Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mom and Dad were race fans for as long as I can remember,many a Saturday night was spent at a race track ,Evergreen,Dorney Park,Reading,Selingsgrove,Nazareth including the big track,I saw one of the last races run at Langhorne and one of the first Race of Champions races at Pocono on the 3/4 mile oval,my brother and I went to one of the last races held at Reading before they turned it into a shopping mall.I'm happy to say that I got a chance to see most of the finest racers that PA had to offer on both dirt and asphalt.It's been a few years since I've spent that much time at a track,I still enjoy listening to them on the internet occasionally and once in a while watching a race on tv or the internet.Oh I watch Nascar some but dirt is where my heart is and always has been.The last few races that I have attended were World of Outlaw late model races or Dirt modified races and they had a pretty good turnout but I don't think the tracks are doing as well today as they were 30 years or so ago and that's a shame,racing is one of the few sports where drivers only get paid if they perform well,at least until you reach the top tier of the sport.I've made a lot of friend through racing over the years and it's always good to see the ones that I remember as kids racing go karts that are still racing today,if you have a track around you,check it out sometime,you might find some friends there.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

gas powered washing machines

Back in the early days of the 1900s gas engines were all the rage,they were using them for everything.Maytag started building engines around 1910,the first were engines that just sat beside a wood tub washing machine and ran it with a flat belt.Around 1920 they started building washing machines with an engine instead of an electric motor and a few years later started building washing machines that would run on electric or with a gas engine.This is mine,actually I have 3 right now but this is the only running one,they also had attachments for grinding meat,churning butter or making electricity. video

My GGreat Grandfather

The picture in my header is one of my prized posessions,it's a picture of my GGrandfather,Sam P Smith with his family and team.I'm figuring it was taken around 1910,the little guy,with the dog is my Grandfather Ralph Smith,he was born in 1901 and I figure he's about 8 or 9 when this was taken.It was taken on the farm in Nescopeck where I grew up.Actually I only have a digital copy of the photo,the original is stored safely in Mom's safe.I see pictures at auctions and flea markets all the time that should be in someones posession but it seems like too few people care about old black and white photos any more.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

old radios and life

Last night I picked up a 1950s vintage AM radio at an auction,I got it home and plugged it in and I think it transported me back a few years.I've always loved radios,mostly for the music but I've played with CBs and weather radios and even listened to shortwave a little.That old radio still works pretty good and it got me thinking about growing up in the 1960s and riding with Mom and Dad in the car,coming home late on a Saturday night.Most cars in the 1960s still only had AM radios and they really weren't much to listen to during the day but usually about 6:00 in the evening the smaller stations would start singing off and after about 9:00 the big stations with the 50,000w transmitters would crank them up,you could pick up stations from miles away.If we were on the road on a Saturday night,we were usually listening the the Wheeling Jamboree from WWVA in Wheeling W.Va,it came in great from anywhere in PA,not quite like HD or satellite does today but hey,it was all we had.I believe as a kid I listened to a lot more radio than watched TV and while AM radio isn't like it used to be,I still enjoy going back in time sometimes.