Coming in one could see race
car trailers double parked down an entire city block.
The staging area was on another block.
Newlyweds Darrell &
Pam Conrad, Shirley and Orah Mae Millar.
Not much cackle but very
At some point all the
cars started to get set for the afternoon cackle.
Sheri Watson from the NHRA museum
was out with all kinds of goodies.
Being in Bixby Knolls they had
to have drag boats. In the day, the Long Beach Marine Stadium
was the Lions of drag boat racing.
Danny "Buzz" Broussard,
Don "Wavemaker" Prieto and Spider Razon. Tons of history
in this trio.
Connie Braun made sure
all the paperwork was kosher.
Jim Rossi, Jerry Bivens,
Frank Baney and Chris Young (Frank's brother) had a friendly
poker game to lull away some of the morning.
Guess who won this hand.
Ronnie Hampshire holding
"Team Photos" leading
off with Rick McDonald, Ron Johnson (guest appearance), Bill
Pitts and Vince Yamasaki.
Jay Carpenter and Dominic
Bobby Hansen and Bill
Shilling with the Wynns Spoiler.
Team Gruzen - LtoR Joel Gruzen,
Brad Terry, Tracy Terry, Tim Brown, Dave Gruzen
The Ratican-Jackson-Stearns A/FA
backed by Ron Stearns, Tom Apgar and Jim Turner.
Bob Patterson, Paul Martenson,
Kurt Odegard, Rich Esparza, Ron Buzdas, Robert Reel, Richard
Reel and Harry Burkholder.
Bruce Gentner, Bob Hirsch
and Bob Schnerege.
Roland Kleinsorge, Tommy
Allen and Pat Coyle.
Bob Danly, Ron Johnson's Grandson
Jeff Milton, Ron, Ray Lake and Richard Jesus Vasquez.
Rossi and "The Wedding
Singer" (inside story) Gwen McWilliams.
Don Prieto and his Hustler
Sonny Messner and friend
Ron Johnson with your
hero and mine, T.V.
Worlds fastest shopping
Danny Broussard, Bob
Bradley, Ronnie & Jeep Hampshire.
Ivo and chassis wizard
Kneeling; L to R Jimmy Rossi,
Standing; L to R Jerry Bivens, Julie Bivens, Frank Baney, Ronalle
Baney, Erin Meyer, Janet Bivens, Chris Young, Tyler Baney.
This event was the debut of Shirley's
fully restored 1977 World Championship Attebury car. Dave Mandella
is responsible for this beauty and Shirley was in awe when she
Shirley had two sessions at at
her autograph table and the requests where non stop.
Shirley chatting with
Bob Danly, Darrell Conrad and Bob "Floyd" Muravez.
First of Two Fire-up Sessions
Dean Aandrews' dad won the bid
for a fire-up in the Barnstormer for him but since Dean was not
16 he had to forefeit the seat to his dad.
Officially kicking off round
one of the Cacklefest was John Ewald, the man behind the mic.
For the benefit of all the Nitro virgins in attendance, Ewald
explained to the anxiously awaiting crowd, which was growing
larger by the moment; the history behind these diggers, their
fuel of choice and how they ran.
Most of the folks in the seats
here were the high bidders for the charity - Long Beach Special
First to lite was Bob Hirsch's
tribute reproduction of the Marvin Schwartz "Anaconda"
with Kathy Bowman "driving".
Jeff Bathurst in John
Steve and Gloria Gibbs
had a road side seat.
John Deats got the seat
in the Magicar.
Dominic Cardoza was in
Jay Carpenters Woody Tribute Car.
Ron Stearns put the Tyra T. Lily
McNair his Fiat. She was there from World TV doing interviews
with some of the racers.
Scott Andrews was high
bidder for the Barnstormer.
Steve Glau won the Wynns
the auction for the seat in Gruzen's car.
Ron Johnson went over the start-up,
shut-down procedures to Rae Gabelich before her cackle in the
Rae is no stranger to dragsters
and life in the fast lane, as she is the widow of the legendary
1970 world land speed record holder, Gary (Rocketman) Gabelich.
Harry Burkholder fired
the Brothers AA/FA.
For the second year in a row
the Dean Engineering dragsters seat was filled by
Guy Gabelich, the son of Gary and Rae.
Ron Hampshire in Prieto's
Sonny Messner in his
Swamp Rat III
Tommy Allen in his Woody
Rae Gabelich and Ron
Johnson after their fire-up.
To cap it off was Shirley for
the first public fire-up of her '77 car. Ewald interviewed Shirley
for the crowd before hand.
Dave and Twila Mandella, Pete
(the cars painter) and Janette Santini, Amos Satterlee and Pete
Pasillas (lettered the car).
Rae and Shirley
Header flames anyone?
John Ewald once again gave the
crowd a history lesson on the cars covering the chassis, bodies,
engines, tires, clutches and fuel. Many fans left knowing a lot
more about the sport than they had when they arrived. For the
evening fire up Ewald switched the cars across the intersection
so the headers now faced the crowd. When the 17 nitro burning
cars shut off the roar of the crowd was almost as deafening.
This was definitely a nitro loving crowd!
Shirley, Doug Kruse and
"Famous Amos" Satterlee.
Everybody just hung around
waiting for the sky to darken.
Kathy Westurmank and
Eily Stafford who drives
an NE-1 car.
For the Long Beach Special Olympics
the days total was much better than last years, $5,355.00. Shirley
really got the fans out for this.
Steve Beatty and the award is
the 2011 Gary Gabelich "Rocketman" Award. It is given
each year to someone who has been very helpful and involved in
the Bixby Knolls event. He has done a lot in organizing volunteers
for the car show as well as getting car clubs to be involved.
Once again Ewald gave
the huge crowd a history lesson in drag racing.
For this session Shirley
Jeep Hampshire in his
Scott Monks in the Wynns
Bob Slovick got the Mighty
Ryan Westermarle got
some Prieto horsepower.
Alex Imholff got the
seat of the Mastercar.
Inside was a tribute to Mickey
Thompson and other iron from the NHRA museum.
More photos at AAFD
Now, enjoy the videos.