So we left Nacogdoches, TX on the Thursday before Easter. We are now heading toward the Dallas/Fort Worth area hoping to get a job at Texas Motor Speedway. We detoured around Dallas to the east to check out Garland, TX. This is where Marmon trucks were built. Mark used to own a Marmon. The plant is now owned by International and we didn’t see any signs of the old Marmon plant left, as they are out of business.

We got to Texas Motor Speedway at 4 pm. We pulled up in front of the speedway club tower and walked inside. We were greeted by a man who worked there. We told him that we were travelers looking for employment. He said he could point us in the right direction, but wasn’t sure if they were hiring. Then he asked us if we had ever seen the speedway before and when we said no, he took us to the top floor and into the Grand Banquet Hall overlooking the entire facility. There was an Indy car practicing on the track. What a cool place to take pictures. Sometimes, it seems as if we are just in the right place at the right times.

We spoke to the director of operations and he said they had all the help they needed, but that we could get in line with the other campers that were waiting to camp for the week and stay that night for free. So we got in line, pulled out our lawn chairs, and sat on the side of the road. Other campers were out milling around and as one walked by, we spoke. Turns out, we met Randy. Randy sets up a 1800 square foot tent that houses the famous jello-shot bar called the Turn Left Club. Randy offered to pay for our camping for the week if we would help set up the tent and help make 5006 jello shots (every year they do one more than the last year). So of course we said yes. Turns out, we have had one of the best weeks of the trip so far.

We met a great group of Texans who have shown us the real meaning of southern hospitality. They run the bar on donations from the hundreds of people who frequent it every night during race weeks. It generates enough that we were given race tickets and put a little jingle in our pockets. Craig, the “DJ”, is a real character who keeps the crowd rowdy and happy and his son Darryl is a fine and decent young man, and the place wouldn’t run without Ol’ Sam. Daryl gave us some good tips on where to go in New Mexico as this is where he rides dirt bikes – we will let you know how this works out.

We met Troy who runs the power plant up the road that uses the gas turbines that Tracy’s father helped develop when he was an engineer for GE. Troy gave us inside tips on where to go around Dallas/Fort Worth and did not steer us wrong. We watched Longhorns herded through the streets by the stockyards in Fort Worth right besides the worlds largest honky-tonk “Billy Bobs” as well as seeing some of Texas wine country in Grapevine. Troy also recommended going to the hotel “Gaylord Texan”. Man, what a place. On the way we saw the Bureau of Engraving and Printing where we toured for free – sorry no cameras allowed. They print $568 million a day – a serious operation. On the way back, we found out that the track was only 3 miles from Justin, TX, the home of Justin Boots. Troy also recommended a restaurant called Babes that serves nothing but plate sized Chicken Fried Steak and whole fried chickens plus bottomless sides. One meal fed us Dinner, lunch the next day, and dinner again. We also met Kendall and his family who offered us a place to come visit in Arkansas. We feel as if we have made some real friends.

You know how sometimes you meet people and it seems as if you’ve known them forever? Sometimes you can spend years working side by side in the same building with the same people and never really become friends, but strike out on the road in your RV and just by dumb luck, find people and situations that are truly priceless.

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