What Do You Want for Christmas? – December 2013
What do you want for Christmas? It is a common question this time of year. I really could use a car hoist, but I suppose that is a little too much to ask from my lovely wife. So I tell her, “I can always use socks and handkerchiefs,” and that is what I will receive along with some new t-shirts and boxers.
There have been times, however, when I have been the recipient of an unexpected gift. Maybe the drama lovers will remember in the play “A Christmas Story” when Ralphie Parker so badly wanted to receive the gift of a “Daisy Red Rider carbine-action, two hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time.” Unfortunately, there never has been that sort of model or even a prototype of that BB Gun. But I bet you can imagine my pleasure when at the age of 12, I did receive a Daisy BB Gun as my Christmas present. I would venture that many of you have had a similar experience.
I was truly caught off guard when they called my name at the Woodburn Dragstrip 2013 Awards Banquet and presented me with a magnificent trophy with the inscription “Lifetime Achievement Award.” It is an honor to be recognized as stated on the second line of the inscription, “Racer, Leader, Friend”. As a racer, I am blessed to have things go my way, especially at three certain specific events. The word “Leader” signifies to me that one of those fantastic victories occurred at the first ever World Finals for ET racers. But the word, “Friend” is a constant reminder of the many people I have met, as well as racers who gave assistance during a flat tire crisis, or helped me set the float level of my carburetor, just to name a few. Like has been said many times, racing is family.
There is a little connotation in the phrase “Lifetime Achievement Award” that a person’s achievements might be completed. I told someone last summer that there are two things that I have not achieved in my racing career. One was a Woodburn Dragstrip Piston trophy, I can now say that I have received that one. The second is a “Perfect Light T-Shirt”. But, I do not want to receive it as a gift. I want to earn it. Therefore, I am hoping to see you all in the 2014 racing season. You know that I will be hoping for that perfect light at some point during the season. I bet you could earn one also.
Elvon Kauffman has been drag racing since 1975. He has been a NHRA Northwest Division Bracket Champion twice – first in 1978 when he defeated fellow Woodburn racer, Joe DiFillipi at Seattle International Raceway and secondly, in 1980 when he again defeated a Woodburn racer, Ron Burch at Woodburn Dragstrip. He was the first and only World Champion in Heavy Bracket, winning with his 1970 Plymouth Road Runner 4-speed at the now defunct Ontario Motor Speedway in October, 1980. Elvon’s variety of life experiences become the basis for the stories he shares in Straight Talk, a monthly column produced by Woodburn Dragstrip.