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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks,

I debated for a while before hittin' Jim up for the ability to post and talk with you. But after a bit, I realized that there are some things I really wanted to share.

I was introduced to this sport, and to you all, early in 2003, when in a four-day period, I went from a newly-graduated, journalistic hopeful (searching for anything that had a paycheck attached) in Kansas to your PR person at my first event in Palmdale.

From that first weekend when I was introduced to Lauchlin (my first rally driver!) and some other folks, I knew that I had found something worth sticking around for. From that first weekend and up to now, I worked my ass off for all of you in every way I could think of (and some I didn't know existed), in hopes that maybe something I could do for you would somehow give one of you, all of you, a means of furthering your rally careers, and more importantly, the sport overall as I continued to grow in my appreciation for it. (Of course the work I did wasn't just about you, but then again I'm pretty sure I didn't sign up to work next to Ghandi or Mother Theresa ;))

In turn for my efforts, many of you opened up and allowed me the chance to at least feel as comfortable as I could as I began my personal growth in the rally community and for that, I'm extremely grateful. Though I'd like to try, I won't name names in fear that I would forget too many and I don't want that to happen. You know who you are, so please accept my genuine thanks.

I read once that bad things happen because without them, you wouldn't be able to fully appreciate the good. Maybe that's why I'm so thankful for those of you who took time to educate me about your cars, about rally life and, on a few occasions, how to cope with a really, REALLY long night (the ones we sometimes manage to bring on ourselves!). However, that said, there are some out there who I'd like to address directly.

Again, I will not name folks outright and I will not use this space to rant, it's not my style. Yes, your words were heard, and from time-to-time read. But no matter how I received the comments, they didn't sting any less. Those of you who have taken the time to get to know me know that I am generally open to criticism and generally open to speaking one's mind. However, no one will ever be able to convince me that was what happened to myself and others. Straight up, often not well founded, character attacks are simply wrong, childish, non-productive (insert similar word here). It was almost as if some folks thought that little SCCA logo on the shirts we wore made us inhuman. I'm not sure when or how that idea got started, but I know damn good and well it wasn't by any of the folks I work with.

I HAVE NEVER been drug through more dirt in any other working situation than I was with some of you. I'd be fine with it (again, that's your opinion and I respect it) if I knew why some felt it was necessary. To this day, I haven't come up with a good reason for the attacks on me (you all know who you are) and the much worse treatment I saw some of my co-workers take. Why? What did that accomplish?

That said, this is now the community's baby. SCCA is out of the picture. The crutch is gone. The training wheels are off. Etc.... So somebody better F'n step up because how this sport recovers and comes back is now squarely on its community. I want so much to see this sport take off. It can. It has that potential, but folks will need to understand their roles. Find your leaders (which it appears that those steps are already beginning) and let them lead. The rest need to shut up and follow. IT'S NOT BAD TO DO THAT. In fact, it's amazing what happens when a forward direction is formed and EVERYBODY moves TOWARD that goal. Something else I read said DON'T BE AFRAID TO LET YOURSELVES BE GREAT. There's enough for everyone, I swear.

I sincerely hope that those folks who have been given the keys to this monster are really as psyched up to drive, and drive well, as much as I've heard. I have faith that the sport's interest is their primary goal. It has to be that way. I will step on the limb and say it is that way now (post SCCA) because we don't have much more to go on right at the moment.

WAKE UP CALL. EAST. WEST. NORTH. SOUTH. EVERYBODY. The time is now. We all just got #####-slapped and now it's time to move, productively.

No more us vs. them / us vs. us / me against you. Get this S.O.B rolling and see what happens. And yeah, let's have some fun with it. What's been said and done is exactly that...done. Move on.

Honestly, isn't that what we're all really looking for as we go tromping through the middle of f'n nowhere? Just a bit of fun? Let's find our roles, be happy with what we end up doing and make it that way.

For those of you who are planning on LSPR, let's make this one to remember. For those of you who are not, I hope to see you as soon as I can. And for all of you, one more time, THANKS.

Curtis K.
 

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Thank YOU, Curtis

The reason I'm involved in rally is quite literally because of the journalists. Ask and I'll tell you about it sometime.

I've been fortunate to meet several people who wrote rally reports for our series, including Andy Schupack, Ed Jacobs, Curtis Kitchen, and even the self-titled "Dark Lord" himself, Kurt Spitzner. Each had their own approach, their own style, and their own other jobs to compete with their limited time. Each put in gawdawful hours to promote our sport. I'm thankful to have known them, to perhaps have assisted them in some small way, and that we still have authors out there willing to write about something so incredibly cool and so incredibly unknown in this country.

I hope that if the new series has room and budget for someone to continue with writing and promotion that Curtis would be seriously considered as a candidate for the job.

Thank YOU, Curtis, for your continued support and tireless promotion of American rally.

[hr]

[p align=right]John Dillon
John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 

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RE: Thank YOU, Curtis

> I HAVE NEVER been drug through more dirt in any other working situation than I was with some of you. I'd be fine with it (again, that's your opinion and I respect it) if I knew why some felt it was necessary. To this day, I haven't come up with a good reason for the attacks on me (you all know who you are) and the much worse treatment I saw some of my co-workers take. Why? What did that accomplish?

I thought you got the kid gloves, you should have seen what Spitzner was put through!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
RE: Thank YOU, Curtis

Glenn,

I am aware of at least parts of what happened then. Kurt was one of the folks I primarily had reference too.

-ck
 

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Not to dwell on the negatives, Curtis, but so as you can get a few more ideas to help you sort things out.....

>I was introduced to this sport, and to you all, early in 2003
You missed a lot of the negative things that were coming down on a number of ralliers due to the changes desired by SCCA's 'point man'. It caused a lot of hard feelings, and drove some folks far away. Don't fool yourself into thinking that these were some marginal folks; many are or were good, solid long time rally types.

>To this day, I haven't
>come up with a good reason for the attacks on me (you all
>know who you are) and the much worse treatment I saw some of
>my co-workers take.
Please understand that I know and care for 2 very good and dedicated rally leaders who were treated as badly or worse by the prior SCCA rally leader. And, they suffered some very shabby treatment at the hands of other SCCA personnel. That treatment was not justifed; please accept that this happened and was just as bad as any of the poor treatment that you have observed and experienced. (My guess, and that's all it is, for your particular case, is that you just got burnt because you were near the general target area.)

>Find your leaders (which it appears
>that those steps are already beginning) and let them lead.
>The rest need to shut up and follow.
Sorry, but no, Curtis. If I had just dumbly gone along, and had SCCA continued, my '87 rally car would be on the list of cars to soon be put out of the SCCA national series. Strong and mnay voices were finally heard, and the rules (which I assume will transfer in the main to RA?) elminated the age ban. Leaders have already shown themselves; the ones I know are pretty open. I hope it stays that way.

(Alas, all I have written is negative in some way or another, but I want to say on the record that I am not trying to pee on your comments you due to the press we got for our MFR finish; yes it stung a bit, but was not anything I got upset or bothered about. I am trying to reply to some of your ideas and comments that I don't see as being quite right.)

Regards, and come see us sometime at an event; we won't bite!
Mark B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Mark,

I believe that one of the characteristics a TRUE leader has is the ability to listen to those he/she is leading; to be open to input as you are suggesting (if I read that right) is absolutely key.

The problem I saw (and didn't do a very good job communicating I guess) was that we had too many folks who thought just because they had an idea, no matter what it was that: 1)It should automatically be used and 2)Having an idea, good or bad, automatically put them on the same level as the those folks who were in leadership positions.

I'm saying there were too many "leaders" and not enough folks realizing their roles, which killed a system of effective channels of communication. And subsequently too many agendas pulled the sport in too many different directions, thwarting any potential progress. Sort of dog chasing its tail if you will.

In your case (your car almost being nullified), I will be first to say that not all ideas from the "top" are always good ones. You should feel free to voice your concerns, especially over something as important as that issue. I just think there wasn't a good system in place to handle such situations. Overall (I'm not saying your case specificially), it turned into whoever could yell the loudest or the longest about something and before long, everybody was yelling. Then, again, it turned into a dog chasing its tail and growth was again halted...

As far as the folks you know who got mistreated, I'm sorry that happened. It sucks big time. I don't know what was said by whom to whom, but again, why? Just why? Why did it have to be that way? It accomplishes nothing. If we move on from it and it doesn't happen (I'll even take not as much for now) again, then we call it a victory because we learned it's not a good way to go.

I just want this whole thing to be a learning experience so that it doesn't happen again, like it did about two decades ago, apparently, from what I know.

I want to move forward.....not in circles.

See ya sometime soon....

-ck
 

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I, for one, have appreciated Curtis's turn-around during this year. We really got down on him for equal coverage for us P-classers and he responded with reporters, fans and flat out preferenced coverage.

Thanks for a great season and allowing us to educate you in our sport (and class for that matter).

Mark Tabor
www.taborrallyteam.com
 

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I thought Curtis' releases were great.

We all shouldn't forget there are effectively several people out of jobs at some point (Sue, Curtis, Doug?)

Glenn
 

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RE: Thanks !!

- Thanks for great reporting! The fact you got SCCA Rally on the front pages of SPEED-TV.com was very important, too.
- I didn't realize you're a rookie (!). You're the best rally reporter since Tim Cline, and that was long time ogo...

- To defend two-time-looser Kurt, who first run down "American Touring Car Series" and now ProRally, must be you think he's a nice guy. He is and I and many others agree with that. He also was totally glueless how to run rally series.
 
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