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5/18/16, 10:25 AM   #1
We need more people like him
SprintcarZF is offline

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 59

Saw this story on Facebook thought I'd share

Terry Stewart
This evening I went to TriState Speedway in Haubstadt, IN. to watch the World Of Outlaws Winged Sprints, and the UMP Modifieds races.

Prior to leaving for the races, I wrote the letter that I've copied/pasted here, and have also included cell shots of...I'm waiting for a couple cell shots from the parents of the little boy who sat right in front of me at tonight's races...The little boy was a bit shy at first, so I asked the parents if they'd just send me a cell-shot later of the little boy in the shirt, and told them they could send the pic(s) to my cell nmber in the letterhead...But my Dad was not able to go tonight, so he ended up not bein' with me as I had anticipated when I wrote the letter...

My 'Haubstadt Tradition' was easier this year since they were right in front of me...But I was runnin' low on cash, so this time I was only able to do a t-shirt and pops...I couldn't afford the hat, flag, and die-cast car (but I still LOVED doing it)...

After having been sitting for a while and watching, the targets of my tradition ended up sitting immediately in front of me...So this time, this race, it was a no-brainer...I walked down to the concessions and got a kid's sized TriState Speedway t-shirt, and three pops (the Mom was there and included this time), and came back to my seat...I tapped the Dad on the shoulder, and told him the next round of pops are on me, and handed him the pops, and then also the t-shirt, and an envelope with the following letter...

"Saturday, May 14, 2016

My name is Terry Stewart, I’m an almost 31-year (and hopefully another 8) veteran Police Officer…I’m currently Chief of Police in Bicknell, IN (in Knox County near Vincennes). I was born & raised in Vincennes, but have lived in Bicknell since my Junior year of high school (80-81 school year).
I’ve been coming to Haubstadt since I was a little boy, starting back when I was probably 6 years old, with my father…I’m now 52, and my Dad (Mr. Wayne Stewart) is here with me tonight…He’s now 72. I didn’t get to grow up with my Dad, so when I’d get to come to the races with him it was always extra special.
On one occasion, probably the better part of 20 years ago, I was here…Sitting on the highway side. I was here with my sister and her family, but otherwise by myself. And I had kinda unknowingly started paying attention to/watching a young father, with his little boy, sitting a few rows down in front of us…It looked like the little boy was a bit upset because he didn’t have a hat or t-shirt like somebody I noticed him pointing to…Nor did it appear that the Dad had money falling out his ass…After a bit I was watching the race again. Then, again, a bit later, the Dad and the little boy caught my attention…It looked as if the dad was counting a couple bills and some change…A few minutes later after they’d went down towards the concessions, they came back to their seats and each had a sandwich, and were sharing a pop.
I had been sitting there apparently not realizing I was staring so much…I was thinking back to when I’d get to see my Dad and come to the races with him, and we were in the same predicament (But he STILL brought me…Just like the young father and the little boy who had got my attention). At one point I realized I had a few tears jumpin’ out. When I wiped ‘em away, I, admittedly embarrassed, looked around to see if anybody had noticed ME, and saw my sister sitting there staring at ME and just smiling…
Right then and there, not at all a plan, but just compulsion of the moment, I started what became a tradition for me every single time I have come to TriState Speedway since that day (whether it was once a year, a few times a year, and a time or two, missed coming during a season)…Without telling anybody, I just got up and walked down to the concessions and got two pops, a checkered flag, a t-shirt, a ball cap, and a sprint die-cast…I walked up to the father and the little boy, and reached out to shake his hand and introduced myself…I told him a shortened version of what you’re reading now, and asked him if I could give his little boy a gift. He said yes (and THAT’S really when the tradition was born…Not sure what would have happened if he’d said ‘No’). I then gave the little boy the bag with his shirt & stuff, and shook HIS little hand...He was all smiles, and the dad looked like he wasn’t sure what just happened, or how to react...
I walked back to my seat and enjoyed the rest of the race watching the little boy…I don’t remember if I even watched anymore of the race…The Dad, a couple times, look up at me and smiled & nodded and tapped his chest and lipped ‘Thank You’…Never a clue who he was, or where they were from…I don’t even recall if I asked them their name…
So, every single time I come here, I do that…I don’t search out a particularly hardship case-looking father & son…I simply just let my attention wonder…And when I see a young father and his little boy sitting by themselves enjoying the race, and soon as there’s a break between heats, I make my trip…
It isn’t about attention…It’s about making some little boys trip to the races maybe a little more fun…And, also, hopefully, making the night of a young father who was maybe tryin’ hard and scrapin’, but, nonetheless, got his little boy to the races…
It’s also about special, special times for ME when I was that little boy, and my Dad was that father…It’s about LIVING memories, and MAKING memories…For a young father, and his little boy…And two middle-aged guys who STILL come to the races together as father & son.
THANK YOU for allowing me to put a smile on YOUR little boy’s face, and maybe make your night at the races together at least, hopefully, a little bit more fun, and a little more memorable…Enjoy.


Terry W. Stewart
Chief of Police
Bicknell Police Dept.

P. S.
OH, and my sister, when I got back to my seat and looked over at her, SHE was doin’ what I was before I realized that I was also being watched. "

When I get the pics from the parents I'll post them as/in the comments to this post (I was hoping to include them with the post, but couldn't wait to post this). Hardly anybody in the past has known that I've done this all along...The last time I went to see the Outlaws, I didn't even share it with the people I rode to the race with...I just quietly did it once I decided/picked who I was doing it for; and then just came and sat back down as if I'd just gone to the restroom and to get a pop...But I think it's time for me to share my tradition...I can hardly wait for the next race I go to at Haubstadt, and do it again...I love it. <3

w/ Garrie Weible, Cory Moreland, Crystal Stegall
5/18/16, 10:51 AM   #2
JarrettFarms73 is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 919

That's what I'm talking about!!

My brother and I are in our 40's, our dad is in his 70's. Going racing is great but the time and memories that come with it are PRICELESS! 30+ years walking a mail route broke down his knees so we sit in the front row at Kokomo between the flag stand and turn 1. (Our tradition) Any time he mentions letting us sit higher, it's a NO GO. He put his body through the ringer to make for an awesome life for us. An occasional dirt clod or rock is an easy price to pay to be there side by side. We love you, pops! You lurker, you.
~Heath Moreland
5/18/16, 3:52 PM   #3
big d
big d is offline

Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 98

What a great thing...brings back days when I went with my dad..during his racing yrs and after he retired.he's lookin over me now..and we are at the races together..always..indiana..the vbest races in the world..the greatest tracks and finest people on earth..Big d in bama
5 members like this post: dirt330, JarrettFarms73, jim goerge, speed bump, timmanis2000
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