Monday, November 14, 2011

Florida State Qualifiers in Jacksonville: Great track, great friends, great racing! (bad SSA)

The Florida state series is somewhat of a novelty to us. We've never completed a season, often unwilling to travel far south to Miami, West Palm, or wherever to attend the championship. The boys do love the competition though, so we try to hit qualifiers when the timing is right. Some might argue with me, but I feel that Florida has the most competitive state series in the country, with qualifiers typically having the feel of a small national. All that said, I'm really not a huge fan of the money-grubbing organization known as the SSA (Sunshine State Association). While I'm certainly not wanting to see it fail, I would like to see a huge shake-up. From what I've heard, there's just not enough love for the local tracks. From what I saw this weekend, there's not a lot of respect for the riders shelling out the race fees that pay their bills either.

On a bright note, the track couldn't have been better. According to Vikki Wright, "...Donell did one hell of job." He most certainly did, Mrs. Wright! Thank you Mr. Wright for a job well done! I can't go without thanking Michelle Messing either, who clearly has a grasp on marketing and event planning. Great job! Oh, and Bill, I hope you figured out how to cook that frozen chicken. Many thanks to all of the volunteers. You helped make up for what the SSA was lacking.

The SSA seemed to struggle Saturday, with what seemed to be some odd attempt at combining their system with the ABA moto system. Riders were called to staging for mains before anyone knew their moto numbers or gates-- unless you were one of the mathematical geniuses who happened to know the correct method for determining gate placement. The riders in the first 20 motos (2 of whom were MY boys), sat in staging for 90 minutes, as there was no announcement made as to what all the trouble was. This was disrespectful and unacceptable SSA!

Once things got rolling, both William and Wyatt had great kids to ride against, making the spectating fun, and the podium finishes worthy. Not that my kids need anymore trophies, but at $40 an entry, one would think the SSA could cough up a little more than some medals that a little birdie told me only cost a buck and a half. Thanks for nothing.


William battled it out with Joey Leto in 10x and 10c, finally grabbing one win in cruiser on Sunday. He gave it his all in 10x, and took the silver, only to have a DQ called on him a few moments later. Of course I didn't waste any time investigating this matter, with my curious son trailing behind me. Apparently, William was called out by the corner marshall in the first turn for crossing the white line. Ok, I've seen that line crossed a gazillion times with no consequence, which ticked me off. As this was just a SQ that we care nothing about, I took a deep breath, took William's silver from around my neck, and handed it to the officials and told them to stick it where ... ahem.... thanked them politely for their information. William's reaction? "I don't care. It's not like I won."

SSA, if I could have DQ'd YOU, I would have.

I absolutely can not end this on a sour note. The weather was beautiful, and our friends were there in abundance. The boys raced well, and I puffed up like a peacock overhearing parents who don't know me from Eve talking about the fast kid with the long blonde hair in 8 int.

We can't pass up the ride time at some of our favorite tracks with some or our favorite friends. Expect to see us at the qualifiers in Sarasota and High Springs. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing some positive changes the newly elected board will bring to the SSA.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ride With Me

My kind-hearted neighbor told me recently, "I don't do Jesus." This tickled me to no end, as I thought to myself, I really don't 'do Jesus' either. Through all of my years of Sunday school and MYF, I never believed that a compassionate person, no matter who or what they worshipped, would be doomed for eternity to the fiery pits of hell. Why would I worship someone who would do THAT? And yet, my head is often filled with thoughtful prayer as I stand at the fence and watch my sons climb the starting hill to take their places in the gate.

Emerald Angel, Mignon Wolfe 1996

So, if I don't really "do Jesus", who am I talking to?

My mom was an artist, painting angels and flowers and all things beautiful.

William's Firetruck, Mignon Wolfe 2004
On the back it says, "To William on your 3rd birthday. I will love you always, Mimi"

She died suddenly one November when William was only three. Flooded by grief, one thought raged in my mind. She'll never know her grandsons. 

William and my Mom, August 2003

I often wonder what she would think of them. I think she'd marvel over William's tenacious drive for perfection in all things, and laugh over my complaints about the way he nit-picks his brother. "He's just like your sister at that age",  I imagine her saying with a knowing smile. How would she feel knowing her seat at our piano is now occupied by Wyatt, who, with his blonde locks and vibrant personality, is her spitting image?

My Mom and Wyatt,  Mardi Gras 2004
I'd like to think she'd burst with pride. To her, they would be the most wonderful boys between here and the moon.

I wish she could stand by me at that fence and share the excitement and anticipation. Instead I send my silent plea. Keep them safe. Ride with them.

Seven years later I allow myself to dream that she is where she is meant to be.