The past racing year has been one of the hardest on me since I started racing 47 years ago. Once our home was sold I asked the new owner if I could rent a room for Buttons and I at the home I lived in for the past 12 years and he said yes, but no using the garage, although I could park my trailers in the back and work on the cars in the driveway.
During the winter months, after trying to find a place in the Sunset Speedway area without success, I decided to take Jason Legge up on his offer to keep my race team at his place and race at both Sauble and Sunset, as well as the OSCAAR tour.
If it wasn’t for Jason I would have been without any shop at all, but he was gracious to allow me to keep, and work on my 2 cars and put up some of memorabila at his shop. The fact I had a place to keep and work on my cars was awesome. Add to that racing at Sauble and Full Throttle reduced some of the traelling to the races, although I still had to get to Owen Sound before race day.
Having a 20 race schedule would be tiring, but mine was over 35 although we lost 3 to Full Throttle cancelling the Thunder Cars and 2 to rain, but then I added 2 more so in the end we ran 32 nights.
Jason also drove the Late Model at Sauble Speedway on nights I was running the Modified and between us we finished 7th in the point standing.
In spite of Jason’s awesome generosity, the drive back and forth from Waterdown was taking it’s toll on me and Buttons. I was so tired some days I pulled over and grabbed 20 minutes rest, even in the day time.
I started looking for a place to stay closer to home, because there was nothing for me in the Cookstown Alliston area. As it turned out, there was nothing in that area for me to rent, and although many people were looking for a shop and home for me, nothing ever came of it, nothing that was affordable.
Finally one day, I talked to a very good, long time friend. He asked me how I was doing and I told him. I said both cars were home, but one was under a tarp outside and the other in the trailer. Much of my stuff was either in storage or in Owen Sound and I was getting stessed because there was no place around for me to rent, and time was running out. I was paying over $200 a month for stuff in storage. That was stressful, but I did have a place for Buttons and I, not ideal, but okay, but with no shop and the ability to have all my stuff together, and work on it was extremely stressful. I wanted to work on my cars, I wanted people to come over and see my scrap books, my collections of things throughout the year, friends to help me, but it seemed that what I had built over the years was slowly disappearing. I didn’t tell him all of that, but enough that he knew things weren’t good. I wasn’t giving up and I told him that, and I left saying “if you hear of something let me know” and he said he would.
I drove away after our conversation, then got a call a few minutes later, asking me to come back, actually telling me to come back. I thought I left my wallet or credit card at his business, because I bought some small things.
When I came back he said “follow us”, his son in law was with him. I had no idea where they were taking me, but we didn’t drive very far when we reached this awesome shop. A two and a half bay garage. It was perfect, big and lots of room. Then he said “come up stairs”. There I saw this beautiful living quarters above the shop. Warm cozy, like me. I knew now that he was showing me my new home. I got chocked up. I was so overwheled that I broke down in tears. Inside I was hiding a lot of emotion, but I knew at that moment that God answered my prayers. He opened the hearts of these men to help me. While crying my friend gave me a hug and said it’s going to be okay. I was a mess, but we talked about me moving in, dates cost, it was so easy it was incredible.
He said I could move in by December 1st but I wanted to give my current land lord 2 months notice, so we set January 1st as the date. My current home owner, who gave me a chance to stay in my old home, was very happy for me, and since my last month, was already paid I was told I could leave earlier, by mid December if I wanted.
As of today I am pretty well in the shop, my storage unit is almost empty, and I hope to get everything upstairs moved in by early December and decorate for Christmas.
It’s very hectic right now, but that’s okay, no problem because I know it will work out and the few weeks work I have to do to get settled is well worth the new place….plus my son David, my good friend Mike Larkin, my grand kids, their friends and Don, Billy Redgrift, Bobby Mercer, Chase and Nate Start have all helped. I know soon my newest crew member Lloyd and my aunt Gloria are also coming by to help me. I am truly blessed.
I can’t say who my new landlord is right now, he wants to keep that quiet, but I will soon enough mention both of them. But I can say this….”thank you very much to both of you and your families, and to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for watching over me”.
God is good.