August 1986

David E. Davis, Jr.

Item: What I believe to be a reprint of a gorgeous old poster for the 1953 Golden Gate Road Races, held May 16-17 of that year. I dreamed of running at Golden Gate. California really seemed like the big time to a beginning road racer, even more so than Europe at that stage of my development. An unknown reader sent the poster, and the person who opened the mail that day lost his/her name and address. I hope that the donor contacts me. I’d like to express my gratitude in person.

Item (south wall): A framed set of “Dan Gurney for President” campaign bumper stickers and lapel buttons from our abortive attempt to run the too-young Gurney in 1964. Ah, what might have been.

There are forty-some-odd pieces hanging on my walls, including the items mentioned, ranging from autographed photos of Jim Clark and Graham Hill to a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300Sc radiator grille. Paintings, caricatures, photographs, old license plates, and a reproduction of a want ad from the Times of London, soliciting recruits for a 1914 Antarctic expedition. It stirs me every time I spot it up there. It says: “MEN WANTED for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success--Ernest Shackleton.”

The ad pulled like crazy. It is said that guys were lined up around the block the next morning. I like to think that I’d have been lined up with them.

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Good, I stil have access to this via "Thus Spake David E" or I would have lost it forever, having discarded the issue it was originally a part of. A pack rat of the Davis scale I am obviously not. For my money, this was David E at his best. Reading it again was a joy.

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