, courtesy of my good friends, Rudy & Brenda Slaughter, over in Tallahassee, FL.. We had sent them a dozen large crabs and three rolls of Louisiana Seafood Boudin. We also had enough deserts to feed a small army (which I think did pass through here)! We had 17 for the sit-down dinner and I know at least 15-20 others passed by here, not including the small children.
Dec. 26, 2013


The Giving Time Of Year!

I love Christmas! I especially enjoy watching someone open a gift that I have given them and seeing the joy it brings them (most of the time).

My wife is a "list" person. She wants everyone to give her a list of item she can get them for Christmas. On the other hand, I like to figure out what a person may want, or need, and get that special item for them. I want it to be a surprise when they open their gift from me.

With Barbara's method, she never has to worry about getting someone something that they may not want. It also takes the work out of shopping for the people on your shopping list.

This year, since most of the grand kids are grown up now, we are getting a lot of gift cards. That way, they can go out after Christmas and get exactly what they want. I don't particularly like that method. People open their gift card and say, "Thanks, now how much is this for?" Cash is better, but not the same as a gift. I send a lot of cash to my family located away from here. Mostly because some of them need the money. I know they are going to get joy from that.

When I get gift cards, I forget about them, leave them inside the Christmas card, or put them in my wallet and forget to spend them when I go into the particular store. I guess it is better than, "Another tie", "What a nice pair of socks", "This belt is just what I needed". Dads, grand-fathers or men in general, sometimes get the short end of the stick when it comes to gifts. When I think about it, Barbara's method and the gift card method work well for men on your list. As I have said many times, "It's the thought that counts!"

Merry Christmas & Happy Gift Opening!


Car And Racing Update

I have decided to repair the crack in the oil pan (again) and run through the opening half of the racing season. After the Father's Day Race, I will decide what to do with the engine. That will give me time to accumulate parts to build my dream "565 CID BBC"!

It is getting real close to time for me to hang it up for driving on the track. I may still test periodically, but only under ideal conditions and just for fun or troubleshooting. After the Father's Day Race in June 2014, I will not drive any more in competition.
December 24, 2013



Sinus Problems...

Years ago, I said to myself, "When I get old I'm not going to talk about my aches and pains the way all these "old folks" do." Well now that I am old, aches and pains are the highlight of my day and the things that dictate what I do.

I also said at one time or another, "People just want to get out of work, talking about their sinus' are hurting!" Now I know what they were talking about. Nose running uncontrollably, eyes watering and no amount of Visine will stop them, headache & pressure, sneezing and just feeling bad, with no common cold.

This is the 2nd time within 6 months that I have been in bed with sinus problems. Both times, I think, because of inhaling dust while cleaning out an enclosed area (storage building). I feel much better today, but the last 8-9 days have been very bad.

Lots of things have gone on while I was feeling bad. President Mandela passed away and was put to rest. The world was blessed to have had his wisdom and benefited from all the good things he did, not only for his home South Africa, but for the world.

The senseless shooting up of another school. The Saints beat Carolina and lost to the Rams. Southern University won the SWAC Championship, "Go Jags!". The Affordable Healthcare web site is almost working and the Democrats and Republicans have agreed on a long term budget in the House. Now all we need is for them to do something about this Flood Insurance problem here in Louisiana and many other areas in the USA.


Car Problems

I have a cracked oil pan, again. After a warm-up about a two weeks ago, before I got sick, I had a big pool of oil under the car. The diaper was full of oil and soaked. After removing the diaper, I found my repair that was done in early August, was leaking very slowly. I have not done anything about it yet. The correct fix is to remove the pan and weld it. If I have to remove the engine, I may as well do the overhaul that I have been wanting to do. I don't think the pan will come off with the motor in the car. I was so disgusted, I just crawled out and left it. After Christmas I will think about it.
Dec. 16, 2013


Black College Football (HBCU) - Keep The Bayou Classic As A Louisiana Team Event!

Recently a outspoken Southern University Board of Directors member stated words to this effect, Southern University should drop Grambling University from the annual Bayou Classic football game!

The board member stated several facts, all to do with money, such as declining attendance, the fact that Southern University accounts for 70% of the fans and Southern's alum's do 60% of the work that goes into making the event a success each year. Both schools split the profits from the event.

The board member wants to bring in teams from outside the Bayou State to play Southern University in the Bayou Classic. He suggests teams like, FAMU, South Carolina State and Jackson State, all of which would be worthy opponents. The SWAC champion already plays the MEAC champion in Atlanta for the first game of the season in late August each year.

The board member also backed the consolidation of Southern University New Orleans (SUNO) with the University of New Orleans (UNO), which he later denied.

Each year Florida A&M University and Bethune Cookman University play the Florida Classic on the week before Thanksgiving in Orlando, Florida. Two Florida teams! Each year Alabama A&M University plays Alabama State University in Mobil, Alabama. Two Alabama teams. Hampton Institute plays Norfolk State, two Virginia teams. All of those HBCU's play an in-state rival at the end of the season in a big "Classic".

Barbara and I attended the Florida Classic in 2011 to watch FAMU and BCU play in Orlando, FL. It was a great experience! Equal the the Bayou Classic is every way except one. Orlando is not New Orleans! We have been to many Bayou Classics, but the Florida Classic experience was just as nice. The game, the two great bands, the sidewalk vendors, all of these are super. The fans are just as Hard-Core and the sponsors of the event are even more into the pageantry of the event. On that last item, the sponsors, the Florida Classic sponsors do a much better job as a group and individually.

The past year was the 40th anniversary of the Bayou Classic. The two teams have split the wins, 20-20. There has been stretches of years that Grambling has won many more game than Southern. During the Pete Richardson years, Southern was the dominant team. I know Grambling will return to their winning ways in a couple of years.

Grambling is going through some tough times . This has contributed to the many coaching changes, losses and upheaval in the Athletic Department in the past few years. The school has had to deal with many state budget cuts (along with other state college institutions in Louisiana). This coming year Grambling, who just hired a coach yesterday, will have their 5th coach in the past 6 years.

Just as with any sporting event, if the teams are not good, or at least the promise of a good game, the fans do not show up in the seats. But we all know, the hotels, bars and restaurants are all full in New Orleans, no matter what the teams do on the field.

Oh yea, both school presidents think the board member's idea is not a good one!
Dec. 5, 2013


Saints Must Beat Carolina

Now that the Seahawks have completely dominated my Saints, we must now focus on beating the Carolina Panthers at least once out of the two meeting remaining on the schedule.

Cam Newton is playing at the top of his game, and their whole team seems to be fueled by Cam's enthusiasm.

The Saints are in the playoffs, it is just a matter of getting a bye for the 1st round or not. They lost home field advantage for the duration by losing that last game. They may have to play the Panthers at their home again.

By losing to Seattle, they really gave up a lot. That one win would have put the Saints in the drivers seat for the entire playoffs, assuming (I know what that means) they can beat the Panthers at least one out of two.

My worse nightmare would be; the Saints have to play Carolina for a third time, in Carolina, and then they have to go back to Seattle for the NFC Championship game. Let's see what happens from here on.

Super Bowl Prediction: Seahawks vs. Broncos (Seahawks Win!)
Dec. 4, 2013

Thanksgiving, Food & Football!

I have enjoyed this Thanksgiving season. All of my teams have won, so far, and all we need right now is for the Saints to come through on Monday Night Football. Congratulations to Southern University and LSU on winning their games.

Did anyone hear the Tide being washed up in The Iron Bowl... One second is a long time!
Mizzo vs. Auburn for the SEC Championship!

Southern will play for the SWAC Championship this weekend, Dec, 7th @ 2:00 pm, in Houston, TX. They will play Jackson State University for the 2nd time this season.
Dec. 1, 2013

Jerri Harris, 1st women member of Bracket Masters Racing Team, passed away on Nov. 22, 2013. She was laid to rest on Nov. 30, 2013.

Jerri was a great friend, church member and advisor for many years. She will be missed from the community and by her friends and family.

During my years and president of Bracket Masters Racing Team, Jerri helped to bring order and stability to our meetings. She personally introduced me to many prominent members of the Baton Rouge business community who had been students of hers while she taught at Southern University. For that, I will be forever thankful.

Jerri always had a different outlook on things, always from the Biblical prospective. She weaved reality into her views and made all of us think and become better persons.

Thank you Mrs. Harris for all you did for me and the racing teams.


We Let The Last Race Pass Us By...

Barbara and I took some time off this weekend and did some work around the house of a friend.

We will now start to look at next season. I want to make some major changes to my engine. Right now I am not running a vacuum pump and that is costing me a few horses. I would love to have a new Dart intake. I also want to put some new heads on the engine, like some Dart Pro-1 CNC 355 heads. I plan to stick with 555 CID. I would like to have a new set of Ross pistons, around 15:1 compression ratio, which is what I have now, but with much smaller heads.

The best I could squeeze out of my old combination was 8.93 @ 149 MPH, all motor. With the new changes, I should be able to get down in the 8.50's, I hope, on straight motor.

We hope to be back up and running before the end of May, 2014.

We will take the rest of the year and concentrate on family, fun and the holiday's. Christmas is always a special time of the year for our family. We will all give thanks to God for all the blessings that have been ours for the past year (I did not blow any engines the past four years. If that is not a blessing, I don't know what is!).
Nov. 18, 2013

Getting Ready For The Weekend!

I took the car to No Problem Raceway Saturday, where Mr. Wesley completed the NHRA Chassis Inspection. I also put new seat belts in, that makes us completely legal again.

I plan to run one last time this weekend at SCR in the "Ironman Classic", either Sat. or Sunday, but not both. Correction: 11-16-13, There is a Import Race on Sunday.

Today, in fact this whole week, I have been working on trying to fix the broken throttle cable that we parted the last time we were at the track. I ordered a Universal Throttle Cable Repair Kit from a motorcycle supply company. It took several tries, but I think I have it fixed.

I have not been satisfied with my times this season, compared to the last two seasons in comparable weather. I am looking for what has changed and the only thing I can put a finger on is the new air dam under the carburetor, with the jet changes. Therefore, I have decided to make a couple of passes without it.
Nov. 15, 2013

Click Here: Go To Drag Race Co-Op Site and Read The Veterans Tribute Article, Written by "Mr. Skip": "Men Who Serve"

"Mr. Skip" Goes To Quarter Finals in Super-Pro At SCR On Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.

Two weeks after my 75th birthday, I collected a check and money sticker! I would have been happy with one winning time slip, but I actually won 3 rounds and made it all the way too only 6 cars left for the pay out.

The car ran extra good all weekend. My biggest challenge was getting it out of the trailer. The throttle cable broke, about 2 inches behind the carburetor, when I tried to start the engine to unload and park the car.

Barbara and I went back to the house and got several items too try and fix it. We ended up clamping it with a very small set of Vise-Grips! We also backed that up with a couple of heavy duty tie-wraps. The fix held up all day Saturday and Sunday! We checked on it several times on Saturday, but Sunday, we did not remove the hood, knowing that if it broke, we would know it. The two return springs would have shut the throttle and we would have been at idle RPM.

I did my normal thing on Saturday and Sunday and lost in the 1st round of Top Doorslammer, after making good qualifying runs both days. Stan Allen eliminated me on Saturday and Jessie eliminated me (again) on Sunday. The only difference this time was, both runs were very close. I was happy with my performance and the way the car ran.

Saturday I lost to Lionel Robertson in the 2nd round of Super-Pro, after a buy-back. I had a -.003 red-light, and I got out of the grove and did not run my number any way. That was the 2nd time Lionel has eliminated me in the past couple of months!

Sunday, after buying back into the 2nd round of Super-Pro, we won 3 rounds and lost when there were only 6 cars left. Roger Amedee, in his beautiful purple/flamed Camaro, eliminated me when I had my worse light of the month, .094. He ran dead on his dial-in for the win. We made our entry fee back, along with buy-back money.

All in all, it was a great weekend. I have already ordered a universal throttle cable repair kit (from a motorcycle accessory house), and I should have that done before this coming weekend.

Chassis Inspection at No Problem Raceway this Saturday. I have to by-pass this coming weekend of racing to get my car inspected.

Oh by the way, my changes in jetting were right on time. The EGT went up to 1350 degrees F., which means I could have gone down some more. The shock adjustment also worked. I did not feel the twist of my chassis at all and the car went straight, as long as I did a good burn-out.

Barbara took a lot of photos (see below) and a few videos. I will post the videos later in the coming weeks. Most are of my car anyway. Videos are very time consuming.
Nov 4, 2013.

Photos From Sun. - SCR $5K 2nd Day - Nov. 3, 2013

Photos From Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 at SCR - 1st Day of Twin $5K Races.


Pre-race Changes for "Mr. Skip" Camaro

We adjusted the left front shock to make it a little tighter. Hope that takes some of the twist out of the front of the car at launch and lets it leave more even in the front.

I also changed the jets from 88 square, down too 86 square. Our plugs have been very dark (black) and the EGT is much lower than I want it (1230 degrees F vs. my preferred 1450 degrees F, but less than 1500). With the cooler air expected for this weekend, I may have to go back up in jets. As I have said before, these numbers are for MY ENGINE and may not work for you.

I also checked the throttle cable to see if the butterflies are opening all the way. The back (secondaries) were only about 75-80% open. Now they are standing straight up when the petal is on the floor. I had been trying to make all the adjustment at the carburetor, but the accelerator petal was where I needed to make the change.
Oct. 31, 2013

Big Race at State Capitol Raceway, Big Money, $5000 to Win (Guaranteed) In Super-Pro! Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 2-3, 2013.


I'm Ready For The Weekend!

After losing in the first round two weeks ago, the car is still ready to go. I will tweak on the front shocks, just a tad, but other than that, we are ready for the big one.

I will probably run in Top Doorslammer. If I screw up in the first round, again, I can still buy back into Super-pro. If I win round one and lose round two, I am in no-man's land. This could be the time for my 1st ever double entry. Let me find my checkbook. I probably need more than the 20 gallons of racing fuel that I have on hand.
Oct. 29, 2013

Jeremy Returns Home!

Two days, two grandsons come home! Barbara's oldest grandson, Jeremy Herbert, came home from his assignment, by VIP International, from New Caledonia in the South Pacific. New Caledonia is a small, French speaking island, located about 1200 miles east of Australia's east coast. Jeremy has worked for VIP for approximately one year and has traveled to several states and foreign country's. Melinda's two boys are getting to see the world. Welcome Home Jeremy!
Oct. 24, 2013

Welcome Home QM3 Ryland Gardner - U. S. Navy!

The USS Samuel B. Roberts FFG-58 returned from a 6 month deployment to the eastern Mediterranean Sea today, Oct. 23, 2013, to their home-port of Mayport, FL (Jacksonville). Ryland was met by his father, Roland, sisters Barbara and Liz and a host of family and friends that traveled the 11 hours from Baton Rouge to welcome him home.

While Ryland was gone he was promoted to QM3, Third Class Quartermaster (E3). Ryland was on patrol off the coast of Libya and Egypt for a part of his tour. He visited several cities in Greece, Italy, Spain and other ports-of-call. This was the 2nd deployment to that area of the world for Ryland who has only been in the Navy since June 2012.

Ryland will be returning home for a short shore leave, where he expects to enjoy being home, eating the good Louisiana food and visiting with friends and family.
Oct. 23, 2013


Congratulations to Troy Collins! Top Doorslammer Winner - Battle of the Bayou. Oct. 19-20, 2013, at SCR.

We took the Mr. Skip Camaro to State Capitol Raceway and ran in Top Doorslammer. We lost to the beautiful red Camaro of Jessie Marceaux in the 1st round, with a -.031 Red Light. My two daytime time trials produced RT's of .009 and .002, so I had added some to the box to prevent a red light, but obviously, not enough (plus the excitement of "The real race"). I decided not to buy back, due to the large amount of cars in Super Pro and the Dew forming on my car while waiting to run in round one. That turned out to be a good call.

I could not have come back on Sunday anyway. Sunday, Oct. 20th, was Barbara and myself 28th Anniversary and it was my 75th Birthday! PHOTOS

The car ran good all day and I qualified with a 5.74 @ 117 MPH. Not bad for an "Old Man".
Oct. 21, 2013

Photos & Video From Battle on The Bayou - Oct. 19, 2013


Friday Night Rain out, Oct. 18, 2013 - The Soggy Weather Continue At SCR.

The weatherman has promised us good weather on Saturday, Oct. 19th for "The Battle on the Bayou". The chances of getting this race in are very good, after a round of rain in the morning. SCR management has promised they will do whatever it takes to get the track prep done and let the racing and fun begin!
Oct. 18, 2013

State Capitol Raceway Friday Night Testing - Oct. 11, 2013.


Eddie Fisher Tests At SCR -
Oct. 11, 2013 - Photos


Mopar Testing At SCR - Reggie, Justin and Ronnie Test Dragster

I am ready for the weekend! I have been ready for the past month. Between the weather and family work, trying to get a house ready for sale, we have been stopped at every turn. I hope this weekend will not be a complete wash out. Friday may be OK, we will pray for Saturday.

Football (Teams I follow)

Saints 4-0
LSU 3-1
Southern University 2-3
Grambling State University 0-5

Testing At SCR - Friday 9-27-13


Mr. Skip Becomes An Active Bracket Masters Racing Team Member

After several years of missing the fellowship of the racing team and with the urging of Barbara and several friends, I decided to become an active member of Bracket Masters Racing Team again. I will not be a candidate or run for any office but will continue to serve as the Web Master for the team, which I have been since the web site was created in January 2001.

Under the leadership of President Tarrus Jones and Vice President Johnny Tate, the team has done some good work in the East and West Baton Rouge areas. The team sponsors two races each year at State Capitol Raceway and dedicates a portion of their profits to community organizations that serve the area. The have supported the Port Allen High School sports teams, Pat's Coats For Kids and the Stuff The Bus effort to supply school supplies to children of the area. The team has given away several bicycles and had other toy giveaways for needy children.

During the past 5 years, Barbara and I have been invited to attend all of the social events given by the team and we have enjoyed having a good time at those events. This past month, when the team sponsored a trip to Gulfport Raceway, we were happy to make that trip and had an excellent time. The team plans to have many more trips to tracks in the area. Barbara and I do our part to continue their support of the community.

Bracket Masters Racing Team is looking for members to help in their community service efforts and too take part in the teams social events. The team currently has 14 members. You do not have to have a race car to become a member. The team will welcome anyone with skills, such as, cooking, teachers, writers, people with computer skills, professional people and just anyone that wants to be a part of a growing, caring organization. People with slow cars (most of us) and fast cars along with mechanics and machinist of any kind are welcome. People that love to "talk cars" are also welcome.


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