Written by Monte Dutton Sat, 2017-02-18 13:26
With the NASCAR season on the horizon at last, this morning I started reminiscing about my first trip to the Daytona 500.
It was 1988, and, then as now, I was immature for my age. I worked for a newspaper. It was weekly. I was young enough to believe I could head off to Florida on a Wednesday night, with a friend who said he had some friends who were already down there, and the two of us could stretch our limited resources enough to celebrate the fact that it was 1988 and George Orwell’s 1984 had not occurred. I’m not sure whether or not that subject actually came up.
Both of us had left our cell phones at home because they had not yet been invented in any approximation of the present form. I knew they existed because the banker Milburn Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies had had one years earlier. When we took off in search of the pomp, the pageantry, the human drama of athletic competition, at The Great American Race, I sang to myself, … so we loaded up the truck and we moved to Beverly.
Written by Monte Dutton Mon, 2017-02-13 04:50
I read somewhere – and, gosh knows, it could be fake news – that 79 percent of the people are not on Twitter, and I thought, well, this cannot be. Yet I cling to my Twitter followers – and my Facebook friends – and I’m banking on the hope that a much larger percentage of the few, the proud, the people who care about what I write, are more likely to be interested in NASCAR, and my novels, and the small school where I went to college, than the average bear looking for pic-a-nic baskets.
What of that hardworking fellow who spends all his time working on refrigerators so that he can scrape up enough money to buy a new recliner, has a Facebook page that he mainly checks to avoid forgetting his cousin’s birthday, and just wants to sit in that new recliner and watch the stock car race on the weekend?
Written by Monte Dutton Sun, 2017-02-05 08:18
I always think of the beginning of Days of Thunder this time of the year. The sun coming up. Fans filing in. The drivers walk out to their cars, surrounded by beautiful women and small armies of handlers. Meanwhile, back in North Carolina, Harry Hogge is out on a field on his tractor.
Five years have passed since I spent Speedweeks in Daytona Beach. I don’t have a tractor, but I have this laptop, and I’m sitting in this living room. My guitar leans against the couch, and a 24-hour news channel is on TV, and a long string of Andy Griffith Shows has run its course.
When I was growing up, there wasn’t much farming to do this time of the year, but Hollywood seldom lets reality get in the way of the story. And … NASCAR comes to mind, too.
Written by Monte Dutton Sat, 2017-01-28 10:03
In the winter, NASCAR officials turn to thoughts of change.
Change! Change! Never sit still. Fans might get used to it.
Never mind that, until NASCAR started splitting the last 10 races from the rest of the season and then split them into four segments, and designed generic cars with wings on the back, and then decided brand identity wasn’t so bad, and took the wings off and made them look more like real cars again … the sport was booming.