I was 15 that year and there wasn't much I liked better than going to demolition derbies with my dad (that's him in the pic with me and I've just noticed that he is sporting a very distinct mullet with that Terminator t-shirt...I shouldn't say anything since there's a monster truck on mine).
Daddy did all the hard work like knocking the windows out, taking out the seats (except the driver's), putting the radiator and battery in the back, welding all the doors shut, securing the hood and trunk with powerpole wire, wiring a starter button to the gearshift lever so he didn't need a key, and *whispering* filling the tires with water so they wouldn't bust. Shhhh, keep that under your hat.
My job was to decorate so the numbering and stickers you see here are all my 15 yr old handiwork. I also painted a wide red mouth on the front of the car and "Eat my shorts!" on the back (I loved The Simpsons at the time). I don't remember what else I spraypainted on the car. It was no doubt lovely whatever it may have been.
This particular time, we won! It was at Birmingham Internation Raceway (much like Bham Internation Airport...international in name only) and Daddy mentioned just last month to me that they tore it down not too long ago. Sad to think about as I was there quite a bit as a youngster.
Anyway, Daddy won a good bit of money and he gave me $100 of it as his
only official pitcrew member. I did help change one tire...sort of. I helped as best I could anyway. The car still ran fine after this and he sold it right there on the track after the derby...double win! We always got in the top 3 or 4 but this is the only time I remember winning.
Good times, good times. I still have the trophy I'm holding up in the photo. It is on top of a bookshelf in my living room.
I was quite happy then. My brother was still dead but my parents were still married, they were making more than a decent living, and I didn't have a care in the world really. That is why I particularly love this photo. It represents that last few years of what little childish happiness I had left. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy now but that happiness you have as a child seems more golden from a distance. At least to me it does. Anyway, you can tell it is getting late since I'm getting maudlin.