Thursday, April 4, 2019

Part 3 - Le Connexion Francaise

Because I was always the only female photog at the track, I had to be smarter than the guys at getting an advantageous spot at the fences.  Once, at Pomona I inveigled the ESPN camera guy up on a platform to let me up there with him.   I looked down on the rest of them scattered along the right side of the track - blown engines throw to the left - and I thought, "Get these shots, guys?"

NASCAR had it's share of moments - Riverside - a guy coming out of the pits at speed lost a tire and I had to dodge rather hastily.  A pebble blew up from the track and just missed a bull's eye on a $400 lens.

About to walk into the pits at Ontario to get to the track, I was stopped by a NASCAR official who told me, "You cain' go in there, ma'am."  Annoyed, I pointed to my press pass and asked, "Why?"

"Oh, ma'am, yawl might heah some bad language."

Roaring with laughter I told him that I could outcuss a sailor, whereupon he drew himself up like a turkey, gave his wattles a shake and said, "Well then, ma'am, we doan' want you in our pits," turned and stalked away.

But I got even.  I shot a roll of NASCAR beer-bellied drivers struggling to get in through their car window.  

SCORE Off-rod Baja 500 and 1,000 were always a lot of fun.  They involved early hours.  At 5:30 a.m. I was walking through town (Ensenada) headed for the motorcycle start line because bikes always went out first.  There was no one else on the street except for me and a squad of uniformed and heavily-armed Mexican Navy men marching alng.  We nodded, but didn't smile.

The Long Beach Grand Prix officials ejection of photographers inside the Queen's Hairpin turn caused us to riot, thrusting our cameras in the air like a bunch of peasants with flaming torches, yelling our heads off.  The officials decamped; we didn't.

Tomorrow  - part 4 and The End

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