During the 70s, I was involved in car racing. One of the best times I had was sportscar racing with Paul Newman. I helped build his Datsun, the car he was campaigning with Bob Sharp Racing. My dear friend, Tom Ciccone, was driving the backup car, an identical Datsun. We raced cars at Lime Rock, Connecticut.
Lime Rock was and still is considered the number one racetrack in the USA. Located in the western hills of Connecticut. When I first saw it, a Norman Rockwell painting came to mind with the rolling hills, beautifully maintained infield with grass, and well-trimmed trees. I really liked racing at Lime Rock. We would load up the truck and trailer and head out Thursday night. Friday was inspection and practice runs. Saturday would be race day. Back then we were not allowed to race on Sundays. After Friday’s practice, we would hang out and have dinner. We traveled with a Winnebago camper, so we had some comforts.
One time I was putting dinner together, my mom made meatballs with gravy and homemade spaghetti. I was making the salad when I said we need some more greens for the salad. Tommy suggested we go pick some dandelion. So, Paul and I got a container and two small kitchen knives and walked to the infield. This is where the spectators were sitting on blankets to watch the race. As we picked dandelions one of the spectators kept on looking at us. Finally, she got up and walked over to me. She asked if my dandelion picking partner was Paul Newman? I said to her do you really think Paul Newman would be picking Dandelions here in Lime Rock. She said no and walked away. As we left the infield, Newman turned, raised his hat, took off his sunglasses, and winked at her. The lady was running back to us for Paul’s autograph. Newman obliged. It was a great day!
Race cars, dandelions, movie stars!
Keep them Rolling! Bill