Volume X, Issue 9, Page 71

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

You missed me. Admit it. It's okay for you to come clean with your feelings and realize that when you clicked on DRO last month, looking in earnest I must add, for your monthly fix of Getting Nostalgic, you were crushed that it wasn't there. It's going to be fine. You just need to pace yourself with the wealth of insight that you readers receive from the writers here at DRO. Especially me. Actually I was told by the Chief that the economy had hit DRO and some of us were going to a bi-monthly type of schedule. Sorry to drop that bomb. I can almost feel the shockwave as it circles the earth much like the Tsar Bomba blast as it was measured circling the globe three times.

Whatever. Lucky for you that you get me this month.

How has your summer been?

I think this has been the summer of the major media outlets awakening to Nostalgia Drag Racing. My best example can be found by taking a look at Hot Rod Magazine. It's true that we have been featured in the past in the major rags, but this time the feel is different. They have embraced their roots and are actually pushing that as a selling point right on their cover. "HOT ROD: WHERE IT ALL BEGAN" it proclaims from whatever that spot is called on the lower left of the cover. In the August issue, we had a wonderful expose on my secret crush, Mendy Fry (like I'm the only one), and the September issue had "The Wild & Crazy World of Nostalgia Funny Cars" with good ole Randy Walls burning his pile into infamy right there on the cover. True, in the months prior, we were treated to articles in every issue dealing with the legends of the sport from back in the day but those two issues (Aug. and Sept.) were different. They tied the past into the present.

It's happening (Anyone remember that cable access show featuring retro rock bands? Or how about Art Fein's Poker Party? ). Now, Phil Burgess over at National Dragster has been beating the retro drum for over a year now with his entertaining online blog, the Dragster Insider. Even the print version seems to be paying tribute to its heritage lately.

All of this attention is great. The potential of us using this new-found press could mean more butts in the seats and more cars being built, but most importantly, more chicks coming to the track.

For all of this great, promising news, something is missing.

Is it just me, or is some of the magic gone? There have been lots of great events that have happened this summer, even with the price of everything going up, but most seemed to have slipped under the radar. Where is the hype? Is everyone as bored as I am? The message boards are as dull as my shining personality, and events come and go with nary a whimper.

The coverage has been great here at DRO for the nostalgia events going on around the country. In fact, more nostalgia coverage than ever before right here and now. It seems we have a ton of dates happening this year. Maybe so many that they are all blending together? I'm a little surprised that Doug Kruse's PDA meet in Long Beach drew no major media attention except for Cacklefest.com. Maybe you want it that way? I think not. Are we over-exposing ourselves? Are we the 'new' Britney? I'm a little taken aback to even mention Nostalgia Drag Racing and Britney Spears in the same passage.

What to do with this feeling of apathy? Again, is it just me? It's hard to get all jazzed about an event where we won't be racing. And there have been quite a few that we have missed. The Pisano car is on a little vacation for the time being because of numerous reasons but the coolest reason (can there be a 'cool' reason to park a race car?) is Danny Pisano and Mark Mallory (yes, another Mallory boy) have partnered up to run a Hot Rodding themed Bar and Grill in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. It's called Cops and Rodders. Danny being the Rodder and Mark being the cop, or ex-cop as it were. By the time this column hits the 'net, the place will have survived a Grand Opening weekend with the likes of nearly the whole Pisano & Matsubara Funny Car team and many of its friends.

Back to the matter at hand. How do we get our mojo back? Agent 1320 has done a great job of letting readers know what's coming up with events and new car news and usually scooping me by the week it takes for my column to hit the 'book' as we say in the biz (snaps fingers and points). So, even if I'm not getting as many press releases as I used to, you're sending them to the Agent.

The message boards are like watching grass grow, paint dry, or me weld. The attempt to limit trolls from our online lives have made it a little too nicey-nice for me. I fully understand the frustration of board-owners when they are confronted by a troll and the headaches it causes when the "good" (boring) posters barrage the site owner with complaints.

owever, I always tuned in to see who or what would fall victim. When someone asks a tough question using their real name, which all the boards ask of now except one (the Classic Funny Car Board) they usually get browbeaten by the same two or three top posters, or the topic hits the skids and gets deleted. I am just as guilty as any of you for giving up on causing trouble on the boards. I don't see too many Nostalgia racers posting anymore. I hope to Lemmy that they are not trying to mimic their 'Big Show' counterparts and be above it all or politically correct. I miss the free range message boards. They had an edge and that is what we are missing now. Maybe a little of that edge was translating to the boards where you are supposed to be all cordial? Maybe The Onion,  would like to sponsor a Nostalgia Funny Car?

I don't know. How do I say in a pleasant way that this summer blows?  


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