Fastest Cars at El Mirage, Then and Now

The races at El Mirage, circa 1948, compliments of the SCTA.

Fastest Car” is an entertaining automobile racing series that premiered on Netflix in the spring. Each hour-long episode pits a production supercar such as a Ferrari or Lamborghini against three “sleeper” cars built by garage mechanics. The cars square off in side-by-side drag races with the winners meeting up in the climactic finale at El Mirage dry lake in the high deserts of southern California.

During my research a few years ago for Wheels of Change, my friend Bob Newlon and I ventured out to check out the scene at El Mirage. It’s a fantastic place, and if you’re into cars, it’s worth a trip to see one of the SCTA-sanctioned races held there. The Southern California Timing Association has been running races there for half a century, and it is a first-class organization. The day we were there, we saw a car  break the 300 mph barrier. It was…MOVING!

The heyday of El Mirage and racing on the dry lakes was the 1940s and ‘50s when teenage hot-rodders such as Dean Batchelor and his buddies were running their fast cars there. From Wheels of Change, here is a little taste of the dry lakes scene back then: Continue reading “Fastest Cars at El Mirage, Then and Now”

Today’s Word of the Day, Inspired by Alexandre Dumas, is ‘Wait’

Alexandre Dumas

Today’s Word of the Day, inspired by Alexandre Dumas, is: Wait. For each of the past three days, I have had a word of the day. They were: Listen. Patience. Warmth. On each day I would try to keep that word in mind to be a better listener, be more patient, and be a warmer person.

Today I am going to wait. Continue reading “Today’s Word of the Day, Inspired by Alexandre Dumas, is ‘Wait’”

Travel, and Other Writing

Besides writing books and blogs, I have a reporting background. I am a former newspaper reporter and magazine editor. Additionally I have contributed to a variety of online and print media.

In recent years I have done a lot of travel writing. My travel pieces for were consistently ranked in the top 25 nationally for writers contributing to the site. And FlipKey By TripAdvisor rated my Napa Valley-Sonoma blog as a top Wine Country site. Continue reading “Travel, and Other Writing”

Grace Brothers Mysteries: Q&A with the Author

Grace Brothers Mysteries: Searching for Sweetness is the debut new novel of award-winning author Kevin L. Nelson. Here is an interview with the author about his new book.

Q: That is certainly an exciting start to chapter one. Tell us more about the book.

Nelson: Well, as you can see, it begins with a robbery in a supermarket in Steelhead City. That’s where the two  teenage brothers at the center of the action,  Nathan and Matt Grace, live. The robbery involves them in the baffling disappearance  of a local girl named Sweetness who has been kidnapped by the notorious T/3 gang. It’s an action adventure mystery novel for ages ten and up. Continue reading “Grace Brothers Mysteries: Q&A with the Author”

Happy Birthday, Mom!

My mother died twelve years ago, and I still miss her. Today would have been her birthday, had she lived.

Marde Nelson

She was a rock in my life. She raised  my brother and me after my dad died when we were teenagers, and she achieved so many other things in her life.

A graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a master’s degree, she was a social worker, a financial counselor, and an elementary school teacher for 20 years. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she and her husband Delmar, my father, moved to Arizona, then Hayward, California. Hayward is where I grew up. Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Mom!”