On Wednesday, March 7th, Carl & I and Mike & Lynn Kuhl, got on an airplane at LAX, headed to Miami, ultimately landing in Gainesville, Florida. The reason... Kuhl and Olson were being inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
At our layover in Miami, we ate lunch and I tried a Jamaican Lager,
which was very good.
Us in Miami airport.
There was a bar just for Mojitos, I didn't try one.
Kuhl and Olson, traveling together once again.
We got to Gainesville just in time to eat dinner at Sonny's BBQ, one of Carl's "must do's" during this trip. He preplanned everwhere he will be eating. I do love ribs, so I enjoyed Sonny's. Checked that one off.
On Thursday we decided to visit the Garlit's Drag Racing Museum in Ocala. Lynn and I wanted to see some of Florida and also an alligator. At the exit to the museum there was a big sign reading 13' Alligator. We stopped and checked it out. Fake alligator at the fruit stand.
Inside the store there were plenty of alligator "gator" heads.
Who wants one of those in their house?
We toured the Garlits Museum and I took some video, so my friends who couldn't be there could see what's inside.
Below are 2 dragsters that my dad, Roy Fjastad,
built for Gary Cochran and for John Wiebe.
Carl and Mike's names have already been engraved on the monument on the grounds of the Garlit's compound, which happens to be massive.
Carl is patiently waiting for his photo with Mike, I had to add this one.
The proud honorees.
Carl with Lynn. This is the distance between the monument and the museum (in the background).
Carl and I.
After spending a couple of hours at the museum, we at lunch at the Cracker Barrel, then decided to find a Gator. We were told that there are live gators at Silver Springs. It's sort of a nature park, natural habitat swamp place. But it costs $31 to get in, and we were on a pass to get back and get ready for that night's big banquet. The girl at the gate told us that we may see a gator under the bridge we walked over to get to the ticket stalls. So we checked out the swamp under the bridge.
There were live turtles.
Pretty birds and lots of greenery.
Finally, Kuhl spotted a gator. It's real. It moved his head up and kept an eye on us.
Got cleaned-up, dressed-up, and headed over to the big event.
Carl with Don and Pat Garlits.
Carl and I. Woo-hoo!
Our table plaque, Kuhl probably looking at his phone. Yes, that is Mike Kuhl without a hat, and wearing a sportcoat
Carl in his tux.
Shirley Muldowney and the Snake. Look at his face, it tells all.
Kuhl's good buddy, Mike Roth, presented Mike with a custom made art piece consisting of a fuel injector and scoop cut in half and mounted to a piece of engine turned aluminum with a photo of the race car on canvas.
The honorees, seated from left.. Bob Brandt, Ray Motes, Fast Eddie Schartman, Big John Mazmanian's son, Mike Kuhl and Carl Olson.
Here is a video that I shot of the induction of Kuhl and Olson.
Steve Gibbs introduced them.
On Friday, we went to the drag races.Carl and Big Daddy and Kuhl all signed autographs at the nostalgia tent.
The boys, reunited.
Last on Carl's must-do places to eat was Steak 'n Shake. I had to have a shake... a peanut butter cup shake. It was unbelievably delicious.
Good thing we don't have Steak 'n Shakes in California.
Saturday morning, we packed up and flew home to LAX through Miami, this is the Orange Bowl below.
Ahhh, the smoggy LA sky at sunset, no place like home.
That's the summary of our 4 day trip. Hope you enjoyed it.