I Need Presidential Help!


The White House (photo courtesy Leon Hammack)

Dear Mr. President;

Dude, it is Monday morning on the island of Kauai.  The Martinsville NASCAR race was postponed Sunday because of rain all up and down the East Coast.  The race was scheduled for the Green Flag to fall at 12 noon EDT, 6am Hawaiian time on FOX.

Well I set my alarm for 5:50 am so that I can get up and be prepared for the beatin’ and bangin’ that ocur at this track.  Well I find the FOX affiliate channel on my hotel TV only to find that these clowns in Hawaii are not showing the race on the live feed!

Oooohhhh nnnnoooo, it is much more important to show the cackameme “Morning in Hawaii Show” on FOX.  Who gives a Rats Butt about the morning traffic on H1, or at Punch Bowl, or at the Ala Moana shopping center!  Do I care about the lack of rain on the Islands or do I need to know that the “trade winds” will be decreasing over the next few day?  Absolutely NOT!

Now FOX is showing “Live with Regis and Kelly”.  Come on are these two programs more important than a good quality redneck broadcast of NASCAR at Martinsville?? Are the programmers for real?  Who are they kidding?

This is the second time that I have had NASCAR withdrawals at this hotel!  Last summer the Kauai Marriott hotel had trouble with their satellite provider and I could not get ESPN on the TV for a race.  To say that I had a “Chapped Butt” last summer was an understatement!  Now to be forced to watch “Live with Regis and Kelly”, instead of NASCAR from Martinsville, I am now feeling the need once again for my Boudreaux’s Butt Paste!

Dude, is there any influence that you, the chick that is the Speaker of the House or that other Dude in the Senate, Harry Reid, could exert with Rupert Murdoch, owner of FOX, to get the switch flipped so that I can please see the remaining part of the NASCAR race from Martinsville?  Dude, it important to me that I am able to watch the race!  Dude, can you help me out?



As you have seen from time to time I get very sentimental in my ramblings, I do not apologize for that.  It is just part of Leon being Leon!

The one thing that I have learned with the loss of my father is ,that you always let the ones that you love know just how you feel!  You never know if that is the last time you will have a conversation with them.  I never want to say to myself, I wished that I would’ve……..!  Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to talk about and write about how I feel about my loved ones and just what they mean to me!

So what is so special about March 28th, you are wondering about now.  Well I am about to tell you.  On this day more years ago than she is willing to admit, my best friend, the love of my life, my beautiful wife, Karen Arline Hammack was born in Muskegon, MI!  I know that she has this sometimes thick Mississippi accent, I will explain later!

Little did she know that the first thirty four years of her life was merely a test and some preparation for dealing with the remaining years of her life with me!  I have often repeated the story of our meeting in the Houston Intercontinental Airport Eastern Airlines crew lounge, almost 28 years ago.  Our meeting was right out of a scripted movie of  a young, some might say, cocky, hot shot airline pilot and the beautiful flight attendant that was far too pretty to be in the airline pilot’s league!

They began dating and soon married.  All was good in this fairly tale world for a few years.  But the story turns south after six years, as sometimes it will, and both parties decide to go their separate ways.  But as fate would have it, they were re-united through a few coincidences after a 16 year separation.  Karen likes to tell people that I went on a 16 year trip!!

But  I digress a bit!

March 28th is the birthday of my best friend, my worst critic, and the love of my life, Karen!  Unfortunately I will not be home to celebrate her birthday.  Even if I were to be home, she is heading to Atlanta to be with her family, sister Kathy who is also having a birthday, son Mark, and great nice Victoria, her immediate family!


Even though we will not be together for your birthday, I hope that you have a great birthday!!

I want you to know that you are my best friend, the love of my life, and I love you very much!

You have made a very big difference in my life, thank you!!

March 23,1978 A Life Changing Day!


I have written about a few dates in my life that has forever changed who I am.  This is date, March 23,1979, is a day that made a huge in my, then, young life.  I had just turned 27 years old the month previous and was a young U.S. Air Force Captain flying in the left seat of a Lockheed built C-141 Starlifter out of Travis AFB, CA.  I was, as you have often heard me say, tongue in cheek, “living the dream”!  But at this point in my life I really thought that I was truly “living the dream”!!

The birth of my second son, Jeremy Leon Hammack, on March 23, 1978, was a very joyous occasion!  Because Jeremy was a Cesarean birth, his mother and I picked his birthday from a list of days that the hospital at Travis AFB performed those surgeries.  So it was decided that March 23 was going to be the day.

Reliving, and now writing about, that day stirs up emotions that are as fresh today as they were on the afternoon of March 23, 1978…..32 years ago.  It is quite unexplainable!  The doctor tried to arrange for me to be in the surgery room and had briefed me on what to expect, but at the last minute those plans fell through the cracks.  Now, 32 years later, I think that I am oh so glad that I was not allowed into the surgery room for the Cesarean birth!  I am quite sure that they would have had to pick me up off the floor, ’cause I really can’t stand to see blood, cutting, and all that kind of medical  stuff!!  I honestly admit that I am a WIMP!!!

So now it your birthday, Jeremy.  I am having a very difficult time realizing that you are 32 years old!  I still have these visions in my head ( I am a little bit prejudice) of this blonde hair and blue eyed little boy who was soooo cute and could melt the heart of anyone!  Now you are a man with children of your own!  It is your turn to make a difference in someone’s live, Cole and Hannah specifically!

I will admit that our relationship has hit many potholes during this life’s journey, been to the very edge of the cliff during these 32 years, but through it all we somehow have been able to rebuild the relationship.  I will also admit to you that I have had many shortcomings as a parent, and at times my learning curve was monumentally steep.  There are times I know that you thought that I have failed you miserably, and I did!  Those failures weren’t from a lack of effort, however.

Jeremy, I want you to know that I love you from the bottom of my heart.  I know that things have not always been the way that you thought or wanted them to be, but that is life.  Sometimes our expectations far exceed the reality of results.  Remember what I have always told you, “Life is a journey, not a guided tour!”  Life is what you make of it!  Additionally, it not what you take with you when you leave this Earth, it is what you leave here when your are gone!

Now that you have two young children you will see just how difficult, at times, it is to be a father.  You also have the opportunity to correct some of the things that I failed at in fatherhood, now that you have Cole and Hannah.

So, my son, enjoy your birthday!  Relish in the thought that this day will never come around again and make your 32nd birthday a day that you will always remember. 

But most importantly remember that your dad loves you unconditionally, no matter what!

Be a positive force in the lives of Cole and Hannah.  Always let them know that you love them unconditionally!!  It will pay dividends in the end!


Recuperating from racing??


(photo courtesy Leon Hammmack)

Well, I am back at work after about three weeks of some extraordinary racing!  Speedweek at Daytona and the Daytona 500 was an excellent time.  The only drawback was that the temperature was uncommonly cold for February.  That made for some really unorthodox clothes combinations for Jim and myself!  We were dressing a lot like our father!!!  ( Inside joke, sorry Dad!)  Ol Arch was not a fashion statement by any stretch of the imagination!

The drive back from Daytona was quite an adventure (read Jimmy and Leon’s Great Adventure) to say the least!

The few days over at Tuscon’s USA Raceway for the USAC midgets, sprint cars, and silver crown races were cool!  No it was down right cold!  The weather didn’t cooperate much.  However, the racing was really great.

Then the trip to and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was equally cold.

But the one thing about RVing with friends and family, the company is ALWAYS good!  Karen and I had a wonderful time camping at Tuscon and Las Vegas with Jim, Edie, Jerry, as well as Dan and Bernie Clapp. I would like to thank everyone who help ed to prepare the meals we ate at both Tuscon and Las Vegas, those people would be Karen, Edie, Jerry, Berni, Dan, and Jim “the short order fry cook”!!

Can’t wait till next year to do it all over again!