In a Land Far Far Away, a baby was born who would someday come to realize his love of. . .HOTRODS!
Yeah, yeah. . .OK, that's the way most stories begin anyway.
Grumpy's (Jim Donoho's) facination with engines and cars came with the man who entered his life at the age of 2 years. Gordon Williams eventually was to become Jim's Dad, but it wasn't a "great" relationship from the start. Taking personal affront to this man's vying for his mother's attention, on an afternoon picnic he walked right up to the man and kicked him squarely in the face, the little brat!
The relationship grew, and so did the respect for the auto mechanic and the man. Gordon was an original founding member of the Southern California Timing Association and was in the Bungholer's of Hollywood Car Club. In late 1946 the club decided to form their own timing association, which they called the Mojave Timing Association. The new association allowed the renegades to race sedans and coupes and the association flourished for a few years until the original members lost interest or rejoined the larger timing associations. The Mojave Timing Association eventually disbanded and the members went onto other types of racing.
All of this background provided a fertile yet subconscious learning environment and Grumpy caught onto mechanics quickly. His mother, worried as mother's often do, about the lad's average grades in most of his high school subjects. So she sought the advice of Grumpy's local high school counsellor who arranged a battery of examinations which reflected Grumpy's natural interest and quite surprisingly an extremely advanced intellectual level associated with the mechanical skill set.
Grumpy wanted to leave high school three months before graduation, but his Recruiter talked him into completing his schooling. Immediately upon graduation, however, his mother and the man he now knew to be his father, reluctantly said "Goodbye" to the 18 year old who then entered his three year tour of duty in Uncle Sam's United States Marine Corps. Another course of exams in the USMC found Grumpy assigned to. . .Motor Transport as. . .a Mechanic! After the Corps, Grumpy entered college pursuing a curriculum in, what else, mechanical drafting! After college came a 36-year long career with General Telephone and Electronics (GTE.)
About this time Grumpy met his "Snow White" better known to all of you as Shari! After a whirlwind courtship of a whole three months, they tied the knot in 1968. In December of last year, they enjoyed their 42nd wedding anniversary -- and they said it wouldn't last! Some people do stay together forever and some love stories do come true!
Now listen here, there has to be some romance in a story that begins with "Once Upon a Time in a Land Far Far Away," but OK, OK, enough of the mushy stuff, here's some photos of cars (most especially Hot Blur,) motorcycles, boats and anything else with a combustible gas engine!
. . .And they lived happily ever after!
Grumpy, Shari, our daughter Shannon, our son-in-law James
and our grandsons Gage (middle) and Kyle (seated)