It’s amazing how much stuff decides not to work after not being used for three months. I had to spray my ratchet hold-downs with WD-40 to make them work!
I had to check the air in the truck tires, the race car tires and the trailer tires. After they heat up, I will recheck them and put them at the recommended pressure. The truck has been sitting, except for a trip to take the transmission to TCI up in north Mississippi. I really need to drive it more. It has just over 50K miles and it is a 2001 model. My trailer, a 1999 model, has much less miles than that.
I have had a feeling about my valve springs lately. They have adequate pressure, they are made of Pacoloy by Comp Cams, they are triple springs and they only have 85 runs on them. The only problem is, they are 5 years old (Wow, I remember making over 200 runs per year!). I am going to try to get past Nitro Jam in February on those springs. The testing that I have scheduled for tomorrow at SCR will tell me if I can make it through that event. If I don’t have the times that I expect, I will remove the heads, change the springs and have a valve job completed. I hope before Nitro Jam (Feb. 19-20, 2011).
MLK Weekend & Holiday 1/15 – 1/17/2011.
Jan. 15th, is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. At my age, I am old enough to have lived through the time when Dr. King was trying to make things better for minorities and all neglected people of the USA. We celebrate his birthday and accomplishments on Monday, Jan. 17th. As I enjoy a day off and some time with my wife and family, I will remember what Dr. King has made possible for me and many other minorities and say: Thank you Dr. King!
I graduated from segregated schools in Florida that were anything but “separate-but-equal”. I rode in the back of the bus. I rode the “Jim Crow” cars on the railroads until we crossed the Mason-Dixon Line above Maryland, got my water from the “colored” drinking fountain and endured many other humiliations of segregation.
When I entered the Navy in 1956, the military was fully integrated everywhere except the officer corps. I spent many years in service before I saw a black Navy officer, and many more years before serving with my first black Navy submarine officer (1971).
Lt. Anthony Watson, serving on USS Snook (SSN-592),was the first black officer that I served with. He went on to become the first black officer to be named Captain of a Nuclear Powered Submarine, USS Jacksonville (SSN-699) in 1987. I am proud to say that as a Chief Electricians Mate (SS), I helped train the young Lt. as a member of my engineering watch section. That young Lt. went on to become Rear Admiral Anthony Watson and served in the Pentagon.
I was blessed to serve all my sea time on submarines. Serving in the Submarine Force was unlike any other part of the service. It was all volunteer and if you could not do your job, and learn the jobs of all the other men on the submarine, you were gone. I served with some excellent sailors who respected my hard work and knowledge and I was equal to any man on the ship.
Off the ship was a different story. I remember trying to get housing for my wife and 5 kids in Virginia. On the phone, everything was fine. When I appeared, the place was not available. That happened several times in more than one state.
Not being able to attend parties for my shipmates unless they got special permission for me and my family to attend was very humiliating. Most of the submarines that I served on, I was the only black on the ship or maybe one or two others. In the engineering section of the ship, I was normally the only black sailor. One submarine had 7 blacks out of a crew of 125. That was the same amount of black sailors that started my class in Nuclear Power School in 1962. There were 200 sailors that started that class. Only 92 sailors finished, but all seven black sailors finished.
I retired from the Navy in 1980 after serving 24 years and advancing to become a Master Chief Electricians Mate (E-9)(SS).
Things are so much better today in the USA. When I am at the track with my car, I feel like I am back in the submarine force. I know every system, how it works, how to repair it. I feel that my ship (car) is the best that I can make it. There may be more expensive, newer, more beautiful and faster cars, but I can compete with any of them, and win! The same thing goes for my life. I am proud to be an American, and I love the USA! Thank you Dr. King!