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A snack to tide you over...Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Posted by: Jack Beckman, Valvoline MaxLife Dodge
I forgave Blake for wearing a John Force shirt while hanging out with me, but I won’t soon forget what his father demonstrated about true strength and courage!
Jenna and Jason were thrown in the Disney debtor prison, as apparently our credit card was beyond maxed out. Gee, admission for the three of us was ONLY $255...do you think the Governor will have leniency and grant a pardon?
You may think that Layla is so enthusiastic about the parade going by, but I swear it’s because she got in for free!
Here’s Jason celebrating that his mother just got season passes to Disneyland for the two of them. Me...I’d rather mow the backyard in a pink tutu than fork over that much money!
And Jenna thought I was an idiot for buying a 40-year-old forklift! Why, it’s practically paid for itself with all the practical uses I get out of it.

The title is just my way of copping out (where did THAT expression come from?) and admitting there’s just no way my fingers are gonna tolerate another five-page entry. So, with apologies to all of you expecting a novella, just consider this the appetizer...

I’m not even sure I remember how we did in Chicago and Norwalk, but I know I lost a tremendous amount of bodily fluids (that’s not even counting me being selected for another random urinalysis). Those races were humid, and those locales were just plain HOT! I’m hoping Denver goes a little easier on us for temperatures.

I will say this: after losing a close race in the first round at Norwalk, we were feeling disappointed, yet optimistic about the direction our team is going. Jeff Wolf, our PR dude, came over and asked me if I would mind spending some time with a youngster with cerebral palsy.

When Jeff introduced me to 12-year-old Blake, along with his father Rick, it was like we were long-lost family. The guys on the crew helped lift Blake’s incredibly heavy electric wheelchair into the trailer so I could give him and his father a tour. Tours usually consist of me making stories up about most of the equipment in the trailer, as I don’t know what most of it is for!

After that, I met them up in the stands, where we watched the entire second round of pro racing. Blake asked me if I knew V. Gaines and, though I hate to be a “name dropper”...I KNOW V. Gaines! So, after the round was completed, we headed over to the Pro Stock pits to hang out with one of my favorite drivers. We also got an opportunity to let Blake meet Terry Vance, Vincent Nobile (who had a pretty decent race weekend!), and Ron Capps. It totally made my day, and I had a new hero. You may think I am referring to Blake, who is a wonderful young boy and worthy of praise and admiration, but I’m actually talking about his dad, Rick. I know nothing about them, had never met them before, and didn’t spend much more than about two hours around them, but Rick is a paradigm for fathers everywhere. He looked out for his little boy with such care and love, from clearing food from Blake’s mouth when he started to choke, to carrying him up into the grandstands and holding him on his lap for the entire round. I was so moved by his true love and dedication, and I shall never forget what I saw. I sincerely hope they come back next year and allow me to hang out with them some more.

I’ve been so busy around here. I’m still doing the best I can to try and find more sponsorship for our team, and that’s led to lots of freeway miles and time in traffic.

Layla turned one on July 12th, so we had a little party for her here at the house. She is really developing a strong personality, and her actions get cuter by the day.

Jason is still in swim practice four days a week, but he seems to have hit a plateau. His legs and arms just forget how to work in sync, and sink is what he does!

We hit Disneyland the day after Layla turned one, and I really hope the next time I have to go is the day she turns 21. It’s a clean, wonderful park with fascinating things to do, but I so totally hate waiting in line half the day after paying $87 dollars a head (sorry, in the interest of complete honesty, they did ONLY charge $81 for Jason, a FIVE YEAR OLD!) I think Mickey was carrying around a large tub of KY jelly, but perhaps I was mistaken. Seriously, their season passes have gone up 20percent in the past two years! I hope Walt is turning over in his grave, as a one-day entry for a family of four to do both Disney and the adjacent California Adventure will set you back $500. I’ll give you a moment to digest (speaking of which, that doesn’t include food, plus $15 to park) that last sentence...I’m feeling queasy just thinking about it.


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On Independence Day, we brought in materials and cleaned the trenches in lieu of fireworks.
 
Every spare moment I’ve had has either been spent in or under the motorhome, or doing something related to concrete work. The RV is coming along nicely, and we’ll give it a road-test for the Sonoma race. The concrete pad is now poured for my new garage, and I have to give a big thanks to something that I almost never use: Facebook.

Yep, Jenna suggested that I put a “feeler” out for anyone in the area willing to lend some expertise, and it didn’t take long for the responses to come in. Chris and Jerry, who worked for years with my friend Glenn, came on over and never left. Those guys know what they’re doing when it comes to forming and pouring concrete, and they probably saved me more than two months of futile labor. I say futile because I’m pretty sure I would have totally screwed the job up, thrown my hands in the air, and went to live at Disneyland or something. They did in one week what would have taken me 6-8, and the results are very pleasing. I’m one wall away from being able to start buying wood, and that’s pretty exciting.

I’ve got way more stuff to talk about, but I have to fly to Denver tomorrow, I’m burned out, and I just wanted to get you guys some updates before another two weeks fly by.

Stay tuned, keep your concrete wet, Disneyland should include lotto tickets with every admission, and my little girl is ONE!
 

 
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