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Thread: Motor Sport: Joe Rome and Wayne Baldwin Jerry Waldman's News Article Auguest 1972

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Motor Sport: Joe Rome and Wayne Baldwin Jerry Waldman's News Article Auguest 1972

    Well, I saw where Wayne Baldwin turned 65 today. Wow, I still think of him as a "YOUNG BUCK"....Buck I think of myself that way too! I was reading a now defunct Motor Sport News Paper and realized I miss the article about Jerry Waldman. I knew Joe Rome and Wayne had worked for/with this newspaper, but didn't see the article before.
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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Motorsport was a spectacular experience for Joe and myself not just for the places we got to go and what we got to see. We had press passes to go into all kinds of places, but also were encouraged by more than just the editor Harry Echols to sneak into places, or just walk up to places that were off limits. I have color photos I took of Mario Andretti when he busted the 200 mph closed course average in testing, and I was only four or five feet from his car in the corner. I had a 24 mm lens and only got one frame with the whole car in it. He was going so fast it was hard even with a motor drive.

    Harry took Joe and I to whole new levels with publicity and promotion. We saw NASCAR, USAC, AMA, and other major sports publicity releases, driver profiles, etc. and then started working that into our Lone Star Boat Racing Association racing publicity. We also got Henkles brochures on racing uniforms. It was Joe Rome who pushed that idea, and most of us went with it.

    All of this stemmed from Joe Rome meeting the Motorsport editor Harry Echols just when he was starting up. He wanted racing from boats, and I was just starting to take pictures of boat racing. Motorsport was a fantastic magazine for what it covered and the depth of its stories. Without Motorsport, I may never have written word one about boat racing. And Joe would probably never have been the "color commentator" 60 feet in the air broadcasting the 1973 "Galveston Speed Classic" featuring inboard marathon boats, and OPC tunnels and V Bottoms, including the OMC rotaries in the field.

    The photo of Richard Petty and the blonde is my best cover photo. I put on a green filter to shoot this pic with a 135mm Nikon lens and Tri-X film. Thanks for the memories Ron.



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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default King Richard

    I'd love to have a copy of this photo. The only NASCAR photo I have is "THE KING", but having a picture by Wayne Baldwin would be great. Th more I read this newpaper, the better I liked it. Too bad it folded.

    Lucas Oil's MAV-TV is the best hope for boat racing promotion, right now, 2013.

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    Team Member jrome's Avatar
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    Wayne and I are both amazed at the opportunities we received from being involved with Motorsport Magazine. Last year, I tracked Harry and his wife down. Wayne and I called them and set up a time that we could go and visit with them. We could not pass up the opportunity to thank Harry and Pat for allowing Wayne and I to be involved so closely with Motorsport Magazine. The opportunity came about 40 years later. The visit was wonderful and Pat cooked us a great meal while we all remembered the great times. It was like we went back in time to the seventies, our juices were flowing and we were talking up a storm about all of our travels. Thank you Harry one more time for letting Wayne and I be a part of Motorsport Magazine with you!

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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Sad to say the Harry Echols passed away two days ago. Joe sent me a text message at first light this morning. We talked at length this morning about the doors Harry opened up for us and all the places we went and were on the inside. Like I mentioned in a previous post, if it were not for Harry Echols, I would probably never written anything. Joe met Harry at Myers Speedway in Houston, and he was selling subscriptions to his newly opened publishing business. Joe asked Harry "Who do you have to cover boat racing stories?" Harry replied, "I have a guy who I use for that and other motorsports events." Joe said to Harry, "I have a friend who is a great photographer (I had bought my first Nikon and a couple of lenses only two or three months earlier), and he takes a lot of boat racing pictures." So Joe and Harry decided I should come up to meet him. Which I did a week or two later. It was on a Friday night at Myers Speedway south of loop 610, not far from the Astrodome, and still semi rural like race tracks start out to be.

    Joe introduced me to Harry, and he sent me on my first assignment. I was to cover turns 1 and 2 on the short asphalt track, and his first advice was to go to the infield of turn 1 and pick out a telephone pole (actually the pole where the bank of lights were on) and pick a good spot close to there. I asked why? Harry grinned and explained "If a car is sliding or coming toward you....get behind the pole." Thus began a brief time spent with Harry, but very deep, profound, and long lasting relationship with Harry Echols.



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    Team Member smittythewelder's Avatar
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    Sorry you lost your friend, Wayne. It's one of the many unhappy consequences of getting old, and is happening too often now. But what a good story!! By chance did you guys get to compare notes at the various events with other motorsport journalists from the hot rod magazines, motorcycle magazines, and such? Work is work, but that seemed like a pretty cool job forty years ago.

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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Only a couple at the time Smitty. Larry Muske who took pictures and wrote articles for Boating News (not the same national publication from earlier in the sixties), and Rusty Rae who was editor of the American Motorcycle Association. Joe and I met Larry while covering OPC and inboard marathon and sprint racing. Larry later came over to work with Harry at Motorsport. It was actually at the Astrodome covering AMA dome series MX racing and speedway bikes that we met Rusty. At that time the only domed stadiums were in Houston, Detroit and Seattle and they had a three race series going. As editor of the AMA newsmagazine Rusty was covering that and we became instant friends. He told Joe and I that he raced stock outboards. Awhile later Rusty took up covering Unlimited hydros and became a contributing editor to Powerboat Magazine. Rusty and his friend Reid Blackburn did that book telling the story of the largest ever stock nationals at Dayton, Ohio. The book was called Speed & Spray. Reid was covering the smoking Mt St. Helens and was on the side of it when the mountain blew up, killing Reid.

    Joe and I covered APBA Pro, OPC and inboard events, Nascar, USAC both stock and champ cars, ARCA, American Motorcycle Association, and local late model stock car racing. We weren't real journalists so the national motorsports journalists wouldn't give us the time of day. Also we were what you would consider "interns". We knew nothing, and didn't expect any cash for our work. We were paid many times more than we were worth by the what Harry gave us in instruction and in opening doors into the pits, garages and backdoors of events. I grew up really admiring what I consider the golden age of auto racing with guys like Richard Petty, David Pearson, Al and Bobby Unser, Mario Andretti, Buddy Baker, Gary Bettenhousen, the Allison brothers, and of course our Texas National hero AJ Foyt, just to name a few. Joe and I were right there with them in the press room. Eating sandwiches and drinking cokes with them. It was an unbelievable experience.

    Had it not been for Harry I would have never been a part of the Powerboat Magazine family for awhile nor written for Powerboat & Waterskiing based out of London, nor been a columnist for Harvey Shapiro's World of Speed. Rusty Rae ended up with Tim Butts' pit crew in their international racing, and Joe, Tim and I have been great friends with Rusty for many years. It was very cool Smitty, and I still have some of my credentials and pit passes from those days. And besides all that Harry taught us, the added benefit was that Joe and I made a lot of friends in OPC racing while covering their events. It really was a magical couple of years for us. We were either Pro racing, and doing stories for Motorsport, or going to other Motorsports events that Harry wanted the extra eyes and camera on. We were on the road a lot back then, and even in the winter we would do the Houston Boat Show held at the Astrohall next to the dome.



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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Motorsport was not the only thing Harry had going on at the time. I think he did some publicity work for AJ Foyt. I do know that he was tight with AJ and Joe got to go over to AJ's shop numerous times. I never got to go there. AJ's landlord was a former alky racer by the name of Jimmy Greer. I had heard the name, but never met him. He quit around 1960. Jimmy had a shop next to AJ and also owned that building that he rented to AJ. I think it may be called "Foyt Enterprises". Joe happened to drop the name of Jimmy Greer one day in the context that he knew him from Jimmy's boat racing days and that Joe himself was currently involved with boat racing and helping to promote alky racing through Harry and Motorsport Magazine. So then Joe was no longer a hanger-on-er, but a comrade in racing, and AJ Foyt knew Joe, if not by name, but by face and familiarity.

    Harry also published some newsletters, or publicity papers for a couple of other organizations, but one of his big money makers was the monthly publication for the "Red Baron Club". This was a chain of high class night clubs in the Houston area. There were a several of them and Harry wrote stories and had photos of the goings on. There were a lot of high profile people that went to those clubs, and there was nothing improper at all. Kind of like whatever that high class place in New York City was called....Club 54, or 21 or something where the celebrities went to be seen and photographed. The first time I went to Harry's office I saw several girls cutting and pasting up the sheets to be photocopied and printed. I noticed that a couple were young and beautiful. I was trying hard not to be distracted, and Harry wasn't distracted at all. He showed me all around, then he said let's go to lunch. We went down to the ground floor, hopped into his open topped convertible MG and he buzzed out of his office, which was on a feeder road on the west side of US Highway 59. There was a lot of local traffic since everyone was headed out for lunch. Harry pulled out of traffic to the right and shifted into a Chevron station on the corner and asked (still a few service attendants back then) "Do you have Castrol motor oil?" The guy said "No!". So Harry thanked him and we cut through the service station and pulled out on the service road heading to the restaurant. Harry told me "You can't just cut across in Houston" meaning that his asking about the Castrol and the guy's negative answer meant we'd gotten a free pass to cut through two traffic lights. Harry was a ball of energy and was always looking ahead. Always laughing, coming up with funny quips and matching wits with the best. When you were around Harry Echols you had better not be tired, wanting to slouch or take it easy. Everything was full speed ahead. After he got things done he could sit back and laugh and relax, but until then you had to keep up. A lot in the same way as Dieter Konig except Harry was always joking, along with being serious.



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