The summer of 1964, we went to the the dirt track, modified stock car races in Holts Summit nearly every week. It was exciting because we knew some of the drivers and Richard’s cousin, Bill Caldwell, drove his old truck around, with a water tank on it, wetting down the track to keep the dust down.
We had an old ’51 Chevy that wouldn’t shift out of low gear that year, so we couldn’t drive ourselves to Holts Summit. That car was strictly for short trips in town, mainly to Richard’s job at the Missouri Hybrid Corn Company. It was more fun to go with a bunch of friends and relatives, anyway, and somebody we knew was always willing to give us a ride.
On the evening of July 28, 1964, our friend, Buck Grimm, was going to the races, and he said we could go if we didn’t mind riding in the back. David & Lela Boldwin, and their three kids were going along, too. Lela rode in the cab with Buck and Betty, while the rest of us relaxed on old car seats Buck had arranged around the edge of the pickup bed. We laughed and sang on the way over and got there early enough to snag seats down front right next to the track. Bill spread the water pretty heavy that night, and the cars flung mud pellets all over us on the front row. We didn’t mind, everybody had a grand time.
It was late before we piled into the pickup for the ride home, and the night wind was a little cool. Eight-year-old Gary Boldwin and I shared a blanket and he fell asleep on my lap. When I hopped down out of the truck bed at home, I felt my first labor pain. Kenny was born the next day. I never saw another race that summer.