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Thread: Steve Jones Lone Star Racer

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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Default Steve Jones Lone Star Racer

    I had looked for Steve Jones for years. Not long after Joe Rome told me about Boatracingfacts and I joined, that I began to look for Steve. I first started in Corpus Christi where I last saw him. Being such a common last name, most of the Jones listings in the phone book had their middle initial. I found some Steve's and Stephen's, and some S Jones, but none with the middle initial B. Stephen Bayliss Jones was ny Steve. Over the years I would try other ways to find Steve. Joe Rome told me of a sighting of Steve by Louis Williams in Beaumont. He had seen Steve at a funeral, but I never could find out where he lived. One day a Steve Jones joined Boatracingfacts. I was ready to welcome him with stories and photos when I looked up the new member info. This Steve Jones was a stock racer from the Michigan area I believe (M on his boats) and ironically he started in 1967 just a few years after my Steve and I had started. So I continued to look. Steve and I had probably spent more time together than other racing friends because in the early 70's we began to promote boat racing in our area and we started making contact with local media. We sold program ads, spent a lot of time at the printer, and made a lot of rounds together, not only in Corpus, but Laredo and San Antonio. I finally found Steve a couple of months ago. Or I should say his wife found me. Steve had passed away. She said during the previous 6 months Steve would say to his wife Karen "We need to go see Wayne". They even came to Barbon and drove around toward the end of last year, but did not stop at my house. Karen called and left a message on my phone saying that Steve had passed and that they were going to have a funeral for him, and at the same time Covid 19 news hit. People got nervous and since Steve's body was going to be cremated, it was decided to postpone the funeral and have a memorial service when things settled down. That service will be next Friday. One week from today.

    I had been saving up to start a thread on Steve because I thought I would find him still with his wet tennis shoes on and ready to have some fun posting stories. Well, I am starting his thread now, but the stories will just be my side of it. Rest in peace my friend.
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    Team Member racnbns's Avatar
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    Wayne,

    I'm glad you finally have closure with the Steve Jones Episode. I enjoy reading your posts!
    KEEP ON KEEPING ON!

    Bruce

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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Thanks Bruce. That's not the type of closure I was looking for though.

    The very first race I ever saw was out in front of my Dad's pier at Pernitas Point on Lake Corpus Christi. It was also the first race I ever ran in. I ran one heat of B runabout and my brother Mark ran in the second heat. We had a 20 hp Merc on a 12 foot fiberglass single seater Nomad boat. My dad found a guy at the race that was selling out and so he bought us a "real" race boat. I drove up to San Antonio at the end of school to pick up a Mishey hydro and deflector B merc from Curtis Mihalczek along with a trailer, assorted props and other stuff that went with the boat and motor. I was told that Dan Waggoner in Flour Bluff east of Corpus Christi could help us out with what we didn't know. I spent the rest of the summer learning to rig up the outfit, chaging lower unit grease, sparkplugs and driving it. Then we went to a race at Falcon Lake just across the border from Zapata, Texas. It was a celebration for moving the town and naming it Nuevo Guerrero. Nuevo means new. When Falcon Lake was built and flooded, the old town of Guerrero was covered with twenty or thirty feet of water. When the lake goes low you can walk into the old stone houses and church.

    It was at this race we first met Steve Jones. We pitted all the way to the south end of the pits and Steve was just to our right. Steve had started racing just before I did. He had a red and white Ashburn with a B Merc deflector. Steve always stayed with those colors.Steve had no pit crew so my brother Mark, myself and our Dad helped Steve.

    The water was rough and I didn't know what I was doing. I was practice laps and blowing around the course when I spun out in the bottom turn. After getting towed in, we cleaned the water out of the motor. We knew how to do that because I sunk the boat during the summer when I knocked a hole in a sponson on a rack near the shoreline. We got the motor cleaned out but never could get it started. So then we spent the rest of the races bailing water out of Steve's runabout and my Dad cranking his deflector Merc. Steve's runabout floated almost as good as a bait bucket, and if his motor would have been spring wound he could have gone out soon as the five minute gun fired and still completed all five laps. I don't remember how Steve did, but I'm pretty sure my Dad got the motor started three or four times because what I remember is as soon as he got back to the pits, we had to swap the boat round so Mark and I could go to work with sponges to get the water out. There were not many boats there so Steve stepped up into C runabout I believe. We were worn out at the end of the day for having to lift a water filled boat so many times. It was fifteen years later before I went back to Mexico to race again and Steve was there with me. This time it was under palm trees on a sandy beach in Acapulco.

    Steve is far right in the white shirt.
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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Steve Jones was a natural born salesman. He was a very likable guy, and was not shy around strangers. He would talk to any stranger like he already knew them. When I first met Steve he was a salesman representing Red Man tobacco, Van Kamps pork and beans and Jiffy Pop. He showed me the first tin foil pop corn with the expanding aluminum foil cover I ever saw. What a combination of items. I don't recall every venture he got into, but some were the following: Gatorade, Master oil, RO water dispensers with Dutch style windmill little buildings, gold mining, and a myriad of other ventures. He was able to get some sort of sponsorship for awhile from Gatorade. He got his Dad Bill interested in The Master Oil. Bill had retired from the post office and wanted something to do. He ended up a very successful career in selling MX 237 The Master Oil all over South Texas and got it into most of the refineries in Corpus Christi.



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    Team Member jrome's Avatar
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    Steve would belive in what he was selling, I think Steve could sell anything.Hedid a great job of helping to promote races in Texas

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    Tomorrow is the memorial service for Steve. I suspect there will not be many boat racers there. It's been a number of years since he raced boats, but I understand he was a very active handball player and had numerous friends from that sport. We will represent Steve as best we can. The early core racers that Steve and I started with are all gone, and only a few are around to call on. Prior to his memorial, and seeing who might be able to make it, I am going to post pictures from the old days.
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    Steve Wetherbee and I were the only boat racers to attend Steve's funeral, but it was clear from the many attendees and the priest that Steve's boat racing adventures were well known. There were some newspaper articles posted at the entrance. When I introduced myself to a couple of guys greeting people at the entrance, they said, "We know who you are. Steve told us a lot of stories about the both of you". One said "Look... here's you right here." And he took me over to one of the newspaper articles and pointed out my name. They were all enthusiastic about Steve's boat racing career because he must have filled them in on a lot of exciting times when he was in one of the Men's Club retreats. Steve ended up being a leader of the Men's Club at his church and was at one time the President. Steve was always a participant, organizer, leader, and or top dog. He wasn't a bystander. Here are a few more pictures of Steve
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    A few more pictures of Steve
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