Thread: In memory of racers no longer with us:

  1. #81
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    Default Wayne Wicker

    1944- 2008. Wayne passed away last September from Cancer. He raced in the north east, Pennsylvania mostly. His number was 83P. He raced C & D Hydro and C Alky during the mid 70s. He is survuved by his wife and three children. He was very good friends with Dick Reese and Red Yost Would love to hear any memories of him if anyone has any.

    His son,

    Alan

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    Team Member Jeff Lytle's Avatar
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    Default Al Lytle

    Al Lytle



    Al Lytle, the colorful and highly respected announcer of power boat regattas throughout Canada and the United States, died peacefully June 16, 2009 at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, Ontario after a brief illness. Al is survived by his loving wife Yvonne of 52 years, daughter Judi and son Jeff.



    Al caught the boat racing bug in the 1940's as a teenager near his home town of Lindsay Ontario watching local regattas. He served as pit crew for a friend that was racing BOH and COH. During the early years inboards and outboards raced together at a lot of venues and one year, an announcer didn't show up at a race in Huntsville. The race organizers had to act fast, and for some reason the mike was passed to Al and his life long passion of announcing hydroplane races began.



    Al announced countless races in Ontario and one of the highlights of his career was being asked to announce the 1960 Harmsworth Trophy races in Picton, Ontario. Shortly after, Al and his wife Yvonne made raising a family a priority and took some time off when their son Jeff and daughter Judi were born. Moving to Picton around 1970, the Lytle’s were back to racing with Al announcing and Jeff racing alky burners. A key figure in the rebirth of the Prince Edward Boat Racing Club, Inc., Al announced every Gold Cup Race from 1972 until 1993. His infectious smile, racing knowledge and booming baritone voice were a perfect fit for the microphone and fans alike.



    My first encounters with Al began in the 1989 when I was in my rookie season of Grand Prix driving for Ron and Mary Brunner. We had a new Staudacher hull "Shopsmith" and struggled to keep engines together early on. Al, the voice of Grand Prix, always walked the pits in the morning to visit the teams and get insight in preparation for his days work. He would often give us encouragement with his big smile and tell us to “Keep up the fight”.



    In 1990 we captured our first GP victory at the final race of the season in Davenport , Iowa. After completing inspection and the race officially declared final, our team began celebrating. About this time Al visited our camp to offer congratulations and I offered him an ice cold beer, he gladly accepted and at that moment our friendship was sealed and grew stronger through the years.



    Alan and his wife Yvonne shared many special times with our crew having dinner, sharing family stories and celebrating as we traveled the Canadian Provinces and United States during the 1991 and 1992 seasons. On several occasions we had the privilege of being their guests at their lovely cottage on Balsam Lake. After the 2008 Valleyfield Regatta we again traveled West to the Lytle cottage to visit our dear friends. As usual, we sat on the back porch overlooking the lake and talked about the good old days, the drivers, the heats and friendships. The reminiscing only broken by Al's request to get a few more cold ones from the fridge. Upon our departure, Al and Yvonne gave us an antique mirrored window frame that had been saved from the original cottage. On the back was written "The Road to a Friends House is Never Long!!" ... with Love Al and Yvonne. It will hang in our home for all our years.



    I have no doubt that Al is preparing for this weekend’s race upstairs with the old timers with the same professionalism, spirit and love he showed to the entire racing fraternity. The clouds will echo that unmistakable voice "Gentlemen, it's 5 to the 5 for the Final Heat of Grand Prix!"



    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Lytle family!



    Alan "BO" Schide
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  3. #83
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Don Ermshar

    Just got the call from Andy Dement. Don passed away at 3pm. Huge loss in the world today.

    Rest in Peace Professor.

    Tony (Scarlata)

    When Chad was 12, someone told me Don Ermshar was a good attorney. I made an appointment to see this guy and drove an hour to Riversde to meet him...We talked boat race for two hours and I went home with a prop. Don was usually very fair with his fees. I donated several props for his wife's auctions.

    Chad at 12 made mold for Don's drag boat and that winter, I talked Don into running capsules in his boats...He used Ron Bracksma mostly on his props....We still use that prop mold today, 20 years later. A few years back Don got wind that I was helping Tony Scarlata. And we actually had angry words. I tried to tellI was only doing Tony's K props.... I haven't seen Don for three years.....

    I still loved him like a brother though....over the years we spent as many hours talking boats as we ever did legal stuff... His office always had blowers, pistons...gaskets laying around...looked like a race shop, not a law office.I always figured we were one call away of being friends again.

    He did some great legal work for me. I'll bet he wasn't angry with me when he took that last ride....

    RIP Don!

  4. #84
    Team Member AZOutlaw's Avatar
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    Default Don Ermshar...RIP

    I remember my father taking to me to my first out of town boat race, an NJBA race at Parker, AZ in 1978. As most 7 year old kids are very impressionable, their was one team that caught my eye right away. Don and Jim's Blown Alcohol Flatties were the coolest thing a kid from Arizona had seen on water. I always loved seeing an Ermshar boat on the water at almost every IHBA Firebird World Finals I have attended since the early 1980's, and even last April.

    Thanks for the unforgettable memories.....RIP Don

    A link to a cool onboard video sequence of Don in his Flatty....http://dragboatracing.com/Media/Vide...n-Ermshar.aspx
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  5. #85
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Deck Hogan

    Sad news, Deck Hogan, DU and DSH driver from Modesto died last Thursday, he
    > was 87. I don't know any details at this time.
    >
    > Steve (Wilde)

    When I first strated racing, the name Deck Hogan from Modesto was a big name in Stock Racing. Seems he ran A-D at different time. As I recall in the 1960's he had a bad car accident going to a raced and kind of dropped out after that.

    Seems he had a daughter named Cindy, that used to write Jimbo McConnell letter and Jimbo wrote her. Jimbo was living with us then, and it seemed like a daily letter came for Jimbo. I don't think they ever really dated. At the Cal Cup Regatta, Jimbo and I stayed at Lucky Grant's house, seems Deck lived around the corner from Lucky. As I recall, Lucky Grant's daughter, Cindy, Jimbo and I cruised the main of Modesto, 1962, right were American Graffiti was filmed.

    Deck was quite a music man, had a trio or something like that, Deck Hogan's Band...

    It had been awhile since I saw Deck, in fact, it was 1979 at Stockton. We were parked in the parking lot, and deck came by all dressed to play music, I think he played the trumpet. We had a couple of beers, Broom Kavoojian, Julie Seaman and me.

    Deck had some how ended up with my A-B Sid Craft that I'd bought from Dave Mayer. I told Deck I wanted that boat boat to run a Yamato 80 on, and he said, "Come and get it." I never quite got around to getting it, but thought about it, just about every time I went through Modesto.

    He always seems "HAPPY GO LUCKY" and always had a smile on his face.

    God speed, and thanks for the memories.
    Last edited by Ron Hill; 03-19-2020 at 10:17 AM.

  6. #86
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Deck Hogan Obituary

    Charles Dexter Hogin

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    CHARLES DEXTER HOGIN JAN 10, 1922 - DEC 10, 2009 Charles Dexter Hogin, Deck'' to his family and many friends, passed away at Memorial Hospital on December 10, 2009 after a brief illness. He was 87. Deck was born in Modesto to Gratton M. and Kathryn (Davis) Hogin, the youngest of seven children. He attended Washington and Lincoln Elementary schools, Roosevelt Junior High School, Modesto High School, Modesto Junior College, and finally College of the Pacific. Deck was a proud Navy Veteran, serving in the Pacific during World War II. As Musician First Class he played for USO shows, at the Officers Club, and daily Reveille and Taps. He and the band also broadcast a radio show on The Mosquito Network''. After returning from the war, he married Leeroyce Dillard and they had four daughters. Deck was in the beer business'' most of his working career, beginning with Burgermeister, and later working with Budweiser until his retirement in 1987. Though Deck enjoyed many hobbies, music was his passion. He loved and understood music, but he especially loved playing music. Any opportunity to take out his axe'' was reason enough to play. He knew any song requested of him and he played them beautifully. Since his retirement, nearly every day, Deck could be found on the tennis courts at Graceada Park, or taking in 9 holes of golf with boyhood friends. In his younger years he raced hydroplanes and served as a referee and umpire for basketball, football, and baseball games throughout the valley. Deck is survived by his wife of 63 years, Leeroyce, brother Gerald O. Hogin (Bobbie) of Elk Grove, his daughters Cathy Smith (Evan), Cynthia Cozort (James), Christy Walker (David), and Casey Hogin. Grandchildren Jon Jackson, Amy Plimpton, Jeffrey Palleson, and Alexandra Palleson, Alex Walker and Sally Walker, four great-grandchildren, one great- great- grandchild, and his dog ''Pug''. He was Uncle Deck'' to his many nieces and nephews. He is preceeded in death by his parents, infant son Frank Hogin, brothers James E. Hogin, Peyton M. Hogin, Davis Hogin, Gratton Pat'' Hogin and sister Kathryn Winifred Hogin. A memorial celebration will be held Saturday, January 16, 2010 at Senior Citizens Center at 211 Bodem St., Modesto from 12:00 pm-5:00 pm. A traditional ''New Orleans'' style processional to the Modesto Citizens Cemetary will take place during that time. Memorial donations may be made to a Modesto Dixieland Jazz Society or to Animal Place, 3448 Laguna Creek Trail, Vacaville, CA 95688. www.modbee.com/obituaries


    Read more: http://www.legacy.com:80/obituaries/modestobee/obituary.aspx?n=charles-dexter-hogin&pid=137639555#ixzz0aotY6kuz

  7. #87
    Team Member Joe J's Avatar
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    Default Lon Stevens

    I just heard that Lon Stevens passed away within the last day or two. Lon was the master of the Mercury Alky engines, and anyone who has ever heard one of his "side-carb 6's" will never forget the sound.

    Lon was 92.

    Joe Johnson
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  8. #88
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Last edited by Ron Hill; 12-29-2009 at 07:27 PM.

  9. #89
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Stevens Sound....

    I think it was either the first or second time I was at Depue about 3 or 4 years ago and the F runabout race came up and there were at least 4 maybe more Mercs went out Fuschlin won the race against Thirlby and the sound of those motors especially Lons gave me goosebumps and there was this gentleman in a wheelchair just beaming at the end of the race. I said who is that and was told that is the guy who made that motor the LON STEVENS. I went up introduced myself and thanked him for the motor. I will never forget that race , thanks LON. Regards John Lawrence

    Lon "Invented" the ignition that ran with a light bulb. I'm sure Rich Fuchlin or Fred Hauenstein could explain how Lon's ignition worked, but I never fully understood it.

    Lon told me, the last time we really talked, that when he was building power on the "SIX BANGERS" that his engine would develop a HARMONIC, somewhat like an opera singer when they break a glass. This HARMONIC would destroy his motors.

    Wth his light system ignition, Lon could vary the timing on each cyclinder, by milling slots in his timing plate (The light went through the timing plate and caused the spark), he did not have a six cyclinder engine firing at 60 degress (I think 60 degreee times six is 360), he had each cyclinder fire just a little off the other, resulting in the Stevens sound, and not have a harmonic. (Almost a studder step motion to break the harmonic).

    Lon never lied to me, so I assume what he told me was the truth. And that is the way I understood it.

    I made Lon quite a few props in my life, and sold him many Cary Wheels.

    He didn't do much work for me, but what it did was faster than expected (Time wise) and perfect quality...

    Lon loved "F" Motors like no one before or will ever love them.

  10. #90
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    Default

    Lon built my first engine, a 3 cyl. merc. to run in FEH in 1976. I think all his engines were both a work of Love and works of Art. His Talent and Passion (For Mercs. and American Motors) will be missed ! I still feel the "6" that he built for Bob Davenport had the most "Kick A--" sound short of the Quincy Loopers !

    Race well at Lake Paradise Lon !

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