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Thread: Autograph Collection

  1. #181
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Here us the first photo, and it is a race at Highlands, Texas in 1974. The Highlands race course on the San Jacinto River is more commonly called the "Baytown" race because the Baytown Boat Clube is about 100 yards in a stright perpendicular line behind Tommy's Gentex life jacket. Baytown is a close nearby city where out of town races stay.

    Tommy has grit on his expression like he was fixing to start that D Konig, but as you can see he has more than a full wrap like he is trying pump water out. I need to ask him next time I see him why he had to do that. I don't see anyone plugging the holes with fingers to help get water out. This was Tommy's final year of racing, having recovered from a bone breaking wreck at Hot Springs the past summer. He was testing when some cruiser showed up with a big wake and suddenly no place to go with the spped up. It was his first race after having bought, rigged out and tested his new Butts Aerowing. It was also his first Konig motor....a D!

    Tommy broke 18 ribs and had a punctured lung. They brought him into the same hospital Jerry Waldman was taken to the previous year. They left him for awhile in his wet clothes in 68 degree temperature and he thought besides having a hard time to breathe, he might freeze to death. The same nurse that was there when Jerry Waldman was brought in was the same one that received Tommy. Tommy said she was very indignant and unlike any nurse he had ever had to be around before. She said to him "What's the matter with you people?" Then proceeded to lecture him on doing things that are dangerous and can kill you.

    Tommy came back the next year, but only ran at Baytown and at my Dad's house only about 10 miles from where he lives now.
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  2. #182
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    These pictures were taken in Baldy's front yard at Barbon Estates on Lake Corpus Christi on March 31, 1973. Tommy Wetherbee had just bought a D Konig and a Butts Aerowing. He was testing for the first time. We took delivery of the first CDF Aerowing that Tim built at Alexandria, Louisiana in October 1972, so this was an early CDF Butts hydro....maybe the second one he built. In the beginning Tim was building mostly AB hydros. During December of 1972 Tim Butts came down to test drive "Hookin' Bull", that first CDF hydro he built for us. He wanted to see what kind of power was there and get a feel of the handling at speed so he could try to improve on his design for the bigger boats. We did this kind of thing with Tim the whole time we raced. I'm willing to bet that Tommy's boat was the second built and was different from the first with changes made from his test driving three months earlier.
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  3. #183
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    I got to thinking last night that one of the first Aerowings that Tim built after the successful run at Alex in 1972 was A C hydro that he built for Armand Hebert. Armand set a record with that boat in 1973.



  4. #184
    Team Member racnbns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Oil Racing Team View Post
    Here us the first photo, and it is a race at Highlands, Texas in 1974. The Highlands race course on the San Jacinto River is more commonly called the "Baytown" race because the Baytown Boat Clube is about 100 yards in a stright perpendicular line behind Tommy's Gentex life jacket. Baytown is a close nearby city where out of town races stay.

    Tommy has grit on his expression like he was fixing to start that D Konig, but as you can see he has more than a full wrap like he is trying pump water out. I need to ask him next time I see him why he had to do that. I don't see anyone plugging the holes with fingers to help get water out. This was Tommy's final year of racing, having recovered from a bone breaking wreck at Hot Springs the past summer. He was testing when some cruiser showed up with a big wake and suddenly no place to go with the spped up. It was his first race after having bought, rigged out and tested his new Butts Aerowing. It was also his first Konig motor....a D!

    Tommy broke 18 ribs and had a punctured lung. They brought him into the same hospital Jerry Waldman was taken to the previous year. They left him for awhile in his wet clothes in 68 degree temperature and he thought besides having a hard time to breathe, he might freeze to death. The same nurse that was there when Jerry Waldman was brought in was the same one that received Tommy. Tommy said she was very indignant and unlike any nurse he had ever had to be around before. She said to him "What's the matter with you people?" Then proceeded to lecture him on doing things that are dangerous and can kill you.

    Tommy came back the next year, but only ran at Baytown and at my Dad's house only about 10 miles from where he lives now.
    Must have got some water. No plugs in it and he's drying it out.
    Bruce

  5. #185
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    That's right Bruce. When we got water in a motor we would cover all the spark plug holes with our fingers. It was quicker that way. And you could tell when most of the water was out when mist quit coming out of the holes.



  6. #186
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    Both Tommy and his brother Alex wore these fighter pilot helmets. I believe they probably became illegal around the time Tommy quit racing. I scanned this photo twice, and for some reason a blue tint was in the shadows. I couldn't remove it. The picture is totally black and white, so I hope my scanner isn't going to go crazy on me.
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  7. #187
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    These final two photos were taken from the pits on Lake Corpus Christi in 1971. Last race of the year in front of my Dad's house. It was my final year of college at South West Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. I took a photography course just like I did as a sophomore in high school and we used the same exact camera as did all high schools and colleges in Texas at that time. It was a Yashica D double lens reflex camera shooting a 2 1/4 X 2 1/4 negative. The bottom lens was the actual light gathering lens with an aperture for the negative. The top lens was strictly for focusing.

    Tommy is in a 12-8 Marchetti that I picked up from Nick Marchetti along with a new canvas deck 11-4, and a canvas decked "aircraft carrier" 13-2 Marchetti. I could lay down in the cockpit all stretched out and not bump my head or toes. Joe Rome might've fit too. The looper was a D that Raymond Jefferies put together himself up at Quincy in early 1968. It was built for up-and-coming driver Joe Bowdler out of San Antonio, Texas. Unfortunately, he contracted a virus that caused his heart to stop and he passed away without ever testing the motor. Tommy bought the looper and the Sidcraft from Joe's Dad, Sid Bowdler. Tommy tested the looper on the Sid, but it was way to small a boat for that power so he bought the Marchetti from my Dad and had a wooden deck installed.

    That is Tommy's daughter Marsha in the cockpit with him. She was wearing my Gentex life Jacket and Bell Helmet. If you look closely at her left hand you can see a ring. We were to be married sometime in the next year, but no date had been set yet. I had picked up the ring and given it to her probably only a few weeks before this picture was taken. Marsha did not find anything she liked when we went to the jeweler so she told him what she wanted, I paid him and waited for it to be made. When I went to pick it up, he asked me if he could buy it back and I told him No! After I finished all my finals and came home for the holidays Marsha laid it on me that she didn't want to marry me, and gave me the ring back. I was totally devastated, but there was nothing I could do to change her mind.

    I went back to the jeweler sometime in January 1972 to see if he still wanted to buy the ring back. Without hesitation he gave me a full refund. The ring was a different style than you would normally see in those days. It was simple yet elegant and the jeweler apparently had a customer who fell in love with it when he showed it to him or her, and got a much better offer than he originally quoted me. So the first chance I had, I drove up to Sequin, Texas to Mr. Seidel's camera shop. Our photography professor was always telling us about Mr. Seidel's shop a half hour south of San Marcos. He gave discounts to photography students.

    I remember having a long conversation with Jerry Simison's brother Paul at a race at Lakeland, Tennessee. Yes, Tennessee, not Florida. Marshall Grant was the power behind organizing the race and all the big name drivers east of the Rockies came. Paul was shooting with all Nikon 35mm equipment. He said it was more expensive, but for the 35mm format it had the most to offer and was reliable and of the best quality. Leica was right up there in quality but had limited lenses and other accessories. I bought my first Nikon with a 50mm lens at Seidels, along with a Nikkormat body, a 135mm lens, and a 200mm lens along with a carrying case and other accessories. That diamond got me into the picture taking business. I knew I needed a longer lens for boat racing shots, but now I had a job, and a longer lens would come along soon enough. At least by the time racing picked up in the spring.
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