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Thread: Ted May Boat Racer, Mentor to Many!

  1. #1
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Ted May Boat Racer, Mentor to Many!


    The old Hell Cat, Ted May. Ted joined the Navy, December 1st, 1941... Spent 5 years and seven months on a Navy ship in the War Zone of the Pacific....at least that's what he said...I do know he was in the Navy in the Pacific... I do know he came back from the war and played football for the Navy's team.


    I do know that he played quarterback for Manual Arts High for 7 years... they won the state Championships 7 years in a row, but in 1941, California passed a law you couldn't be over 21 and play high school football, so in '41, after his 21st birthday he joined the Navy..

    He started boat racing the same year I did, 1955, I was 11, Ted was 34, we got along like brothers always. Ted was a teacher!!!

    This picture hangs on Bill Curtis's wall. it is signed The Hellcat 54 Ted May.

    This is Ted's old Molinari...many people in Southern California believed that Ted's trailer was welded to his truck, because you never saw the truck and boat separated...He was seen all the time going down the FREEWAYS...

    Ted's belief, if you did 90 per cent of your boating NOT racing, you only had a 10% chance of breaking in the race...
    Ted would co-drive with me at Parker, maybe run two hours, when the race was over and I got some prize money, I'd pay Ted by the hour...He loved it!!!!








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    Last edited by Ron Hill; 1 Week Ago at 05:20 PM.

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Ted May was Everything to "US" Kids...

    Ted played High School football until he was 21. He played quarterback for Manual Arts High. Seven years in a row they were State Champions. Ted would quit school after the championships, then return in the fall. In 1941, California passed a law that you couldn't be over 21 and go to high school, so, in November 1941, Ted turned 21. He left high school and joined the Navy.

    He was in the Pacific 5 years and two months....At least that is what he told me. He said, he once won 200 insurance policies from guys on a ship, only to have the ship sank by the Japanese... Ted was one of the oldest on his different ships so, he was assigned shore patrol. Ted said he use to make so much money on shore patrol, he'd send cigar boxes full of money home...He told us he buried Japanese soldiers on many islands after major invasions....He had pictures to prove it...

    Most of us, Ernie Dawe, Jimbo, Steve Cox, Val Snead, Mike Wetmore, Bill Boyes....Never knew if any of Ted's stories were true, but we did know he didn't work and seemed to have plenty of money....He never really left HIGH SCHOOL.

    Ted came to more of my High School football games than my dad...Ted taught us guys, that the world was tough and it could kill you in a minute. He said, "Trust me, drugs will kill you...don't ever even take one hit" His brother had been murdered by some guys he met in a bar. As a result, Ted drank very little and watched out for US KIDS, like he was the mother hen, if we were drinking. We didn't need mom around, Ted kept us inline. When we were kids, we thought he was a handsome SOB....and he was.

    More later.
    Last edited by Ron Hill; 01-28-2006 at 10:30 PM.

  3. #3
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Default Wow!

    Ron, If Ted turned 21 in November 1941, that means he was born the same month and same year as my Dad. My Dad also served in the Navy in the Pacific. He went from island to island following the invasion force. He was a carpenter and his job was to repair landing craft after an invasion to prepare them for the next island. What if they had unknowingly crossed paths. Before shipping out my Dad did some training in San Diego.

    In the archives I guess is a picture of Ted and some others that raced in Mexico in the 50's or 60's. If you didn't know any better you might think that photo of Ted putting the pitch on that Mexican was Spencer Tracy.



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    Cool Hell Cat

    Used to watch Ted race in mission bay a lot, heres a pic out of PPBC program
    Always enjoyed watching Ted , he seemed to be there at every race in 70s/80s, didn't win very often with #54 but always ran well and seemed to have fun. Almost always alone.
    RichardKCMo
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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Ted Was Never Alone...

    Actually, I agree that Ted came to the races, in later years, by himself...When he was younger, The Hell Cat would bring the neighborhood kids, plus his son, Butch. He'd drive his wife's car. Even after they divorced, but she charged Ted a $250 deposit to use her car.

    Nobody had more fun racing boats than Ted May....He always carried two sets of keys...In his T-bird, one set was always in the trunk, when he drove off and the other set was in the ignition...Never seemed to bother him that his keys were bouncing around the trunk....

    The last time I saw Ted, he showed me some pictures of some of the islands he went on after major invasions....They were real pictures, taken by him....Ted and Mr. "Baldy" Baldwin could have been friends...

    Wayne, your dad ever talk about a guy who sold watches when he did shore patrol???? If he did, that would have been Ted... I started this thread to tell a Ted May story about him buying ham in Belgium...I thought about that time we went to Europe to race, 1968, I think...I was thinking about it while in Italy...

    Seems Ted didn't really like those European breakfasts of rolls and Mud Thick Coffee...So, as we were heading to Paris....we go through a little town, Ted jumps out and orders what he thinks is 5 pounds of ham....Well, pounds to the Belgium Dude meant English Pounds, as Ted spoke English...A Pound in those days was five dollars and twenty five cents....So, Ted bought, $125 worth of HAM.....He comes out of this store with two guys carrying bread, and two boxes of ham....

    He says, "Their pounds much be different than ours." He had about 75 pounds of HAM.....Fed everybody we could find that day on the way to Paris and once we got there. He still had about 25 pounds the next day!!!!

    I sometimes thought Ted didn't understand money...He had these ducks and he always bought DAY OLD Bread for them...One time, we went to the store and they didn't have DAY OLD bread....Ted says to me, "Damn ducks won't know it's new bread will they?"....He thought they liked stale bread....

    His wife had this damn Mountain Lion living with them, Orphy was his name. He ate 150 baby chickens a day. Once I went into the kitchen and Orphy was on top of the refrigerator. I let out a friggy yell...Ted says, "He's OK unless his tail is wagging." I say, "His tail IS WAGGING"....I never went back in that house....Orphy's eyes were as large as small oranges....Ted's wife worked at Lion Country and Orphy had been sick when he was small....but he grew up!!!!

    Ted might have been by himself, but he was never alone!!!! He was always "On Stage" and a "STAR"...
    Last edited by Ron Hill; 01-28-2006 at 10:33 PM.

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Parker 1969...

    This is a pretty good picture of Ted standing in front of Bill Cooper's 22 foot Jones with a Mercruiser IO...Bill managed to blow this thing over before the race...reported to have been going 122 at the time..Rudy Raymos ended up with this boat.

    I later saw Bob Nordskog go like 136 MPH in the same boat at Parker.... See Bob Nordskog for more info.

    Bottom picture is the Jones boat being pulled ashore after Cooper blew her over....Cooper was lucky here...Took the forks right off...Bill died of cancer, 9 months later.
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    Last edited by Ron Hill; 09-11-2005 at 04:07 PM.

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Parker, 1969...

    Actually, I've confused about this picture. That is Ted's '55 T-Bird, with 350,000 miles...The problem I'm having, as I ran T 169 at Parker in the Spring of 1968 and Ted didn't drive with Craig Breedlove until November of 1968...

    I'm not sure you can see the sign in Ted's window, but is says. "Co-Drivers, Ted May and Craig
    Breedlove...

    But, now that I study the picture, I think OMC was picking up this boat in the fall of 1968, with their Hertz Racing Truck..Because, when I raced it, you could see "Snapper" on the side, but at the pit stops, the gas washed it off...

    So, this picture is in Parker, but it is Havasu weekend, November..

    Red jacket is Ted, red cicle on his T Shirt is Chuck Rear...

    I don't think Ted ever drove this DeSilva wing...Ray Nydahl did almost all the testing, before Fred Hauenstein and I raced it!!! Both motors were Ray Nydahl motors...
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    Last edited by Ron Hill; 02-28-2006 at 08:48 PM.

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Belgium, 1968

    Ted and I Co-Drove in Paris, 1968.. Here is Ted coming off the hoist to test in Brugge, Belgium...
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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Brugge, Belgium 1968....

    Ted and I had been playing the local slot machines....Actually, Denny and Dewey Berghauer were with us...It was late and we'd had a few beers...I got this picture of Ted....I edited where his hand was on this statue!!!!
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    Last edited by Ron Hill; 01-28-2006 at 10:35 PM.

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default "Champion" Ted May

    I don't know why I was taking pictures, but Ted saw me, and blocked out "SPARK PLUGS"...made the shirt say, "Champion." Ted was never camera shy!!! The old 55 T-Bird had 192,000 miles on her...

    Kemper-Campbell Lake in Victorville...we raced around an island and never used any bouys...
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