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Thread: Remembering Lodi

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    Team Member seacow's Avatar
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    Default Remembering Lodi

    Lodi California. This little farm and food manufacturing town that became a successful suburb of Sacramento and a wine producer once was a boat racing Mecca for me and perhaps many others. I know that there was a race there on the Fourth of July for at least 40 years. And what a pageant it was. Pancake breakfast in the AM with a live dixieland band. A full day of racing in this little "pond" within the town next to the railroad tracks and the cereal factory. Beautiful weeping willows and oaks, grass, a beach, a snack shop, some homes and a wonderful park. It was hot but the trees gave shade. Lots of spectator enthusiasm. Fireworks over the Lake at night for the Fourth.

    Seems like folks came from miles around to see those races on July 4th. So many spectators attended - many of whom were very intent in watching the competition.

    Many interesting classes and drivers came to Lodi over the years. Even Ernie Rose and the other B Racing Runabout Inboards churned the little lake. Art Nunes from Newman CA came to race each year with his C Racing and Service rigs. Last time I saw him race I think he was in his 80s.

    The short course was a great equalizer. The super fast rigs had to compete with slower rigs that took the turns better. The water also got quite rough from the wakes that were contained in the small area of the lake.

    As many times as I competed at Lodi and often did well, for me the real draw was the small town American pageantry. It was and remains the quintessential race experience, as a driver or a spectator. Migrating to Lodi on the Fourth was a given and was for me akin to a spiritual pilgrimage and the most fitting way to celebrate the Fourth. Indeed, during later years when I lived back east, I would fly to Sacto just to watch the race and then visit a few friends and fly back.

    At Lodi, all of the heats were exciting for driver and spectator because the course had tight turns and the lake was so small that the boats came almost up to the shore. Spectators at times caught the spray. Merely watching the race there was almost like being in the boat in competition. The majority of the classes were alky and the sound ignited a chill in the spine of many. This was particularly true when the FRRs and in later years the 11100s ran with the 75Hs turning 13,000. The top 1100 competitor, NCOA race organizer and speed record holder in that class back then hailed from Lodi. Lodi Lake Lake now has a "Chuck Parsons Point" honoring him. But the town no longer allows racing and this has created a tear in the fabric of my universe. Nothing ever has come close.

    Perhaps someone has some good pictures from Lodi to share on BRF.

    Lake Lodi today:



    Mar. 7--LODI -- Lifelong Lodi resident Phil Katzakian cannot remember a Fourth of July that did not include fireworks at Lodi Lake. "I grew up a block away and every year we watched the fireworks and boat races," the 58-year-old city councilman said. The power boat races, however, are history and now Katzakian and others on the City Council may consider moving the annual display to the Grape Bowl to meet stricter fire standards...
    __________________________________________________ _________
    Lodi Lake has been called the jewel of the city by its fans for years.

    The denizens of Lodi have good cause for bestowing their town with such a superlative term. The scenic body of water and surrounding forest provide a cool oasis amid a dry valley scorched by relentless summer heat.

    The fans of Lodi Lake are varied and many. They include fishermen, mothers and children, bicyclists, rowers, eight-to-fivers taking a lunch break and residents from the Rio Las Palmas Senior Home.

    Most are from Lodi, but some venture from other towns and cities. The lone fisherman finds peace and solitude at the quiet lake, sitting on the grassy bank beneath a shade tree. His fresh catch of the day (a hearty trout) sits by his side in a metal bucket.
    The lake draws many school tours from outside Lodi, such as Elk Grove, White said.

    Annual events include the Ooh Aah Festival on the Fourth of July, Lodi Adopt-a-Child’s hot-rod car and Harley Davidson show, fishing derbies and the October Salmon Festival.

    Lodi Lake, which is part of the Mokelumne River, was a low-lying puddle after wood dams were built in 1889 and 1891 in Woodbridge, but more water was stored behind the dam after the Woodbridge Irrigation District was formed in 1924. The lake, as a full recreational park, was dedicated 10 years later."


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    Default Lodi !!!

    Sounds Like a Hagg song to me, just another place in the Ca. Desert , keep em coming.
    RichardKCMo.
    Quote Originally Posted by seacow View Post
    Lodi California. This little farm and food manufacturing town that became a successful suburb of Sacramento and a wine producer once was a boat racing Mecca for me and perhaps many others. I know that there was a race there on the Fourth of July for at least 40 years. And what a pageant it was. Pancake breakfast in the AM with a live dixieland band. A full day of racing in this little "pond" within the town next to the railroad tracks and the cereal factory. Beautiful weeping willows and oaks, grass, a beach, a snack shop, some homes and a wonderful park. It was hot but the trees gave shade. Lots of spectator enthusiasm. Fireworks over the Lake at night for the Fourth.

    Seems like folks came from miles around to see those races on July 4th. So many spectators attended - many of whom were very intent in watching the competition.

    Many interesting classes and drivers came to Lodi over the years. Even Ernie Rose and the other B Racing Runabout Inboards churned the little lake. Art Nunes from Newman CA came to race each year with his C Racing and Service rigs. Last time I saw him race I think he was in his 80s.

    The short course was a great equalizer. The super fast rigs had to compete with slower rigs that took the turns better. The water also got quite rough from the wakes that were contained in the small area of the lake.

    As many times as I competed at Lodi and often did well, for me the real draw was the small town American pageantry. It was and remains the quintessential race experience, as a driver or a spectator. Migrating to Lodi on the Fourth was a given and was for me akin to a spiritual pilgrimage and the most fitting way to celebrate the Fourth. Indeed, during later years when I lived back east, I would fly to Sacto just to watch the race and then visit a few friends and fly back.

    At Lodi, all of the heats were exciting for driver and spectator because the course had tight turns and the lake was so small that the boats came almost up to the shore. Spectators at times caught the spray. Merely watching the race there was almost like being in the boat in competition. The majority of the classes were alky and the sound ignited a chill in the spine of many. This was particularly true when the FRRs and in later years the 11100s ran with the 75Hs turning 13,000. The top 1100 competitor, NCOA race organizer and speed record holder in that class back then hailed from Lodi. Lodi Lake Lake now has a "Chuck Parsons Point" honoring him. But the town no longer allows racing and this has created a tear in the fabric of my universe. Nothing ever has come close.

    Perhaps someone has some good pictures from Lodi to share on BRF.

    Lake Lodi today:



    Mar. 7--LODI -- Lifelong Lodi resident Phil Katzakian cannot remember a Fourth of July that did not include fireworks at Lodi Lake. "I grew up a block away and every year we watched the fireworks and boat races," the 58-year-old city councilman said. The power boat races, however, are history and now Katzakian and others on the City Council may consider moving the annual display to the Grape Bowl to meet stricter fire standards...
    __________________________________________________ _________
    Lodi Lake has been called the jewel of the city by its fans for years.

    The denizens of Lodi have good cause for bestowing their town with such a superlative term. The scenic body of water and surrounding forest provide a cool oasis amid a dry valley scorched by relentless summer heat.

    The fans of Lodi Lake are varied and many. They include fishermen, mothers and children, bicyclists, rowers, eight-to-fivers taking a lunch break and residents from the Rio Las Palmas Senior Home.

    Most are from Lodi, but some venture from other towns and cities. The lone fisherman finds peace and solitude at the quiet lake, sitting on the grassy bank beneath a shade tree. His fresh catch of the day (a hearty trout) sits by his side in a metal bucket.
    The lake draws many school tours from outside Lodi, such as Elk Grove, White said.

    Annual events include the Ooh Aah Festival on the Fourth of July, Lodi Adopt-a-Child’s hot-rod car and Harley Davidson show, fishing derbies and the October Salmon Festival.

    Lodi Lake, which is part of the Mokelumne River, was a low-lying puddle after wood dams were built in 1889 and 1891 in Woodbridge, but more water was stored behind the dam after the Woodbridge Irrigation District was formed in 1924. The lake, as a full recreational park, was dedicated 10 years later."


  3. #3
    Team JDS Jeff Akers's Avatar
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    Seacow, your post damn near brought me to tears. I share your feelings on that little lake . It was for me as well as my entire family as long as I can remember a place to see,hear,feel and smell boat racing !

    I always dreamed of racing there myself one day....................I still do.
    Jeff 93-C



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    Maybe we will Race there again someday. I remember racing there when I was in my teens and many time again with my son Matt.
    The City fathers did not want us any more on the 4th of July then raised the rental rate so high in the summer that the Region club NCOA could no longer afford to race there. Gave us some dates in the fall and early spring that had a better rental rate but the turn out of races on those dates was very low and the club a lot of money on the event.

  5. #5
    YARD BIRD
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    Default Lodi Lake

    The last time I was there -I enjoyed watching Paul Bender win in a v-bottom Allison , with a 235 evinrude (&a EVEN fire crank ) 24-1 Mobil outboard oil ) . He told me , before his beach start -that was exciting - "i hope it don't blow - it's turning 8000 rpm , I'm only running
    a 24" pitch prop . He had it set up only for accelleration , which turned out to be the Hot setup . He had to throttle back, to make it look like a race . (running against 225 horse mercs . )

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