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Old 08-07-2010, 07:32 PM   #1
Bob Baerresen
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Default Track Photographer, 1950, Englewood Speedway

In 1950, age 17, I was a member of Lloyd Axel's Mile High Racing Association (MHRA) and track photographer for part of the season at the Englewood, Colorado midget dirt race track owned by the Codners.. Exciting times, especially when just missed by a midget that spins out on the east curve. Just where I usually hung out with my camera. I've still got a few pics and the original negs after many years and many moves. I have about five photos from my original negs that I can find. I've forgotten many of the names.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:40 AM   #2
carc7
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Default Re: Track Photographer, 1950, Englewood Speedway

Welcome, Bob! Post your pictures and don't worry about the names; these experts on this website will fill in the details!
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:49 AM   #3
Mitch G.
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Default Re: Track Photographer, 1950, Englewood Speedway

Bob, great to have you!PLEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZ post what you can we would love to see whatever you can dig up for us. Very few people left who were closely associated with those early midget days, gives us what you can!!
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:23 PM   #4
Bob Baerresen
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Default Re: Track Photographer, 1950, Englewood Speedway

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Originally Posted by Mitch G. View Post
Bob, great to have you!PLEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZ post what you can we would love to see whatever you can dig up for us. Very few people left who were closely associated with those early midget days, gives us what you can!!
Howdy Mitch... Did you see the pictures I posted yesterday? Most of the pics need names as my memory is half vast.
In 1950 I was working at the Denver Post delivering mail inside the Post editorial building and after work I spent time with the Post photogs as an unpaid apprentice photographer. Another Post employee, Ray Bridgeman, turned me on to Midget Racing. Ray was learning to be a flag man and knew more of the drivers than I did. Ray might still be living in the Denver Area, I haven't seen Ray in almost 40 years. Ray went into the Navy in 1950, and I went into the Navy in 1951. In 1954 both of our ships arrived in Hong Kong at the same time and we had liberty together. Ray was a Yeoman on the USS Missouri, a Battleship, and I was an aerial photographer on the USS Kenneth Whiting, AV-14, a seaplane tender. Ray is in the picture I took at Ray Koch's MHRA office in his motorcycle shop on west Colfax.
Bob
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:12 PM   #5
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: Track Photographer, 1950, Englewood Speedway

Welcome Bob! There are some really neat photos in that album! Canít wait to hear more about your time at Englewood.

CLICK HERE to view Bobís photo album.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:16 PM   #6
Bob Baerresen
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Default Re: Track Photographer, 1950, Englewood Speedway

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Originally Posted by Jerry Lee View Post
Welcome Bob! There are some really neat photos in that album! Canít wait to hear more about your time at Englewood.

CLICK HERE to view Bobís photo album.
Howdy Jerry Lee,
Started my racing career early as a fire truck driver, age 5 in 1937...
On the night I went to the Englewood Speedway to apprentice being a track photographer the regular photog got fired for selling stock car pics at the midget races. During that evening Ray Koch fired the other photographer and made me the track photog with only my little 35mm Bolsey B2 camera to use. Not being prepared to be the only photographer I only had a few flash bulbs. They actually held up a presentation with the Trophy Girl until I could race several miles in my 1929 Model A Ford down to the Rexall Drug Store in Englewood and buy more. The Race Track Announcer had a ball tracking my trip and made a "Here He Comes!" announcement and played the "Flight of the Bumblebee" as I approached the race track on my return... That '29 Ford coup with a rumble seat was one of my favorite cars and I could drive almost all the way from Englewood to Evergreen in the mountains in High gear.
My dad used to play auto polo in the 1920's in his Model T Ford at Merchants Park Baseball Field just by the old Montgomery Wards store, now torn down, on South Broadway in Denver.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:57 PM   #7
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: Track Photographer, 1950, Englewood Speedway

Great stuff Bob! Tell us more!

Do you remember if the main grandstands at Englewood in 1950 were on the North side or the South side of the track?? I've done a lot of research on Englewood, but can't seem to nail down about when they were moved from the South side to the North.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:27 PM   #8
Mitch G.
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Default Re: Track Photographer, 1950, Englewood Speedway

Bob, fantastic photo's!!! of course Lloyd Axel is in the #5, in that first shot of the #6 car, which might be the "Bussard Offy", maybe Joe Allslpach at the wheel. The #55 in the background is Earl Kuba's Offy. The #16 is none other that Jud Larson in the M.A. Walker Offy out of Texas, Larson won one of the mains that season. The "Arrow Auto Parts car is driven by Jack Pray. I'm working on the other photo's, hey Bob did you know LeRoy Byers very well??
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:01 PM   #9
Bob Baerresen
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Default Re: Track Photographer, 1950, Englewood Speedway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Lee View Post
Great stuff Bob! Tell us more!

Do you remember if the main grandstands at Englewood in 1950 were on the North side or the South side of the track?? I've done a lot of research on Englewood, but can't seem to nail down about when they were moved from the South side to the North.

Jerry Lee... The grandstand was on the south side of the track in 1950, parallel with Oxford Ave, and running from east to west. The pit entrance was on the west end of the track. The east end was fenced off.
During WWII and a little further west of the race track was Fort Logon where my mother and I went with my mother's friend to visit her husband who was stationed there After WWII Ft Logan became a residence for guards who worked at "The Federal Correctional Institution" and their families. After a few years it then became a Mental Health Center as it still is... West of Fort Logon is the Fort Logan cemetery where thousands of Veterans and their families are buried.
Here's a Carter Family website with a liitle more history of the area.
Scroll down to "Englewood Speedway"
Family Ties - Carter Family.... click here, or copy and paste to your browser.
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~coshs/ha_lynch.htm

Last edited by Bob Baerresen; 08-09-2010 at 05:04 PM. Reason: wrong info about Carter History
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:15 PM   #10
Bob Baerresen
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Default Re: Track Photographer, 1950, Englewood Speedway

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Originally Posted by Mitch G. View Post
Bob, fantastic photo's!!! of course Lloyd Axel is in the #5, in that first shot of the #6 car, which might be the "Bussard Offy", maybe Joe Allslpach at the wheel. The #55 in the background is Earl Kuba's Offy. The #16 is none other that Jud Larson in the M.A. Walker Offy out of Texas, Larson won one of the mains that season. The "Arrow Auto Parts car is driven by Jack Pray. I'm working on the other photo's, hey Bob did you know LeRoy Byers very well??
Mitch... That name, LeRoy Byers, doesn't ring a bell.... I knew the Malloy brothers who raced at Indy, but I don't remember where I knew them from. It might be from school, or from work. Thanks for the other driver's names, I'll annotate the pics on my computer.... In 1947 I quit school after I discovered fast cars, girls, and booze. For a few months in 1947 I was working three jobs until I got a job at the Denver Post, November 27, 1948, age 16. After I quit school in 1947 I first got a job as a "Pearl Diver" at a 24 hour restaurant here in Englewood called Del's Grill in the 3400 block of South Broadway. I was paid an astounding .50 cents an hour. One night our cook got drunk, a three hundred pound lady from Texas nmaed "Tex" failed to show up and I got a battlefield promotion to chief cook and bottle washer with a 10 cents an hour raise. Del's Grill was owned by William Delzell who also taught at Englewood Jr High School. Sometime later I got another job and after I got off work at 7 a.m. or so, I would walk around the corner to Girard St and help wash buses owned by "Buss" Bussard. I got to drive Buss's buses out to the routes with a "training supervisor" because I was still 15. "Buss" Bussard also owned property in Littleton, Colorado along the west side of the Platte river where he dredged sand by many the ton! After I was done at the Buss Bussard bus garage I would go to work at Turner's Horse Stables as a pilot... I would clean the stalls and "pile it" outside. Also I'd help saddle the horses for the morning riding classes. I actually started working at the stable when I was 12 years old because it was three blocks from home on south Downing and it paid a fantastic $1.50 a day in 1944. Cigarettes were 15 cents a pack back then. I started smoking when I was 11 and quit when I was 68, nine years ago.... But I got to ride horses for free at Turner's Stables after my work was done. For a couple of years I was able to go as a groom to the National Western Stock Show with the Turner's Show Horses. The Turners had a blue ribbon winning Palomino named "Top Hat" a.k.a. "Topper." He was a multi-gaited horse that could also count with he's foot and do tricks. Being a groom was a neat way to get into the Stock Show free... For a couple of months in 1948 I had a job delivering bottled LP gas to homes and trailers. But it wasn't what I wanted to do because It was dirty, dangerous, and damn hard work lifting full 200 lb LP bottles off the old truck I was given to drive.. I'm sure glad I can share a touch of history before I lose (the rest of) my memory! Hope I've stirred up some memories.
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