So Brave, Young and Handsome; upholstry, and Fred Offenhauser

My dad has had a lifelong fascination with auto racing and I never understood exactly why, — except that he was a mechanic (airplane) during WWII. However, today I got a different angle.

We were talking, and I discovered that his best boyhood friend, Chuck Tinley (sp?), was the nephew of Fred Offenhauser, creator of the Offenhauser engine that dominated the Indy 500 for at least two decades. My dad and his buddy Chuck would go to the races in L.A. and sit in the Offenhauser box. They were so close to the action that they had to hold their programs up to their faces so that they could quickly duck behind the (protection of the) paper when the car tires threw mud into the crowd. My dad mimics himself at that age, an imaginary program paper held between his two hands just below his eyes. Then he quickly raises both hands as he hides behind the program saving his face (but probably not his clothes) from the splattered mud. All this accompanied by the appropriate car and track sound imitation. Continue reading

What was I thinking?

Kite Flyers
Dad and his brother

The day after I created a blog, I had a moment of panic when I thought I should very quickly delete it! I already had a following (even though it doesn’t show here). What was I thinking?

Eventually, I let my mind wander to the object of all this. Look at the photo. My dad and my uncle are both life long musicians, family men, veterans of WWII, part of the great generation. So the blog stays for now.

My dad loves kites. Any dime-store variety will do. In fact, I remember him building his own box kite and teaching me to build the more average (diamond) shaped kites out of the Sunday funnies. We built a mini-model once from colored tissue paper and he flew it from a spool of thread. The great thing about this kite was that, once aloft, it appeared to be miles away (because of the perspective of such a small kite against the sky). People would comment on that in passing, and then he would show them that he was flying it from a spool of thread. “Incredible!” their eyes would say. We loved that reaction. Continue reading