Monday, July 23, 2018

Behind The Mic Again

I helped to launch a program about the racing at Bowman Gray Stadium racing on the sinking ship known as WSJS about 5 or 6 years ago. We dabbled with doing some live broadcasts from the stadium during an afternoon show with a host that has recently and publicly declared all Winston-Salem area bikers as racists.

The second time we did the broadcast from BGS, I got to host the show and interviewed Gray Gauldin along with John Hunter Nemechek just when they were starting up in the K&N Pro Series East in NASCAR. I also interviewed Tim Brown, John Smith, and a few of the BGS regulars. I was elated for those few hours until I got some distressing news. Sadly, that was the day that my all-time favorite stock car racer Dick Trickle took his own life.

I heard the news first through my cans from Kim Spears back at the radio station. It was interesting to see how the news of Dick Trickle’s death passed through the pits at Bowman Gray Stadium. The place got quiet even with the sounds of the loud engines being tweaked and worked upon. I made sure to stop on the way home for a little bottle of Maker’s Mark for quiet contemplation in an easy chair.

But it was a thrill to be around all those machines. And even though there’s not a whole lot of speed to be found at BGS, there’s certainly some rubbin’ and racin’ to be had. And that’s the main reason that they call the place “The Madhouse”. Anger can rise to the occasion on a regular basis at that quarter mile track near downtown Winston-Salem.

I got an email over a month ago from Loren Pinilis asking if I was interested in filling in as an assistant track announcer a few Saturday nights at BGS. I had to turn him down once before for a reason that I have forgotten about and that hurt. Since being at the track and doing shows from there, I’ve wanted to be involved somehow.

I got another big chance and I snapped on it like a bear trap. I sat in the week before my gig to see what I needed to do and to see how it all worked and let me tell ya… It’s a lot harder than it sounds.

My first night on the mic wasn’t too awfully bad. I only stepped on Robert Collins a few times along with butchering a couple of reads, but no one took be out behind the stadium to shoot me. It was fun and my diaphragm got a good work out. I will be back assisting Robert again this Saturday and the next. (This Saturday night features another Sportsman 100 race. And in my personal opinion, that series makes for the best racing.)

Jamie asked me what it paid and I couldn’t answer her. I didn’t even ask because I was so thrilled to do it. The thought of being paid didn’t really cross my mind. But hey! It was a bonus to the dream!

I’m thinking about putting the rest of the earnings on the Guns n’ Roses Super Deluxe anniversary edition of ‘Appetite For Destruction’. Since being under-employed after being forced out of that previously mentioned sinking ship, my personal disposable income has dried up like Melania Trump’s tear ducts.

But I’m sure that something will come along to slap those earnings out of my hands. We all know how life can be. But someday, it will be mine. Yes, it will be mine. It was one of the greatest albums released in the 1980s, but that’s another subject for another time.

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