Friday, November 19, 2010

teens and teen parents

Recently there was a teen suicide in a town near us.  It happened in the school. We forget sometimes just how hard it is to be a teenager.  School mates can be very cruel and mean. Teens are trying to find themselves, and if the high school environment is harsh, cruel and not accepting, it can be a very rocky road for a teen to ride.  As parents of teens we need to listen to our youth and spend as much time with them as we can.  We really need to develop that relationship before they become a teen.   Their is a constant struggle going on in the teens life. They are growing up and should be getting more independent.  But parents know that this time can be a time when decisions and feelings may lead their teen down a path that could be damaging.  So we try to guide and help the best we can. Lots of pray is in order that is for sure. I know I was not a perfect parent,,, just ask my grown children!  Teens want to run their own lives.  They think they know it all, but just ask any adult in their 40's if they knew it all as a teen they will tell you they thought they did, but did not have a clue!  Teens need to know above all that their parents care and wiill always be there for them and take time to listen to them.  Coaching is in order and time spent listening.  Sometimes the best way a teen will learn is to make their own mistakes.  Sometimes they need to guided out of a dangerous path onto a safe one. But parents need to listen and pray so they can be given discernment.  Ultimately, we are dependent on the Lord as parents to guide us in our parenting. 
     Training can also be in order for parents.  There are many good books and resources available.Last year in our church we offered a Sunday School class that was on parenting for about 4 months.  Sadly not too many took the class.  How many times have I seen as a pastor where parents get in a critical situation and wish they would of had some training?  Many.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Stock Car Racing..when the big cars came to the track!

Once a year, the IMCA stock cars came to the Columbus Junction track. It was always during the county fair time.  And it was a big thing for a  young boy like me to see the new big cars! These were not the older cars, but the late models! Ernie Derr ! Ramo Stott! (my family had a Plymouth family car so these were my guys!) Ron Hucherson, Ole Brau, and others.  I can remember sitting in the stand, and Ernie Derr pulled out for time trials in his number 3 Plymouth (the only year I think he drove a Plymouth) and opened up the Hemi motor! Boy of boy did the stands shake! (Yes he did drive a Plymouth- check out this photo-
Note the hauler of the timess this was no semi or no trailer!)
Ramo and Ernie would get after each other!  Oh to see them race again!  I wish! Here is a photo above of them at the Iowa State Fair grounds, I think! Ramo in #0 and Ernie in #1. Oh how I long to see racing again where the stock cars looked like cars people drove on the street!  You could tell who had a Ford, who drove a Dodge or Pontiac!

MVSC Stock Car Racing-Remembering some childhood memories

For lots more on MVSC stock cars see my website:

When I was a child, I was a big fan of stock car racing.  My grandparents and my parents took me and my 3 brothers to "the races" on Saturday nights.  We used to go watch the MVSC (Mississippi Valley Stock Car Club, I think it was) at Columbus Junction, Iowa (Louisa County Fairgrounds 1/2 mile oval) and at West Liberty, Iowa (Muscatine County Fairgrounds 1/2 mile oval).  Each Saturday night they would alternate where they raced. Since we lived closer to Columbus Junction, this is where we went more often. I can remember like it was yesterday the smells, cigarette and cigar smoke, the burned gas and oil, beer and popcorn and the sounds of the engines, and the crowd.  Being so excited over what was happening.  I remember drivers these drivers: Mark Mosier,  Stan Crooks,  Mel Morris, Dave Dodder, Johnny Moss, Pokey West, Ralph Erickson (the leadfooted farmer!),  Mike Neffinger,  John Verrink,  Bill Hop, and many others. 55-57 Chevy's, Pontiacs, Fords, Mercs, Dodges, Olds, those cars were really neat. Here are a few photos courtesy of Iowa Stock Cars website Memory Lane (these photos were given to Iowa Stock Cars by various individuals)
This photo was taken at Columbus Junction.  Mike N. is on top and I think it is Mark Mosier (I remember when he drove that Pontiac!) on the bottom.  Mark was my favorite driver, although I liked many of others too.  I remember a hot summer night at Columbus Junction when Ralph Erickson from Lockridge, Iowa and Mark Mosier from Washington, Iowa were both running fast in the front!  They were running neck and neck!  It was so exciting! And then Ralph went over (or got pushed over)the back stretch was he mad when he came back to the line up after the red flag! The announcer would always talk about Ralphy as the lead footed farmer with baler wire holding things together!  I wish I had a photo of Ralphy's car about that time. I can't remember if it was Pontiac or an Olds or Buick. I think it might of been a Buick.  Below is another car from those days...

This above is Dave Dodder from Letts Iowa, where I grew up, and Dave was a neighbor of ours. We always rooted for Dave! Two others we always watched close-

These two drivers were always on top in the points race. John Moss in #1 and Mel Morris in #32.  Mel seemed to get more boos from the crowd at CJ track.  Great drivers.  Always exciting to watch. Always in contention with Mark Mosier for the season champion.

Above is Pokey West.  My first memories of Pokey was that he had an old coupe when other folks had newer cars.  And he was Pokey!  But then one year he got this car above and we could not believe how Fast he was! He won races! Pokey was no longer Pokey!  Here is a article from speed blitz website-  and it is a flash back to those days.

Pokey West captures MVSC feature event

Columbus Junction, Iowa (May 10, 1970) – After several restarts, Pokey West of West Chester picked up the checkered flag for his first feature win in the Mississippi Valley Speed Club this season on Sunday evening.
Benny Hofer of Rock Island, competing in the MVSC for the first time this season, was leading the 25-lap feature when he went high in turn three and went over the top of the track. Neither driver nor car was injured but Hofer was sent to the rear of the field.
On the 18th lap, Jerry Onnen of Wilton Junction went high in the same turn but he took a couple of hard bumps over the turn and was out for the rest of the event. No injuries occurred.
West took over the top spot and held off a hard-charging John Moss of Iowa City to the checkers. Bud Darting of Columbus Junction, Mark Mosier of Washington and Bill Hop of Muscatine rounded out the top five.
West turned in the fastest time of the evening with 26.56 seconds. Larry Jenkins of Wilton won the 5-lap trophy dash. Hofer, Moss, Bob Helms of Rochester and Ron Perdock of Washington were heat winners.
Feature results –
  1. Pokey West, West Chester
  2. John Moss, Iowa City
  3. Bud Darting, Columbus Junction
  4. Mark Mosier, Washington
  5. Bill Hop, Muscatine
  6. Bob Kleindolph, Muscatine
  7. Gary Redlinger, Wellman
  8. Ralph Erickson, Lockridge
  9. Dan Robertson, Muscatine
  10. Don Morgan, Muscatine