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Photo by John Manes

Photos by John Manes

Rally Engineering

Pro Rallys for North Texas

Norbert Debuts in 2007

Rally of the 100 Acre Wood

By Richard Miller

If you remember last year's saga, it was matter of what could go wrong, did go wrong. But we finished the rally any way; and managed to win a trophy in spite of our travails. Well, this year, we débuted a new car. That is always a harbinger of problems. And we did have problems. But they were all small problems; or at least problems that we overcame.


The drive up went very smooth. We started out Wednesday morning at a reasonable hour. We were mostly packed so when Ken Johnstone, crew chief extraordinaire, showed up, it was an easy matter to put the few last things in the truck and head out. Nothing went wrong and we pulled into our hotel in Springfield MO with plenty of time for a leisurely dinner at the diner next to the hotel. Thursday morning we hit the road bright and early. But the first hint of things going wrong showed up. Ken left his dirty underwear in the hotel room when we checked out.


As we got on the highway, Juanita telephoned her parents who were coming over from New Mexico to help with the new car. Juanita's father, Dick Huff, can fix anything I can break on a Ford. It turned out that they were not too far behind us. We had planned a stop at Chicago Cutlery, a knife outlet in Lebanon Missouri anyway. Dick and Patsy pulled in shortly after we got there. A short bit about Chicago Cutlery: I am sure that none of you would be surprised to hear that they had very ornate knives costing lots of money. But would you believe they had flashlights costing over $300? I did not buy one. Ken did stock up on kitchen knives though as he and Carrye have just remodeled their kitchen. Apparently all the old knives got stored during the remodel and now no one remembers where.


Once all the shopping was complete, we took off for the last few miles into Salem. We pulled into the Dent County fire department where registration and tech were and got those two items completed. No problems again. We had time for lunch and checking into our home for the weekend, the Riverbirch Lane Bed & Breakfast.

Once settled in, we had time for a drink before we went down to John and Sherry's for a dinner party. We had invited all the rally people from Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas for dinner. And most made it, even Bruce and Beryl Ann who are from that far north Texas suburb of Minneapolis.

Extra points for every one you can name. But if you want to cheat, names are listed at the very end. Some who would have been there, like Mad Mike Halley or Paul Johnson were busy working elsewhere. Mike was stewarding an event out in the northwest and Paul was busy back in Salem teching cars.

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