Saturday, April 9, 2016

Visiting Texas on the media tour

IT WAS THE MID-1990s, and the Winston Cup Media Tour was making its second annual visit to Texas Motor Speedway. At this point, TMS  wasn't completed, but it was beginning to take shape.

I wanted to walk out onto the main concourse to look at turn four and the tri-oval, and I  walked into a blast of frigid air. I said, "That's enough of that," and walked back out of the wind. I didn't have a chance to see much, but freezing never has interested me.

Another time, we visited Billy Bob's, the place where they rode mechanical bulls in the movie "Urban Cowboy."  When we got there, I met a cowboy on a huge white horse. When he dismounted, I was struck by his height. Even with his cowboy boots, he was tiny. But with that huge mustache and his haircut, he looked authentic.

The thing about Billy Bob's that struck me was its size. I didn't have a cell phone with me, and I had to get directions to find the bank of public phones. BB's is HUGE. After calling my newspaper, I had to get directions back to the media-tour group.

My other memory of Dallas was the tour visiting the Texas School Book Depository (now called the Dallas County Administration Building), which was key in President Kennedy's 1963 assassination. I had to surrender my camera when we got there (I got it back when we left). Interesting, but sad.

The grassy knoll, however, was lovely.

I also remember this guy (perhaps from a chamber of commerce) in a cowboy hat getting on the tour bus and trying to make us laugh. He was joking about yellow journalism, but we were having none of it. We were sports writers, but we took our journalism seriously.

My other memory of our second trip to Dallas/Forth Worth was our rough landing on the plane ride back to Charlotte.


More entries from TARJ
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

EDITOR@WORK blog entries 

Entries from The Dog Blog
More blog entries by Tom Gillispie

Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie

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