Friday, March 15, 2013

Fast Cars & Freedom

...or a closer look into how my mind works- which is either fascinating or scary.  Take your pick.

This morning on the news I saw this video, which is hilarious and awesome no matter how you look at it.  Some people are all caught up over whether or not it is a 'fake out'.  Whatever...

Seeing the story about this video reminded me of the book event that my neighbor and I went to last Friday about Garth Stein's book called The Art Of Racing In The Rain.  It's a really cool read that my neighbor loaned to me about a year ago.  It's an interesting story about all different aspects of life and family that is narrated by a dog.  It's non-traditional and yet all about morals and values- kind of like me.  Oh, and one of the characters is a race car driver...

So then, thinking about the book reading and that story made me think of one interesting aspect of my growing up.  I've referenced before that my childhood was mainly one of fear and desperation.  However, even those of us who grew up being abused have had times of complete contentment.  One of those times for me was when my mother was racing stock cars with her ex-husband on weekends at the local track here in Monroe, Washington.  Sometimes the races wouldn't end until 2am and the cars wouldn't be back in the trailers until after 3am. My worked up little kid mind wouldn't allow me to miss a single moment of it.  To say that I loved these weekends of revving engines and smoke at the track would be a serious understatement.   

I lived for those weekends of watching my mother's number 42 Super Stock Mustang weave its way through the figure 8 pattern time and time again, feeling the thrill of the danger at the cross-over.  This was one of the few things she and I ever saw eye to eye on.  I have to admit that those nights of experiencing the rumble through the stadium and always being just seconds away from witnessing death made me feel alive in a way that I've never known otherwise.  And though we've never talked about it, I know in my heart that this living on the edge is the one thing that I am so thrilled to have inherited from my mother.

Still, it wouldn't be fair to write of this without mentioning the fact that sometimes, after a really bad week at home, I might have even thought that if this particular weekend it was my mother who would crash then it was meant to be my way out of the darkness.  Yes, the heart can sometimes connect our strongest feelings of love and hate- and it can be shocking. 

I was 4 and a half when my mother stopped racing.  I remember her telling everyone that she felt she should quit because I didn't have a father in the picture and it was just too dangerous.  But I also remember that she quit shortly after the night that she had to have a seat belt extender added so that she could fit her rapidly growing heavier and heavier body into the car.

Whatever the reason that the racing ended, it was in my blood for good.  Later on when a family friend asked me if I would like to join his team as a secondary driver, because it was good to have a female driver on the team, I didn't hesitate.  After all I had been taught to drive by a racer, so this felt perfectly natural to me. 

It turns out it was not to be.  My friends car was wrecked before I ever got the chance to actually race.  I did have several practice runs at the track that left me feeling free in a way that I have rarely been able to repeat.

In thinking of how fantastically free the fast driving on the race track left me, my mind naturally wanders on to the fact that the state of Montana has always held a special place in my heart.  Not only is Montana 'the last best place' out west, but there was a time between December Of 1995 and May of 1999 when Montana had no daytime speed limit!  It was truly awesome.  You could see for miles and drive over 100 mph, as long as the weather conditions and lack of other traffic would allow that decision to be considered 'reasonable and prudent'.

All of this comes back around full circle in my mind, as so many things do for me.  That's it in a nutshell- my way of thinking.  One thing reminds me of another and another...  And nothing is ever truly gone from my mind.  There's a lot of files in there- with a forever growing filing system, apparently.

So here I am with the last piece of today's puzzle.  The song below that brings it all together for me.  I first heard this song while away for a weekend in Montana, but it was after the speed limit was changed.  I may or may not have decided to take the chance on going over the speed limit that day.  I drive with a radar detector, so I guess we'll never know for sure...


  1. Funny that you should post this video. Check out my Thursday post and you will know why. Another case of great minds thinking alike and riding the same track.

    Thank you for sharing these amazing stories. I always appreciate the insight into the mind of Jasmine. I hope you recognize how far you've come and how STRONG you are. I admire you more than I can tell you here.

  2. This is a fantastic post because I know nothing about cars and racing. It is so interesting how different some of our lives are/were. It must take sheer "guts" to get behind the wheel of a racing car.

    I saw the video at Robin's and it is hilarious. What a shock, huh?

  3. Great post. I call that stuff living!


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