A Trip Through Time
Yesterday I had the privilege of taking a tour through the Georgia Auto Racing Hall of Fame, a very private and personal tour thanks to Gordon Pirkle. With me was my 12 year old son J.D. We walked slowly looking at each car, each display, and each trophy.
But let me back up just a bit…
A few years ago, I started a radio show to highlight the winners and run downs at tracks across the country, it was called The Monday Night Results Show, on Performance Motorsports Network. It was a hit; we had a list of tracks we followed and reported on each week they ran. Listeners got to know the drivers names and followed along as well. Then a listener sent me a message asking for more info on one of the drivers we mentioned. So I reached out to the track and I was put in touch with this driver, we talked and he agreed to come on the show for an interview. And that’s when it started…
Soon, interviews were outnumbering the results, and with all the internet, websites were providing the results instantly so The Monday Night Results Show morphed into The Mitch Walker Show, taking a new tack, and over time found our niche, with a focus on grass-roots racing, safety, and most of all, the history of the sport of auto racing.
The more I learned about the sport, the more I craved to know more history. And once I learned the history, the more I felt it should be shared with the younger generations. That too, became one of my mission statements, to bring the youth into this sport, to expose them to the history and learn how it was done back in the day.
Now back to yesterday… as I walked with my son, explaining all the history that was in front of us; telling him how this had changed and that had changed, sharing with him the stories and the way of life that racing was back in the day. How proud we should be to have had so many movers and shakers in the world of racing from Georgia. Names like Raymond Parks, Rex White, Gober Sosebee, The Flock Brothers, Ronnie Sanders, Bob Burcham, Jack Jackson; the list goes on and on with each of them playing a huge role in getting Auto Racing to where it is today in the State of Georgia.
The things that touched me most, were the trophies, so many of them, each telling a story all its own. Each of them were a slice of history, and I found myself thinking “if only these trophies could talk”, oh the stories they could tell. I began to share my thoughts with my son, and I watched as he found a new way of seeing these pieces of history, in a different light. It was such a touching moment watching him soak up all the history with a new zeal, and seeing him yearn for more and more knowledge about the History of the sport.
So this rekindled the fire inside of me to capture this history and find ways to spread it to the masses, with hopes that more young people will find the same desire to learn more that my son has found.
The youth of today is the future of our sport, whether they be drivers, crew, car owners, or even promoters. Without the youth, our sport will die and I do not want to allow that to happen. So I have renewed myself to promoting the sport, and its history to the young people of today, and let them revel in the thrill that the history brings.
So take a youngster with you next trip to the races; the future of our sport depends on it...