Hot Rods On The Mississippi Gulf Coast – (1953-1957) The Early Years

Hot Rodding was a new sport where anyone with a car could prove how fast they were, if you loved cars this was the place for you! The American public was no stranger to Hot Rod Racing. Hot Rod Racing first became popular in California after World War II with newly coined words such as “stripped-down” and “souped-up”. This was a time for strictly thrills, not any more than that. These were serious young men, and some not-so-young men who spent hours rebuilding motors and listening to safety lectures and watching films on safe driving. On the Mississippi Gulf Coast during the 1950s car enthusiast and teen-aged kids formed Hot Rod Clubs such as the Chariots, Coasters, Road Rebels, and Pace Makers. What was the difference between the Chariots & Coasters? The Chariots were organized in January 1956, with the purpose of providing directed activities in the maintenance and operation of hot rods. The Coasters organized Oct 4, 1954. Holding a charter with the National Hot-Rod Association made up of Keesler Field Men. The club was organized for on-the-base military personnel and their dependents.


Before there was a drag strip nearby were one could find the Keesler Auto Club (Coasters) running on drag strips, such as state-wide drag races held at Jackson’s William’s Airport and in Florida. On July 30, 1955 the Keesler Auto Club entered five cars in the competition, and took first, second, and third places in the stock class, first place in sports car class, and first place in the modified class.


Drag Strips were needed for the increasing popularity of the sport. Also it is possible the Keesler Auto Club was tired of traveling such far distances. So what did they do? They liked what they saw at Jackson and did the same thing. On December 29, 1956 the first drag racing event in the Biloxi area was staged at Keesler Air Force Base. Quarter-mile speed runs were held on the Northeast-Southwest Runway. The event was a success pulling in as many racers as the Jackson races, and more. On February 23, 1957 a second drag race was held at Keesler with a 1903 Cadillac, and 1900 McIntyre entered by George Ohr of Biloxi.


A push for a permanent home for a drag strip had been in the making for years. Culminating four years of combined and united efforts by many Gulf Coast citizens, organized automobile, and motorcycle clubs a Drag Strip was constructed. The Gulf Coast Drag Strip was sanctioned by ministers, public officials and civic clubs. Earl C. Nolan lead the project as president of the drag strip and within two months the Gulf Coast Drag Strip was built for 30,000 dollars.

On Aug 18, 1957 the first event took place.

September 8, 1957 the Grand Opening took place, won by J.D. Gagliano of New Orleans, LA in his flame ’34 Hot Rod Coupe.

Ray Butterfield, manager of Radio Station WLOX, served as master of ceremonies, and Beat One Supervisor Dewey Lawrence cut the ribbon to officially open the racing program. Brig. Gen. John R. Sutherland, Keesler Air Force Base commander, Brig. Gen. John R. Fowler, Keesler AFB, Mayor Laz Quave and Commissioner Dominic Fallo of Biloxi, Deputy Sheriff George Rosetti, and Earl Nolan, president of Gulf Coast Drag Strip. Inc., were among those introduced to the crowd with a message about the facility.

Earl C. Nolan president, Gulf Coast Drag Strip, Inc. said: “Hundreds of boys in the State of Mississippi are overwhelmed with the desire to create and build their own car. This new Drag Strip was built for these budding young mechanics and engineers. Their skilled hands and scientific minds have created and produced machines which show outstanding ingenuity in action. They have desperately been searching for an organization or group of individuals to represent and assist them in their struggle for a Drag Strip and for acceptance of drag racing as the Newest of Sports. Boys can now safely drive to any speed within their capabilities with a feeling of confidence, on our new Standing Start Quarter-Mile Drag Strip. I wish to thank the many Coast residents and many others throughout the state for their great interest and unlimited assistance that they have given me and my colleagues.”

Little did they know what they were building… or the history they were creating, which all lead up to racing some of drag racing’s biggest stars, and many of the most legendary Hot-Rod machines of all time on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This is the story of the birth of drag racing in Mississippi, and the Biloxi Dragway, a stepping stone to Today’s Classic Cars and Hot Rod Popularity!

Site Seeing the Dallas and Fort Worth Area

When visiting the Dallas/Fort Wort area there many accommodations available, from family suites to RV resorts. For example, the Texan RV Ranch in Mansfield has 159 full hook sites with cable TV, swimming pool, ranch house for group functions and convenient store. In addition, this campground gives one the country setting with the city convenience. Furthermore, The Texan RV Resort is ideally located to Dallas, Arlington, and Fort Worth.

The 190-mile drive from Mansfield South to Burnett where Longhorn Cavern State Park is located, an underground wonder created by the dissolving and cutting action of an ancient river. Here one can take the guided tour which is ninety minutes and covers just over a mile of the more than eight miles of cavern. The State Park if free to enter, yet one has to pay for the Cavern tour. Once inside, one will discover the wonders of what nature can do and provide for our enjoyment. Learning about the history of the Cavern is quiet fascinating. While some areas of the cavern are open, others are pretty tight and very attractive.

Everyone should spend at least one day in downtown Dallas. Fair Park just South of downtown covers 277 acres and has one of the worlds’ largest collections of art décor. The park is full of Museums, amusement venues and gardens. The biggest surprise was the Cotton Bowl stadium being in the park. Without a doubt, one could spend days at Fair park. The Dallas Heritage village just a few blocks from downtown was very educational, as well as some history of Texas. The historical society moved old buildings from around the state dating back to the late 1800’s to this location. Well worth the visit. Dallas has an abundance of places to see and things to do for all families to enjoy.

South Fork Ranch in Parker just North of Dallas is a must see for anyone that followed the Dallas TV series. A gentleman named Duncan built the home for his wife and three children. When he was approached about filming there, he told them no. A week later the network showed back up and he agreed; however, there was to be no filming inside and they could only film three months out of the year, June, July and August. The scenes from the outside were filmed here, while the inside was filmed in California in a studio. The ground floor of the mansion portrays many aspects of the television series, yet the upstairs only has one bedroom which is set up as JR’s. In the visitor center, one will find memorabilia from the series.

Downtown Arlington’s River Legacy City Park, is ideal for a family picnic as well as for walking the pets. This park has off-road trails for bike riding, as well as paved walking trails. Crystal Canyon Natural Area has only a few man-made items available and a parking lot for just nine vehicles. Walking the trail gives one the feeling of being deep in the woods, yet you are right in town. A great place for lunch is Kincaid’s Hamburger’s.

The Dallas Cowboys play all their home games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. Although many people aren’t sports fans, this is a must-see place. The stadium is the largest indoor sports venue in the world. If you place the Statue of Liberty on the playing field, it won’t touch the roof. The stadium itself, has no bad seats, for there are no support columns inside the stadium. The structure is supported by two one quarter mile arches, which are anchored in 125 feet of concrete. Unlike many stadiums, the playing field is fifty feet below the street level. This stadium hosts more than one hundred events each year.

Just at the edge of downtown Fort Worth is the Fort Worth Water Gardens. Here one will find many types of water features with magnificent landscaping. The water garden is a place to just sit and relax in a tranquil environment. Log Cabin Village, also located in Fort Worth displays nine log homes from 19th century Texas. Here one can leave the present behind and experience the past through log homes and artifacts.

A must see in Fort Worth is the Stockyard Historical District. Learn all about the old west on the walking tour and museums. Relax for a while and watch a live rodeo and old west show in the coliseum. Witness the world’s only Texas Longhorn cattle drive right down main street, afterwards get a beverage from one of the old west saloons. Have the kids visit the Cowtown cattle pen maze and animal petting area. Or just relax under an umbrella in front of the Livestock Exchange building. For some authentic Texas Barbeque, try Riscky’s Barbeque located right at the Stock Yard.

For the person which enjoys the beauty of blooming flowers, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden is a must place to visit. A leisurely walk around the gardens takes about one hour. Here one will find many species of flowers and tress as well as artificial flowers and animals.

Located in Fresco is the Ford Center at The Star, home of the Dallas Cowboys training facility and Corporate offices. Here one will find an indoor practice field as well as an outdoor field. The indoor field hosts High School football games as well as other events. During events the indoor field and surrounding seating are available to the public. Other than during an event, one must pay for the guided tour. The tour will include, both practice fields, weight room, lunch room, film room, radio station, and interview room. Other areas shown, will cover the history of the Dallas Cowboys and the main lobby where their Superbowl Trophy’s are on display, as well as one ring from each Superbowl victory. One may take still pictures of anything in the building during the tour; however, no pictures are allowed in any area there are players present. Visitor’s aren’t allowed to speak, wave or approach any player.

All the above are year-round attractions one can visit along with many other activities. In addition, there are seasonal attractions as well. Without a doubt, the Dallas/Fort Worth area will keep a family entertained for weeks.


Where Do I Start With My Family History?

I have had a number of friends who have recently asked me about doing their genealogy. Usually, the comment that I hear is, “I have no idea where to start!” or “All my ancestors are gone” or “No one really remembers anything in our family.” And my all time favorite line especially when it comes to Irish records, “all those records have been destroyed so we’ll never know!”

Well I am here to tell you that even if no one remembers who your great grandparents were, all is not lost. As a matter of fact, there are many records that are available which will help you in your research.

So, let’s take one of the questions I hear often, “I have no idea where to start!” Simple answer, start with yourself! Put your information down first. Add your name, date of birth, place of birth and if you want baptismal information. Remember, there will come a time when someone someday will want to know about you! Add whatever information you would like to add such as your schooling, interests, and perhaps where you vacationed and your occupations.

Most of us know who our biological parents are and perhaps have some record of their lives. If they are still alive and you don’t have much information to start, ask them questions about their parents, dates of birth and death and where they may have grown up. Obviously, if you are adopted, the search may be more difficult but depending upon the state you were born, there are some options as well.

Once you have some information gathered, keep them organized by using a pedigree and family group chart either going the paper route that you can get copies of at many libraries or download online or using one of the computer programs that are available. I use Family Tree Maker but there are others that might work for you as well. You might find at this point, you may have already collected enough information to post two or three generations or even more than that.

Start looking at some of the online free sites such as or National archives ( You can probably find some valuable information from records such as the U.S. Census. Pinning down a location of an ancestor from a census enumeration will then allow you to search county history books from that region, obituaries and even vital records such as birth, marriage and death certificates. Church records from that region would also be a valuable source. I would not begin to check any overseas records until you have exhausted almost all possibilities in the U.S. first. There are a number of other online sites such as, and which may also be helpful although you will need a subscription for these sites.

Many believe that Irish records no longer exist and your chances of finding anything are slim to none. That rumor is absolutely not true. Not all records were destroyed in the Four Courts Fire in Dublin in 1922. We are now discovering some copies of church records that were never sent to the Four Courts for archiving and a few censuses prior to 1900 still exist and are now showing up online. There are also a number of census substitutes that are also available online that were also archived outside of the Four Courts building.

What might also be helpful for the new researcher is a workshop or course which is provided by many libraries and even some societies provide an online workshop. Some programs such as the National Institute for Genealogical Studies also provide certificate and non-certificate programs and courses for the family historian. If you’re ready to take that trip to Ireland, the Ulster Historical Foundation also provides two Family History Conferences each year from its office in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The conference includes research at the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland and a day trip to Dublin for researching at the National Archives of Ireland, Registry of Deeds and the National Library of Ireland.

Well, that is a lot of information but once you get rolling, many of these records will become very familiar to you. Just remember, the key to starting your family research starts with YOU!

Motor Racing on TV: Formula One and Indycar

The global reach of television has given motor racing enthusiasts an opportunity to view both the traditional European-based Formula One competition as well as the Indy series long popular in the USA. Formula One racing has always been on tracks that include most of the features of ordinary motor roads, especially tight bends and moderate inclines, whereas Indy racing was for many years confined to special race tracks formed in an oval with banked curves at each end. Since 2005, however, Indy racing has increasingly included some events on road and street courses and these have come to predominate with only about one-third of races now taking place on oval tracks. In this respect, the two motor sports seem to have become more alike, but the contrast between Formula One and Indy racing on the oval track remains.

From a European perspective, sport in the USA in general seems to tend to the fast and spectacular, whereas Europeans, the British especially, take more interest in longer slower competitions with intermittent action. The contrast is perhaps most stark when comparing baseball with cricket. So it seems to be with motor racing, with the oval track in the USA allowing continuous near all-out speed, and the tight curves and chicanes of Formula One bringing the cars almost to rest, as, for example, at the Monaco Grand Prix event held annually around the narrow streets of the principality.

Indy racing on the oval track certainly presents a unique spectacle. The wide track allows several cars to race side-by-side and there is plenty of opportunity for overtaking. With the drivers maintaining almost flat-out speed, the race depends essentially on engine power. It all looks very dangerous, and this no doubt is the essence of its appeal. Crashes, when they occur, often involve multiple vehicles and are sometimes horrendous. Fortunately, with modern safety features, fatalities and serious injuries have been much reduced and this is an advance shared by Formula One.

Formula One is less visible to the spectator and the television viewer. Only at the start of the race can all the cars be seen together. For the rest of the race, the cars pass in and out of view in twos, threes and fours. Without a constant commentary it becomes impossible to know who is winning, as passing cars are soon found to be on different laps of the race. And whereas on the oval track the race leader is almost always in view, in Formula One the television cameras seem to ignore the leading car and concentrate instead on closely fought battles for fourth place or ninth place in the hope of recording a rare overtaking. Formula One presents a more difficult challenge to television, a challenge shared by Indy on-street races. For those who want shear spectacle on TV there is nothing to compare to the oval track.

Hathni Mata Waterfall – A Trip to Mother Nature

The Hathni Mata Waterfall is one of the most amazing tourist attraction in the western part of India and is known for its serene environment The water stream comes down from a height of over a 100 meters and is wrapped within the lush greenery of the area.

If you happen to visit Gujarat for a tour, include Hathni Mata Waterfall in your itinerary. The memories that you take home from here will be worth cherishing for the rest of your life.

Best time to visit the Hathni Mata waterfall

You can visit the Hathni Mata waterfall at any given time of the year. However, considering that it is a waterfall, the best time to visit is during the monsoon season. The water flow is at its peak and the waterfall is fullest and most active during the wet days. But yes, it would be great to know that this place receives high footfall as both locals and other travelers flock to it. Hence, avoid visiting during the weekends.

Other tourist attractions near Hathni Mata waterfall

If you are thinking of including the Hathni Mata waterfall into your Gujarat holiday planner, you should include a couple of other places also. Here are a few other places near Hathni Mata waterfall that you can visit:

Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary

The Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at around 70 kilometers away from Vadodara. It is like a detached natural forest surrounding that embarks on the purest form of Mother Nature. Cell phone connectivity is lower during most of the time inside this sanctuary and bird watching is the most opted activity you can indulge in. This wildlife sanctuary is also the home of many tribal people who find it safe and worthy of living in.

Pavagadh Hill

The Pavagadh hill is famous for the Temple of Mother Kali, which happens to be the oldest temple in the area and has its origin dating back to the 11th century. The topmost spot of the hill is around 762 meters (approx) above the sea level and the temple is situated right there. In order to reach the temple, you will need to walk for about five kilometers along the unmanned terrain. Alternatively, you can take a ropeway cable car to the top of the hill from the midpoint.

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park

The Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is ranked among the UNESCO World Heritage sites and has many archaeological excavations from the old heritage properties in this region. The Kalikamata Temple is also a popular place to visit here.

Your tour at the Hathni Mata Waterfall will be worth every moment spent as the serene surrounding and other points of interests in this place, which are also rich in heritage, make it the most compelling and wonderful places of western India.


Importance Of Genetic Testing

Genetic testing consists of a range of tests on samples of DNA taken from hair, blood, saliva, amniotic fluid and other tissues. A few hundred hereditary tests are being used as of now, and more are being developed.


These are the various areas where hereditary tests play a prominent role:

• To discover the possibility of an unborn child inheriting a hereditary disease.

• To check if the individual has an ailment and if he or she can pass on the said hereditary malady to their posterity.

• Genetic tests are proposed for screening fetuses for detecting possible diseases.

• There are various diseases in our body whose symptoms aren’t externally visible. Through DNA tests, such hidden disorders can be spotted, and a course of treatment can easily be determined.

• Genetic tests are additionally recommended to affirm a malady. There are cases wherein a symptom might not be enough to warrant a particular illness. Genetic tests, therefore, allow you to be on the safer side of things.


Genetic tests are of utmost importance in situations like:

• Identifying the medical problem

With the aid of genetic screening test, physicians can identify a gene that’s “off-colour”; i.e. the genes which are/might be the reason for the medical ailment that you are suffering from. For example, liver issues can be associated with changes in the MTM1 gene and threatening hypothermia can be due to mutations in RYR1.

• Course of treatment

Genetic testing is presumably one of the innovative and most encouraging fields in medical world. With the advent of gene testing, the new treatments are even more specific and accurate as they are based on exact mutation within a gene, particularly in cancer treatment. Furthermore, in the pediatric world, there are medications for kids with cystic fibrosis that works for kids with particular changes in the CFTR quality. This is the world of genetically personalized medicine, and it’s now available in your clinics and doctor’s facilities. This testing guarantees effectiveness of the treatment.

• Prenatal Testing

Pre-birth genetic testing has always been a controversial topic. Prenatal genetic diagnostic testing largely affects an unborn child. For e.g., tumours like Retinoblastoma can be fostered due to changes in the RB1 gene. Do you know that such tumours can obscure a child’s vision shortly after birth if it isn’t immediately dealt with? During such unfortunate turn of events, treatments can commence right after delivery.

• Family planning

Genetic diagnosis can help the individuals in comprehending how certain disorders are passed on to generations. With genetic tests, families are aware of the potential risks of having a child with disorders. This valuable information guide people in making the right decisions about having kids.

• Research

This is yet another highly debated topic. Genetics is an exciting field that is waiting to be explored. As the individuals who undergo genetic tests rise, the insight gained can be enormous which leads to the inception of new drugs and cures.

Genetic tests can sometimes surprise you and may lead you towards more questions. It is necessary that you consult healthcare professionals and genetic counsellors and work together. Sometimes genetic screening can be conducted on a large number of individuals to reveal the people who are at high risk of having specific disorders. Genetic screening and testing often work hand in hand to save lives and one should not undermine it. As mentioned, prenatal diseases and puzzling ailments can be effectively diagnosed for a happy and healthy future.

Types of Tyres Suitable for Different Racing Conditions

Racing is an incredibly tense sport. It may not take a toll on you because you are always sitting but the car will definitely be affected. With all sports there are different types of sport equipment that could be used. For racing, tyres would be considered important.

Racing tyres always have a low profile. The lower the profile the faster and more stable the car will be able to move. During rainy weather conditions you might want to get a tyre with a small form of tread; provided there is some friction to keep it firmly on the track. The more water there is on the road the higher chances the car will skid.

In hot conditions a normal performance tyre will work well. The less tread the better. The only problem with extremely hot conditions is that with increasing heat the tyres could burst causing you to spin out.

It would be wise to not use all-seasons tyres for all types of races. Rather use the tyres that are specifically designed for each weather condition installed on your car before the race. When you have all-seasons tyres you don’t have a proper grip or you could have too little grip.

When deciding on performance wheels you have to look at where you may be driving. If it’s not inside an arena and just to show off to people on a normal road, the tread-less tyres are an absolute no. Normal roads are not designed for smooth rubber because of rain, snow and any other extreme weather conditions. Rather stick to the normal low profiles with the necessary tread depth.

There are three main types of tyres for racing conditions that you’ll find at a tyre supplier. Slick tyres have the most rubber in contact with the tar as they are the ones without treads. Rain tyres have an arrow-like tread pattern to guide the water away. Dry Asphalt tyres are perfect for the hot seasons with their slight tread as this can allow a small amount of cool air to pass through.

Tyres are made specifically for the different forces and weather conditions and they are designed to endure particular conditions. Make sure that you use the correct type for any driving circumstance whether it’s for racing or for normal day to day driving. Keep in mind that they need to be checked often whenever you have completed a tense driving session such as racing.

Visiting Amarillo

Amarillo know for its cattle and cowboys is a city located in the panhandle of Texas, and is a city worth spending some time in. The city offers great restaurants, museums, and State Parks are located close by. The world-famous Big Texan Steak Ranch built in 1960 on route 66 soon became famous across the country, the sign of the long-legged cowboy has become a national landmark. Another landmark just West of Amarillo right on route 66 next to Interstate 40 is Cadillac Ranch. Ten Caddies were buried nose deep into the dirt lined from West to East. The cars have been in the ground as art longer than they were on the highway. Seven days a week, rain or shine, people trudge through the cow pasture to put their mark on the cars.

What better place than Amarillo to have the Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. Here one can read the plaques on the wall of fame of people and horses that has shaped America. In addition, one can learn about the different types of horses in many other countries, as well as the proper grooming, feeding and care of the American Quarter Horse. To tour this facility is very rewarding and educational. The RV Museum displays the technology changes which have occurred over the years in the camping industry. Also, one can view the displays of vintage motorcycles, bicycles, the mockup of a 1950’s gas station and vending machines. Everything Jack Sisemores Traveland RV Museum has on display has been restored to its original state, quite amazing. While here, take a look at some of the smallest travel trailers on today’s market to large fifth wheels as well as all classes of drivable campers

The Palo Duro Canyon State Park, just thirty miles South of Amarillo is the second largest canyon in the country. The canyon is about 120 miles long and 20 miles wide. The deepest point is about 800 feet. The road which leads down into the canyon is about eighteen miles round trip. Driving the canyon road allows for one to see up close the colorful and rugged beauty of the canyon walls. Throughout the canyon are campgrounds for RV’s as well as locations for tent campers. What better way to experience life in a canyon than by camping? Inside the canyon one can explore more than thirty miles of trails by hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding trails. The canyon is home to wildlife such as Turkeys, deer, Coyotes, Road-runners and many species of snakes and lizards. To really experience what the canyon has to offer, one needs to spend a week in the canyon. To experience the heart of the canyon, take the Texas 207 scenic drive from Claude to Silverton. This quiet 48-mile stretch of road passes by where the 1963 Paul Newman Classic Hud was filmed.

If time permits, take a road trip to Liberal Kansas. On the trip the landscape will go from flat land to large rolling hills and back to the open plains. In Liberal tour Dorothy’s House and the Land of Oz. The Land of Oz is a 5000 square foot animated building which displays Dortheys’ trip along the yellow brick road back home to Kansas. The house is a replica of Dorothy’s home from the movie, The Wizard of Oz. To experience some history, head out to the Liberal airport and tour the Mid-America Air Museum. Marvel at the World War ll fighters along with planes from the Korean and Vietnam wars.