CSHOF Induction Acceptance Speech

This last reward of my racing past certainly came unexpectedly. I am honored to be a recipient of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame award.

For some of you who are unfamiliar with motorcycle racing and competing in various kinds of events, I will try to give you a brief history.

Since the early 1940s, when competitive racing began to be popular, the Europeans had a definite edge on American riders. The European riders did dominate in the USA, but the American riders were quick to adapt. Many folks, seeing the demand, began to import foreign-made motorcycles from Europe. This was a great help to the American rider who then could compete with the European riders. The US did not manufacture a motorcycle which could compete with the European-made motorcycle for off-road racing events. Then the Japanese motorcycle, with the latest up-to-date technology, appeared on the scene.

Generally cycle racing in the eastern states was different from cycle racing in the western states, Due to the woods and mud in the east, riders from the east did better against riders from the west when they (eastern riders) were on familiar ground. Riding in the west was more speed with drier conditions. The riders from the west posed no threat. Time passed and their kind of racing appeared in the east as man-made courses, many at fairgrounds. This racing was very spectacular for the audience and challenging for the rider with tight corners and man-made jumps.

In 1965 and in 1971, I had the privilege to be invited to ride in the International Six Days Trials – the Olympics of motorcycling racing – at the Isle of Man off the coast of England. Each race was truly a very rewarding experience.

During my racing career, I competed in many different types of off-road racing such as enduros, hillclimbs, trials, scrambles and hare scrambles. I also rode different size bikes such as 125cc, 250cc, and 500cc. Often I raced in two classes in the same event.

As time passed, I was fortunate to compete in the senior class, age 40 and over, at many events. I did well at these races with some monetary returns. My son used to ask me how I could go so slow and still win. Finally, in 1975 after 20 years of competitive of racing and still in one piece, although I had my share of bumps and bruises, I decided to retire permanently.

In closing, I would like to congratulate the other inductees who are entering the Sports Hall of Fame tonight.

Thank you to the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame for granting me this prestigious award.

Thanks to Jack and Patty Lawrence who nominated me.

Thanks to my children, Craig and Denise, who smuggled out of my home the information to enable the Board of Directors to grant me this honor.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.