9/11 remembered 15 years later
The horrific terrorist attacks on the U.S. 15 years ago Sunday were recalled in memorial services held throughout the nation. It was a day never to be forgotten in America, cementing our belief that terrorists will never break the heart and soul of this nation.
The Rev. Mark Farnell, pastor of the Centreville United Methodist Church and chaplain of the Goodwill Fire Company, had invited all members of the company to church services Sunday. Despite a slim turnout of volunteers in our Class A uniform, Pastor Mark called us up to the front and praised the work of the first responders that day, citing the fact that 342 firefighters were among those killed as the two planes struck the World Trade Center buildings and they collapsed unto those attempting to rescue people from the structures.
A day that should never be forgotten!
••• RACING AT THE
NARROWS We mentioned my old friend and powerboat racing champion Wheeler Baker last week, and that he is to be inducted into the State Athletic Hall of Fame in November for his record-breaking races in his hydroplane from 1977 to 2007.
I had to look back into the Record Observer bound files because I knew we carried a lot of pictures and stories when the racing first started at the Narrows. Sure enough, there were plenty, starting in June 1956, when the first races were held.
We carried three pictures of Alton Pierson, along with two other local drivers, Lem Thompson and Garrett Ruth. The captions said it was the first annual Chesapeake Bay Bridge Regatta to be held off Harbor View in Cox’s Creek by the Queen Anne’s Powerboat Association, and they expected 200 boats from all over the East Coast. The next week it was page one with a picture and story of Lem Thompson beating out Alton and Garrett in the POD Class in a driving rain.
The next year, 1957, the regatta was held off Pioneer Point in the Corsica River as Pioneer Point owner R.J. Funkhouser had given permission for the regatta people to use his piers, and fans could watch from the shoreline.
Alton, who by this time was high point man in the nation in 136 cu. in. class, won in Lil Barb. He used to race Bo-Bo for the Baker Company fellows, and when not behind the wheel in his boat, he piloted a beer truck for them.
Then again in 1958, we found where Alton won the POD Class in races off the Kent Island Yacht Club that had to be postponed a week due to choppy waters. In the sports story, it was also mentioned that 11-year-old Wheeler Baker raced in the JU Runabouts. That would be the first of many years of Wheeler’s racing, followed by many records he set.
I must thank my fire buddy, Phil Hurlock up in Church Hill, who dropped of the Aug. 31 Sun, which had the story and picture of Wheeler being named. It also mentioned that Wheeler is a 10-time winner of the American Power Boat Association National Championships.
Before I hung up talking to Wheeler, he said, “Don’t forget about my brothers, Tom and Ted, they both raced when I was racing, just not as long. We called Tom Bull of the Wood.” I’ll have to ask Tom where he got that nickname.
Anyway, I can be sure Wheeler will find another suitable place somewhere in the Narrows for more hydroplane racing in the future.
••• WE HAVE A RAVENS
NEST Picked up a folder on the counter at Good Guys during the last Lions Club meeting to read all about Ravens Nest 20 here in the county. If you are a big fan of the Ravens, who won their opener Sunday, you will want to join the Ravens Nest. According to the folder, the Nest meets on the first Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at Good Guys. The fans with the Nest say in the folder they will be holding their 2nd annual Ravens Kickoff Party at Good Guys at noon on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Well, this football nut is a Ravens fan, but little too old to join the Nest; after all, I go back to those Baltimore Colts days where we spent 17 wonderful fall years attending games at old Memorial Stadium.
If you want more information on the Ravens Nest 20, the flyer said you could find them at Facebook.com/RavensNest20 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.