I heard a commercial the other day about drag races in the area. I was only partially paying attention — it was background noise — but, maybe because I’m in Facebook nostalgic groups Things That Aren’t There Anymore Northern NJ Edition and You know you lived in Paterson, NJ in the 50’s & 60’s, it did trigger a memory about Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ. Thought I would share it …

Raceway Park WAS {and apparently still is} the place to go to follow dragging or even put your own car on the track. One weekend, I asked Karen if she wanted to go. Okay, I may have omitted the drag part of racing. We weren’t seriously dating at the time, but she said yes, so Sunday we headed west the approximate 45 miles on a bright Sunday in my ’66 Corvair Monza.

Now, I was pretty proud of the way I broke in my Corvair. It was just a basic, no frill, four speed, light blue two door. It had a great acceleration, good for fast take offs from a stop, maneuvering in and out of traffic on a highway or when needing a sudden boost. It handled comfortably at … ahem … legal highway speeds and, except for real steep hills, could keep up with anyone.

So the attraction of Englishtown — at least for me — was to put the car on the track. I think I was going 0-60 in about 12 seconds, but it was never formally timed. And it would have been interesting to see what its quarter mile time and top speed would be. That was my plan. Run it during the test & tune or time trials, which were scheduled later in the afternoon after open competition drag racing.

Well, we watched a couple of stock cars race down the track, some with flames flying. After one or two heats, I was informed rather pointedly, how bored my date was. Of course, I was enthralled. I mean, what didn’t she get?

Then I made the mistake of telling her I was going to race my Corvair later.

No way, was her response. Not in a million years … If you want to kill yourself, I’m not watching … I want to go home … that last one complete with tears.

Tears or time. Her feelings or my feelings. A future or the present. So many choices for an 18 year old.

Well, I respected her wishes. We left and I felt bad for making her cry. Okay I felt bad I didn’t get my Monza on the track, too, but I felt really bad for making her cry. And instead of McDonald’s, I made it up to her by using my entry fee money to take her to the Randolph Diner.

At the time, we weren’t even a couple. Yet, the things we do for love…

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: The golden rule tarnishes unless polished with use.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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2 Responses to Englishtown

  1. thenakedtruth2 says:

    Very much enjoyed the young ladies homage to her Dad, as well as your thoughts about she who was your mate in so many ways. A good set of ‘bookends.’

    I know what you mean about the exaggerated use of ‘hero,’ but in our children’s eyes, it’s the highest compliment, not meant to flatter, just to choose a word that surpasses all others.

    Good stuff-


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