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Thread: Jerry Waldman and Hank Menzies Awards....

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Jerry Waldman and Hank Menzies Awards....

    Stock Outboards have two awards, one is for the driver that got the most points in one class and the other is for the driver that got the most points in Stock Outboard Racing. Truth is, I don't know if the Waldman Award is for most points in one class or most points overall....

    But the 2005 Winner of BOTH was Gary Lewis of Needles, California. Needles is probably the home of mosre Stock Outboarders than any city in America. Long before Gary was born, Needles held the Annual Colorado River Marathon and Needles City Parade and
    Bar-B-Q it was called "The Marathon Parade". Jimbo McConnell is from Needles, the Racing Dawes are Needles people....Anyway, Gary didn't go to Floridas to receive his awards and Ross "THE BOSS" Wallach brought them to Gary and presented them at Dirvier's Meeting, but Gary had left early....This is no slam to Gary, he likes to race, and may is actually very HUMBLE about getting his awards...He likes to have them, just never seems to make trophy presentation....

    I knew Hank Menzies and Jerry Waldman very well and I quizzed Gary about these two men...GARY MISSED ALL MY QUESTIONS...but was good natured about my questions, gave me a beer or two....and disappeared before I'd finished my questions....

    So, for those of you who never knew Hank Menzies, let me tell you what I knew of him. He was a dentist and always had very white teeth. He seems to have raced BU, CU and DU, and just C and D hydro. He and his father built all their boats..I always felt they were a bit on the ugly side, but would have never said "****" about them as they ran really well. I can't recall when I met the Menzies Famliy, but seemed to always knew them... Always friendly people and the famly was together....About 1968, we'd had the Nationals in Seattle, and we were heading to DePue, on Monday, and the COPS got us for no PUC permit...$30 fine and half a day wasted...Had we told the COPS we raced for trophies, they could NOT have required a PUC (Public Utlities Commission) permit....As we were leaving this little one bar town, after paying our $30 fine and proving we had insurnce...I frigging flagged Hank down of the Interstate (We were justing back on)...I told Hank if that SOB COP stops you tell him you race for BIG F*&(iING trophies...

    Well, Hank, and I want to say Johnny Puestow, head out and they are a head of us....right outside of town, we come rolling by, the COP has old Hank....We don't act like we know them...About 15 minutes later Hank comes hauling by us, gives us the thumbs up and I don't see Hank unlike 1970 at Beloit...

    I think Hank wins C Runabout at Beloit, but he didn't drive his boat. Some OLDER guy had a bad case of Hemmroids, and he couldn't drive, so he made Hank drive and Hank won the Nationals...

    In Utah in 1973, Hank won DU, (MY CLASS)....He deserved the win....63 year old Bill Leutner runs second...I'm third..

    In Dayton, 1975, I've got a new 12 foot DeSilva that is a ROCKET. I borrow Dave Procnow's Mark 30-H that my dad had built for Dave (Dave married a Berghauer, and never wanted to ask HB Berghauer for a motor. So my dad built him one that was a HUMMER. He finished 2nd at the UTAH NATIONALS IN 1973)....This DeSliva turned great, as long as you were leading. I won the qualifier and had planned to win my first C Runabout Nationals... Well, on about the third lap, I slammed into Menzes for about the fourth time, we were running about 4th and 5th...Neither of us trophied....After the race, Hanks say, "Damn Ron, you're one of th best drivers in the WORLD, why can't you turn a C Runabout without bouncing off me?" He said, "I fellt like a pool table out there" He wasn't mad, I explained that I'd just got the boat and I'd found she didn't turn well in rough water...We laughed, had a couple of beers...told some stories...

    In 1977, the Nationals were at Bakersfield, Chad was born the week before and went to the races when he was a week old. I did well, I won one TITLE, but had five seconds. I was High Point Driver....The next to the last race was 35 SS Hydro. A class that I had helped start. I had purchased Serial Number 001 from Mercury Racing. They had built the 402 XS as a favor to me. The Wisconsin guys really liked me,,,,but acted like they didn't..My wife was from Wisconsin...But come the final heat of 35 SS Hydro, the ONLY way Hank could lose was if I beat him and had one boat between he and I. The Wisconsin guys tell Hank if Hill is third, be fourth...just don't let anyone between you.

    Well, I understand the point system, too. Maloof is leading (He'd jumped he first heat), Broom is second, me third, Hank fourth...I've got speed on Broom but he's driving me all over the course....Last ditch effort I get by Broom in the last corner and appear to have won 35 SS Hydro......A class that I hold the kilo record in for both hydro and runabout)....But wait, they have DQ'd Broom for "ROUGH" driving...I'm saying, "No Broom is COOL.There were no fouls." 35 SS Hydro becomes one of my 5 seconds....

    Menzies wins...

    In 1978, I decide, I have two new loves....a one year old son and MOD VP....I sell my beloved DSH and DSR ro Jimmy Dawe Basically, Gary Lewis's step dad).....Two boats, two motors, two props and trailer for $2,200. Now the last time I sold Jimmy anything was my '59 Chevy and he and Charllie Tasker or Sonny Cox, I don't remember which, but they totaled my car the same day they bought it, driving in to the "Rock Inn" in Needles...Telephone pole got right in their way...And, the other thing, I had decided that KNEEL DOWNS were too dangerous for me. So, I didn't go to New York.

    At the New York Nationals, 1978, "Hammering" Hank Menzies, the dentist from Butler, Wisconsin was killed, in 35 SS Hydro. The world lost a great person...Stock Outboard lost a great family. I think winning the Hank Menzies Award is a great honor and I congratulate Gary Lewis on winning this Award. I am glad and proud to have known and raced with Hank. I know his family missed him a ton.

    So, Gary when you hang that plaque on the wall, if you can't remember who Hank Menzies was, just remember he was the Dentist from Butler, Wisconsin that everyone LIKED....
    Last edited by Ron Hill; 03-06-2006 at 08:28 PM.

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    Default Waldman Award

    I'm not sure if the WALDMAN AWARD is for most points in anyone one class but think it is...Gary Lewis won this award FOR 2005. a LITTLE IRONY, GARY AND JERRY WERE BUILT ABOUT THE SAME. As I recall Jerry, could still race A Stock Hydro. In fact, Jerry won the D Alky Hydro Nationals in 1967, at DePue, and he also raced A stock hudro at Essex, Maryland the same year...But I think that was the last time he raced both Nationals...

    Ann Strang only had one son, that was Charlie. When Tony Stewart gets fined by NASCAR or when Little "E" gets in trouble, today, Charlie Strang is probably the one who wrote the opinion on why they should be fined and how much. Charlie works for NASCAR, now. Charlie worked for Mercury Marine as Chief Engineer, for many years. He and Edgar helped Carl to win more NASCAR races than any other owner....Not sure that is true today, but when Carl "MR. MERCURY" raced NASCAR, he was not popular, because he won often...Charlie and Edgar were the force behind Carl's teams...

    Charlie, after leaving MERCURY, became CEO of OMC (Johnson and Evinrude). Charlie had Bill France, Jr. on is Board of Directors at OMC.

    My dad had been the motor inspector for the Winnebagoland MARATHON. He had met Charlie and his mother. Charlie and Edgar Rose liked my dad, as he knew motors, and didn't care who's motor was who's. It was either legal or illegal.. Jerry won the D Runabout event at the 1954 Marathon. There was a rule that said you had to make weight with the pad screwed down. Jerry's pad was not screwed down, and when my dad removed the pad Jerry didn't make weight. Jerry appealed the the DQ. But while my dad started to inspect his motor, he discovered the gearcase was too small. When my dad told Jerry, Jerry asked my dad to DQ him for weight as this would be a second engine DQ that year (Though he drove for others and was never a cheater)....and two DQ's would put him on the beach for one year. Jerry took the DQ for weight and my dad and he parted friends...

    Ann always likedJerry Waldman and and Bobby Herring (Though she stopped liking Bobby in 1970)...At the 1955 Nationals in Long Beach, Ann Strang had told my dad, Jerry Waldman was going to win A and B hydro. (As she sponsored Jerry). He told Ann, that a guy from Button Willow named Orlando Toriganti had won A hydro four years in a row, and that he, Russ Hill had built Orlando's engines and lowerunits.....and that his friend Pep Hubbell had built a B for Keith Sorsenson, and that motor was on a California, Terrill Hydro, that he, Russ Hill thought Orlando would win A Hydro and Keith would win B Hydro......At the time Ann, got quite "SHORT" with my dad....as she had not come from Wisconsi to watch a boat race....She had come to see jerry Waldman win a boat race or two.

    In the first heat of A Hydro, Jerry spilled his Mercury powered Swift, and was hit in the stomach rupturing his spleen. At the Nationals, Orlando won A and Keith won B. On Monday, my dad stopped at the hospital to see Jerry, and he did this everyday while Jerry was in the hospital (two weeks). Our family learned that Jerry's wife's maiden name was Hill, from Wisconsin We were Hills from Wisconsin.

    Jerry was Division Manager of GM for AC Spark Plugs. One year, at DePue, he won A,B,C,D, and F hydro.....All the hydro classes. Jerry had blown over a C Alky Hydro at the NOA Kilos and broken his back. After than, Dr. Phil Wagner from Minnesota traveled with Jerry to all the races.

    At the 1967 Nationals, Jerry and I had some great races, I beat him in D and F hydro, he beat me and A, B and C... I was pround to be beaten by a man like Jerry Wladman and I was pround to be on the same course as he was a GENTLEMAN BOAT RACER....That same year I won the John Ward Trophy Race, Jerry was the first to congratulate me on winning...one of the few, maybe the only one in the class to congratulate me... (Homer Kincaid did also....Not FAST FREDDY Hauenstein)...NOTE: Freddy contacted me, and reminded me that HE DID in fact congratulate me and that I had congratulated him on breaking the Canadian World Record.....)...Truth is, All the Californians, that were in Valleyfield that summer were ONE BIG TEAM......Freddy and I were both so surpriesed to be running ahead of some of the biggest names in our sport... Sorry about this error Freddy....I guess I was thining you'd come on here and tell us how fast you really were. Freddy's Bell Craft with an Eldridge gearcase was fast....as he proved, by winning the John Ward Trophy race, qt DePue, 1968.

    At the Havasu World Championship, November 1971, I got up at 5 A.M. to have breakfast early, as I belived our Evinrudes would beat any Mercury. We had done well in Europe and I was anxious to drive the first day's for four hours ....Jerry and I accidentally met at breakfast and we talked so long, I was actually late getting to the OMC crew...Jerry had this big camera with a big mother lense. He said, he'd talked to Ann and he was going to run the 1972 Outboard World Championships. He wanted me to come down to Arkansas, (He knew my grandfather had lived there)...I told him I'd sold all my kneel downers alkies and even though I missed the BIG TWIN ENGINE BOATS, my single was doing 107 MPH with a full load..and driving for 8 hours was like five years of kneeldown driving.....
    ..
    We parted with a good luck, a hand shake...men didn't hug in those days..(He yelled over his shoulder that he'd send me some pictures from Havasu and Hot Springs, Arkansas....) I never saw Jerry again, he was killed at Hot Springs, Arkansas, in the race he asked me to attend....Jerry was probably the greatest OUTBOARD HYDRO driver ever. I applied for his job at AC Spark Plugs, AFTER HIS DEATH, AND WAS OFFERED THE JOB IF I'D QUIT RACING...I taught school for another 32 years...I don't think Jerry had anyone that didn't like him. When he drove a hydro he made them WHISTLE. Doctor Phil Wagner told me Jerry's head injury killed him instantly... I think he was only 42....

    Winning the Jerry Waldman Award has to be a great honor and I believe, that when Gary Lewis hangs that plaque up in his office at the Colorado River Chevy Shop, in Needles, he won't have forgotten my questions that I asked him about Jerry Waldman... The one question I wanted Gary to hear was: Gary how tall do you think Jerry Waldman was? In my eyes Jerry was ten feet tall...but in real numbers, he was about the EXACT SAME SIZE as GARY LEWIS.....
    Last edited by Ron Hill; 12-30-2006 at 09:45 AM.

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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Ron...I'm thinking that Jerry wanted you to do more than just race. The time he spent with you at Havasu was during the early planning stages of that Hot Springs Invitational. Jerry was Captain of the North, Marshall Grant Captain of the East, my Dad South, and I think Jerry was trying to recruit you as Captain of the West. Since you weren't coming to Arkansas, Rich Fuschlin accepted the offer. As plans progressed, Rich had some other committments bearing down on him and he didn't have time to properly assemble his team or make the race. I believe he got Lee Sutter to take his place. I need to find the old correspondence.

    The Konigs were dominant in racing by now, but Jerry spent a lot of time working on his setups. He was there early along with us and Marshall Grant as we had to work on promotion and all the final details before racing. Jerry's final day of racing met with great success until the accident. He won most of his events with his Merc-Quincy's, and ended up high point driver (I think??)

    I was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with Jerry at that race. The day before, we drove into Little Rock to do an interview on TV. We got there in plenty of time to tape the interview, but something came up at the station and they were not able to do it. So the sports announcer said he would do a live interview and explained how it would go. He then told us what he was going to ask. When he got to the interview, a couple of the questions didn't make sense to a boat racer, but all the racers watching back in Hot Springs thought Jerry and I were able to make some sense out of it.

    There was also some footage shown on TV of Jerry really hauling down the straightaway with a cameraman behind him. This guy really knew how to get some shots. He was all over Jerry. He even leaned way out of the hydro and turned the camera back to Jerry's face with the throttle in the foreground. Would love to have that tape.



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    Ron-

    Badger State Outboard Assn still awards a "local" Menzies award for the club member who scores the most stock outboard points in the club durring the racing year. There is quite a list of names you may recognize that have had the honor of claiming a place on that award, myself included. My wife called it...the big cup... untill she realized what had to be accomplished to have a placque on the award.

    In the rescent past, Andy Anderson, originally from Beloit, has been the reciepent quite a few times. A story about Andy's backround....

    Andy's Dad, Bill, raced kneeldown runabout "back in the day". Bill also was a dentist. That was how Bill got involved in racing. Seems that Bill and Henry were close friends at Marquette University. The rest is history. Bill went on to race in OPC. Andy started racing when he was nine. Funny how thing come full circle.

    The cool thing I find about the award is that second generation racers are now appearing on the award. And two years ago, a girl won the award for the first time, Margaret Allen.

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    Default Jerry Waldman

    I remember the Nationals at Depue and having one heat eliminations with over 600 entries. Testing started the weekend before for some of the midwest guys who would then go to work until Wed pm and then come back to Depue. Sometimes you had to have the fastest 2nd to get in to the finals.
    It seemed that Jerry was always there.

    Jerry would be there with what I used to call the "pink ladies." W-1 to whatever. He would be seating the rings all week. Never forget, he had the best look of any driver while going on the course. He would start his own engines, then set the throttle and then fold the starting rope up as he headed up the course toward the mouth of the river, yes you used to be able to go all the way to the mouth of the river. He kept the motor at the level that he came off the beach with until he got off the course than would step it up as he went away from the course. He then would make one pass down the back stretch hauling a?> and then bring it in.

    He would do interviews at the drivers meetings hauling a tape recorder around with him talking to all the drivers. Everyone loved him and was sad at his passing.

    I remember one year in F hydro Wayne Walgraves had one the first heat in that funky looking, but fast hydro of his and Ted May and I had a bet before the first heat. I bet on Wayne after watching him test all week and he said, "no way Waldman will take it, not that Ted wanted him to. However, Wayne could not fire up for the second heat and Jerry won the championship with his "44" Quincy. What a great Nationals that was.

    Ray

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    Default Menzies Blue

    I remember Hank Menzies telling me about some of his Dental patients
    looking at him funny. Seems the inside of his nose was blue from painting the trim on his Hammercraft boats. I got to race against Hank in B runabout,
    man that guy drove hard.

    Cooper

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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Oil Racing

    ... Jerry was Captain of the North, Marshall Grant Captain of the East, my Dad South, and I think Jerry was trying to recruit you as Captain of the West. Since you weren't coming to Arkansas, Rich Fuschlin accepted the offer. As plans progressed, Rich had some other committments bearing down on him and he didn't have time to properly assemble his team or make the race. I believe he got Lee Sutter to take his place. I need to find the old correspondence.
    A week ago the SOA (Seattle Outboard Asociation) held its annual "re-union" meeting. Lee Sutter attended. I sat with him and listened to him talk about his boat racing days for over two hours ... I left shaking my head hoping I would be able to remember all the amazing stories he told me. It's times like that you wish you had a recorder to capture all of the incredible history. What I didn't know is that Lee and Ron Anderson play golf together nowdays ... I can only imagine the stories those two have to tell.
    Last edited by Mark75H; 03-07-2006 at 07:22 PM.

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Add Some....

    Thanks guys....

    I had forgotten that Menzies boats were called HAMMERCRAFT......I had NOT forgotten, though I didn't mention it....But Jerry Waldman's engines, all of them, only ran clean of wide open throttle....They'd blubber like a Banchee Indian (That may not be politically correct)...But it is a Ted may term...until he opened the throttle. Then, than cleaned out and ran like a MOTHER....

    I remember standing in the pits at DepUe, thinking, how do he know how long that engine will blubber before it quits...??? But, he also was a SHOW MAN and knew when to PERFORM...

    He was always physically fit, probably worked out at a time that working out was considered "STRANGE"...

    What boat was he killed in Spooker XXXII??? I never knew....

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    Default I don't know which Spooker...I'll look.

    It was a very somber day the morning we went back to the race course to pick up. No joy or laughter or anything that might have been part of an otherwise very successful event. Everyone was gone. The pits were empty except for our trailer. I went out in a Ouachita john boat with Randy Mangrum to pick up the bouys. Not a breeze blowing, not a ripple on the water.

    When we got to the center bouy of the first turn I noticed something sticking in the foam. It was a piece of Spooker's cowling. There was very little damage to Jerry's boat. Everyone was going so fast that he ran under Jerry Petersen's boat and he was past before Petersen's boat could come down and land in the cockpit behind him.

    I picked up that little chunk of splintered plywood with the male snap for the cockpit cover and put it in my pocket. I saved it and still have it.

    Another memory I have from then is standing up the hill in the clubhouse with the manager. My Dad had left without telling me, to go down and hook up the trailer. As we stood upon the hill looking down into the pits, my Dad backed the Suburban up (no one else down there) to the trailer, walked around to the trailer hitch, lowered it down and fastened it. He just backed in place and the hitch was just an inch or so above the ball as if he had just jacked up the trailer. The Boss Man of the event turned to me and said "He's Good!

    I never met Hank, but he sure sounds like a Jerry Waldman type of guy.



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    Default John J. Kavokovich..

    When I was a kid, Bud Wiget and Mizey Wiget were the first man and and first lady of Ouboard Racing. My dad told me that Ernie Malott had been married to Mizey Wiget but that he'd been killed, in an F Runabout, by a amn named John J. Kavokovich.

    After Ernie's death, Bud married Mizey and John J. Kavokovich disappeared....I once ran over a guy named Benny Miller at Sparks, Nevada. He wasn't hurt too bad, and I always blamed Fred Hauenstein for not giving me room..but I often wondered how I would have felt had I killed Benny....

    I know I never heard anything about Jerry Peterson after Jerry's death, though from what I heard, it was for sure as "Racing Accident".

    I don't know for sure, but I had a fraternity brother named "KAVOCK" and he had family that their name was Kavokovich... He had famly members, that were named John J., they started Circle K markets...I never knew if this was the same John J. Kavokovich. I do know, that my father was at this race where Ernie Mallot lost his life, and my father never blamed John J. Kavokovich....
    Last edited by Ron Hill; 03-08-2006 at 09:37 AM.

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