HUBER'S HASH by Walt Huber

November-December 2013

Hey, I’m back again.  Although who knows for how long.  The region has been going through some difficult times regarding its means of communication.  I don’t know that any final decisions have been made regarding communicating with the membership.  However, I’ve been asked to submit a column and we will have to see how this new way of getting info to you all plays out.  

There are a couple things we do know.  The old ink & paper Pole Position went away more than a year ago and devolved into an internet only publication.  That decision was necessary due to the high cost of printing and mailing.  Even though the region had cut the print publication from monthly to bi-monthly, our club was still spending more to put a hard copy of the Pole Cat in members’ hands than our dues structure was bringing in.  And in recent membership meetings we’ve spent way the heck too much time discussing, grousing about and ruing that fact.  We have got to accept the fact that we will no longer be able to easily read the Pole Cat format or these occasional regional communications while seated in the room of our homes which probably has the smallest window – Unless, of course, you print out a copy or truly do have a “lap-top” computer.

The region tried to continue the Pole Cat as an e-mag.  It’s worked for a number of regions – MoHud being a good example -- but that sort of format didn’t seem to work too well for NNJR and we have not put out a copy for several months.  Our region website says the last issue which came out as an electronic version was May-June – but the website won’t let me access it.  I’m quite certain that I remember a July-August issue, but it’s not listed on the website.  I don’t know….  

Now the Board of Trustees, most of whom are younger than me – actually, come to think of it, they’re all younger than me – and definitely understand how to play with and navigate around and through the internet better than this old fart is able to, are trying to bring the news of the region to the membership in this manner.  

But, hey – What’s been happening around the region and in the SCCA family while the Board of Trustees has been wrestling with these difficulties?  Let’s get to it….

Well, last time I had mentioned about Diane Miller being in recovery mode following a stay in the hospital.  Diane and Dave did come to the region’s membership meeting in September and she appeared none-the-worse for her ordeal.  We’re happy to be able to report that.  More recently, Diane reports that she is still not back together the way she should be.  She will have yet another surgery to reconnect all her plumbing properly.  But she says the healing process is progressing well and she will shortly find out soon what sort of time schedule the doctors have in mind for these necessary revisions.

We learned recently of the passing of Joseph T. Doyle, Sr., the father of SRF driver Joe Doyle and the father-in-law of Tina.  The senior Mr. Doyle was 97 years of age.  The region’s condolences go out to Joe & Tina at this time.

And in my last scribblings I mentioned USS Somerset.  This is the ship which was constructed in Avondale, Louisiana and named for the county in Pennsylvania where Flight 93 was crashed.  Back then I said Somerset would be going out to sea on her “sea trials” shortly.  Since that time this ship has been out on both her Builder’s Trials and her Navy Sea Trials and in each case she passed with flying colors.  Somerset is now undergoing final outfitting and early next year will sail to Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia to be commissioned into the service of our navy next March 1st.   She will join USS New York and USS Arlington as the last of the three naval vessel named for the three 9/11 terrorist attack sites.

We’ve learned that Jim Dykman, a New York Region Timing & Scoring volunteer, may be taking on new employment which will necessitate a move out of our area.  Jim has been the dependable Lead Taper for all SCCA events at Lime Rock for many years.  Regardless which region is conducting the event, Jim has been there handling the taping.  We wish Jim ‘all best’ as he moves into this change.  

Regular readers of my drivel are aware of our Regions’ “Joe & Linda Flight 93 Flag” which we received from the Flight 93 National Memorial.  It had been flown over the Memorial back during the summer of 2012.  I’ve been writing about Flag’s travels to racetracks here, there & everywhere in the last several issues of the old Pole Cat.

Former NNJR RE Tom Lynch happened to be heading west on the anniversary of 9/11 this September.  And the airline on which he flew was United.  He asked if he could take Flag along on his flight west.  This meant that Flag would not be available to again go to the SCCA National Runoffs at Road America nor to the Solo Nationals in Nebraska as it had in 2012.  But the idea of Flag taking a plane ride on 9/11 was intriguing and when it was learned there would be other coincidences, the decision was a no-brainer.  

As mentioned, Tom was flying United, leaving from Newark and heading for San Francisco – the same as Joe & Linda.  He was flying first class – same as Linda & Joe. The aircraft for this flight was a Boeing 757-200 – wanna guess what the Flight 93 aircraft was?  And when Tom and Flag got to the airport, they found a seating change had put them in seat 2A – the very same seat assignment which Linda had twelve years earlier!

On arrival at Newark Airport, Tom went to the United Airlines check-in counter.  He spoke with a United agent and explained that he wanted to take some pictures of Flag on the plane.  The agent said that he would try to arrange this and that Tom should meet him at the gate.  At the appointed time, ‘Sam’ came and escorted Tom down the jetway and onto the airplane where he was introduced to the flight & cabin crews for the flight to SFO.

The pilot was Captain Michael Bresnaham and the First Officer was Alan Reischl. Several pictures were taken of Flag with Tom and F/O Reischl and with ‘Sam” and with several of the Flight Attendants on the plane before the other passengers were boarded.  One of the Flight Attendants burst into tears when she saw Flag.  She explained that twelve years earlier she had been stationed out of Newark and could have been assigned to Flight 93 on that fateful morning.

To read the entire Flag story, go to http://www.scca-nnjr.com/images/flag/TheFlag.pdf  and read about all of Flag’s travels & adventures.  The complete story also contains numerous photos which apparently cannot be supported in this newest means of presenting Huber’s Hash.  Flag’s story is updated every couple of weeks.  So if it’s been a while since you read about Flag, click on the link and read what’s new.  If you’re in a hurry, you only have to read the newest page or pages to bring yourself up to date.

I learned of another odd coincidence concerning Flight 93 when I was at the JERK event at NJMP back in October.  John Deonarine is a member of Philly Region and is a driver in Formula Vee and also a Steward.  He told me that his wife’s brother is a pilot for United Airlines and also frequently flew Flight 93.  John told me that if the terrorists had waited one more day and only attacked our nation on the twelfth of September, John’s brother-in-law would have been the pilot!

The region has a number of upcoming events.  We will have our Annual Meeting of the Region on Friday, November 22nd.  (As I type that, I am recalling that that will be the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas.)  We will be electing the Regional Executive and the Region Secretary plus two of our Trustees at Large for a term of two years at that meeting.  There should be more information on this elsewhere on the region’s website.

On December 8th, we will be conducting the 23rd running of our always fun “Teddy Bear Rally.”  Starting at Subaru of Mount Olive on Route 46, see where our Rallymaster takes us this year.  And there should also be more information on the region calendar as well as a flyer on the NNJR website.

The Region’s mid-winter party will be coming up in January on the 26th.  That one is a free-bie and all are invited.  I believe it will again be held at the Packanack Lake Clubhouse in Wayne, New Jersey.  But check back closer to the actual date to confirm the details.  

And there are other Region events & functions taking place all the time.  Meetings of the Board of Trustees are open to the membership and are usually on the second Tuesday of the month.  I’m not on the region’s board, but I usually try to attend.  Hope to see you there next time.

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