racing DNA part 2<>dirt in my veins - FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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racing DNA part 2<>dirt in my veins

My father was a dirt track racer when I was a child, his brother was his pit crew and we all watched and cheered from the stands. My uncle also raced and was later involved with the IMCA racing association as an official that managed and scored events in a 4 state area. My early memories of traveling to late model stock car races at the fairgrounds and other tracks in the Midwest include helping keep score either by running the leader board< A large set of cardboard car numbers that I kept current by putting the top five cards up in proper order for the crowd to see, or keeping the lap number with a BIG set of steel numbers on a large spiral stand so the crowd knew what lap it was. My cousin also raced stock cars for a few years with my brother as his pit crew and now my nephew races a B modified at the track my Uncle built in 1988. It is a newer version of the same track dad raced and had the same name as before but is a nicer newer facility.

My fathers health has been declining due to congestive heart failure and he was recently sent home from ICU with an IV pump pushing life support medicine while Hospice care helped us manage his last few weeks.
Dad had been going to a couple other tracks for several years where his grandson was racing because they were closer to where my nephew Curtis lived on the other side of KC but had remarked that he would love to see him race at our home track<> Lakeside speedway. Lakeside old and new has always had terrace parking which is a raised berm on the 1&2 turns where you rent a reserved parking spot on an annual basis so you can watch from your car/tailgate and grill your dinner while watching from the best seat in the house<> lawnchairs
SO
Curtis raced at Lakeside and Dad spent the last two Friday nights of his life doing what he loved, rooting for family and watching his grandson Curtis challenge the winner of his heat getting up to his door to finish second at the checkered on his second night on a new track. Well done.
On the first night Curtis raced at Lakeside the new owners surprised us with a very nice tribute. They had the invocation and then the announcer said "We are bringing two B-mod cars out now as a special tribute. The first car is Curtis Berry grandson of Joe Berry the second car is Don Marrs new owner of Lakeside speedway and a friend/fan of Joe's. They will stop in turn 1 and get out as a salute to Joe while we tell you about his victory lap." At this point I helped Dad get out and wave to the crowd and stand at the front of the Tahoe to wave to Curtis and Don. As we stood waving and crying they told about Dad losing his battle with heart disease, his desire to see this event and the large family he leaves behind including 18 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. also mentioning Mom and her brother Clyde that actually built the new Lakeside speedway. Dad called it his "Victory lap" because he felt like a winner getting to say goodbye to lots of friends and family before he passed in his sleep last Tuesday.

My Nephews wanted to honor Dad one last time at his funeral Sunday so they asked Mom if they could do something special. She said yes Joe would like that but when they explained it to me I said I doubt we can pull this off, you need the OK from the funeral home and the police but give it a shot. The funeral home said yes the chief said no with a wink and it was game on.
Here's what we did yesterday and while it may be the new line in a you might be a redneck IF story we all found it to be both appropriate and done in a dignified manner. BTW the backdrop was un-intentional and just what happens to be across the street from the carport at the funeral home. The attachment was the feature story in the racing program the second/last week Dad went to Lakeside to watch his grandson race, we gave away an extra run of those programs at the funeral home yesterday.
Dale Berry
Building HR431 as a tribute to Dad
RIP Joe Berry 1930-2015

Attached Images
File Type: jpg dad rs.jpg (86.8 KB, 68 views)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Joe Berry 4-20-2015.pdf (228.6 KB, 19 views)

Last edited by Buck70; 05-04-2015 at 07:19 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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short video added

Here's a short video of Dad arriving at the cemetery
Dale
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z545z6bixjde4l3/P5035163%20Joe's%20Final%20Lap.MP4?dl=0http://

Dale

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 11:36 PM
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That is so cool. I am going to show that to my kids and tell them that is how I want to take my final lap. Nothin' red neck about that !! Your Dad was a lucky guy to have family that would do that for him. R.I.P. Joe.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyracer View Post
That is so cool. I am going to show that to my kids and tell them that is how I want to take my final lap. Nothin' red neck about that !! Your Dad was a lucky guy to have family that would do that for him. R.I.P. Joe.
I hope it's a long time before you have to make that final lap.
Thanks
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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nice tribute

The owners of our local dirt track had a nice tribute race in Dad's honor Friday night. They tripled the to win purse and gave all B-mods entered $110 show up fee to draw a good field of cars. They also made some nice shirts for the event, gave us a family suite for the night and had Mom present the trophy.
Shirts
That's Dad wearing an IV life support pump on the last Friday night of his life beaming because he's watching his grandson race a B-mod on our home track.
The car is my nephews race car that he towed Gramps to the graveyard with. In a fluke of timing the car was torn down to sell the chassis since he has a new one on order and just a month before we heard about the race he severely tore up his ankle in a softball game. Curtis had to watch the race from the stands but seemed to take it in stride when it was the only option.
Dale Berry
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 03:12 AM
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So cool to have a local track do that in honor of your dad. What a great tribute to a great man. Hopefully they will continue to do it every year.

Rick
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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They did

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Originally Posted by rickyracer View Post
So cool to have a local track do that in honor of your dad. What a great tribute to a great man. Hopefully they will continue to do it every year.
Ricky
They held the second annual Joe Berry B-mod race last night and had Mom present the trophy to the winner. We had 4 generations of family and lots of friends there to watch the race. At 85 YO mom climbed down the ladder to the track taking me and my daughter< 6 months pregnant> along to help. Not every day you see a crew like that on the track giving away the trophy but those 4 generations involved is the kind of thing that made Dad grin from ear to ear. The winner posed with us for the presentation then tried to give Mom the trophy because he "thought she might like to have it". She said no you won it and Joe would want YOU to keep it, so he did. I'll try to post up that pic when I get a copy.
Dale Berry

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