Woodburn Dragstrip
7730 Hwy. 219
Woodburn, Oregon
503-982-4461

What’s In A Number – November 2011

It was November 11th, 1918. My father was a mere 95 days old. At the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month of that year, the agreement to stop fighting in World War I went into effect. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th as Armistice Day to remind Americans of the tragedies of war. Great Britain, France and other countries also celebrate November 11th as Armistice Day and Canada celebrates Remembrance Day on that date. In many parts of the world, people take a 2-minute period of silence in memory of the roughly 60 million people who died in this war. (That is correct – sixty million deaths as a result of World War I) In 1938, Armistice Day became a Federal holiday and in 1954, Congress changed the name of this day to Veterans Day to honor all United States Veterans. Today we celebrate this day to honor the brave men and women who have served in all branches of the United States Military.

Quite likely, there is someone in your family ancestry who served in that war. If not that one, World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War is sure to have impacted each of our families in some way. Of course we are even more familiar with the current wars occurring in Iran or Afghanistan. As Americans, the freedoms we enjoy have been earned at great price. We should be forever grateful. The next time you see a service member, be sure to say “Thank You.”

I don’t know about you, but I have always been interested in number sequences. Just two months ago, my car’s odometer registered 44,444 miles and in a few more days, it will register 45,454 and shortly thereafter it will be 45,554. I know that is no big deal, but I always look for number sequences. Now if I could only figure out the sequence for Megabucks or Powerball, I would really be happy.

Double numbers have always caught my attention. When I won the World Finals in 1980, my car number was 6633. My dad was born on the 8th day of the 8th month and my son was born on the 3rd day of the 3rd month. My birthday is the 11th day of the 11th month and to top that off, this year is 2011 making 11-11-11 of special significance to me. As someone told me, “I will only see that once.”

Double numbers and triple numbers may impress, but what about quadruple or quintuple numbers? If all goes according to plan, at 11 minutes after 11 o’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month of 2011, I will have the honor of performing the marriage for Dave and Kathy Berg. If they follow the script, they will kiss for 11 seconds. I think they wanted to choose a date so that Dave would never forget his anniversary. Now that is quite the number sequence!

Story by Elvon Kauffman.

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. Hopefully, you will enjoy reading them.

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