Hialeah reunion - WOW!

An A+ evening! I just got home from the first ever Hialeah Speedway reunion, and was amazed at how good it was! What an assembly of racetrack people; it was like a Saturday night back at the track, just without the conflict or crashing. Ronnie Bacelo estimated there were 480 or so. It was truely an impressive group, and they came to party.

Twelve members were inducted into the first class of the Hall of Fame. I’m going from memory here, so double check this, but here they are: Dick Anderson, Gary Balough, Bobby Brack, Billy Barnwell, Larry Rogero, Buddy Griffin, Bobby Coyle, Herb Tillman, Bill Flingos, Robert Hamke, Marty Handshaw and Marty Little. We were fortunate to have 10 of the 12 winners in the room. Gary Balough had a last minute change of plans and could not attend, and only Bill Flingos received the recognition posthumously.

I often look back at Hialeah as a wild place filled with crazy people. While that was true to a point, nights like this make me remember why I liked those people in the first place: so many of them are first class. The memory of their character faded a bit for me, and was replaced by more flashy events like crashes, big laughs and conflicts. Now that I am a little older, I can appreciate the effort, sacrifice and dedication that so many had, and was necessary to keep a club run operation afloat.

I am so glad I went!

There is truth to the old saying “time heals all wounds”, and I wiped away a few old problems tonight. There were a couple of guys who didn’t see eye to eye with me in years past, but tonight we managed to brush that all aside and forget it. I am sure I was not the only one this happened to.

I left at 1:30, but there was a big group who remained and looked like they were going to carry on until dawn. Aside from the Hall of Fame, there was no particular highlight to the night: the food was good, and everything went about as smoothly as it could have, but the main attraction was memories, appreciation, old friends (and lots of new ones too).

BTW: I was astonished at the number of people that read this message board.

I had to chuckle about the choice of after dinner music. Something tells me a racer put the list together, because it included Glenn Frey’s “Smugglers Blues”!

Hope to see everyone again at the NEXT reunion in 5 years or so! Meanwhile, keep an eye out for Bob’s video of this event.

Is/was there a sign-in list somewheres? I couldn’t make it due to financial issues (went to the Governor’s Cup last week instead…LOL). Would love to know who all was there…

Good post!
Glad it (the reunion) was successful!

say was randy tissot and charlie ragan there

tissot dad use to own a liquor store in holly wood i think and he hung out at grace wood market over by mcarthurthur school boy he had a fast chevy he made me quit driving fords in high school

Hopefully someone got the list and will post it… Many never got or put their name tags on… There were people I recognized their face but could not put a name to it… Unfortunately the atmosphere was more like a nightclub… The music was way too loud and too much bass… made it very hard to carry on a conversation… Wis they would have taken the time just to recognize who was there… Anyhow… still had fun… got the chance to spend several minutes chatting with Paul Connors whom I had not seen or talked to since probably 1978!!
Just a few I saw and I know I’m leaving out about 300 people LOL… Bobby Brack, Robert Hamke, Larry Rogero, Herbie Tillman, Marty Handshaw, Roger Collette, Dickie Anderson, Buddy Ryan, Cocoa Begtrup, Danny Bancroft, Jeff & Andy Leserra, Buddy Griffin, Bruce Griffin, Greg Griffin, Charlie Worth, Larry Glendenning, Pete Willoughby, Carol Andrews, David Seeright, Harold Perry, and so many many more… Fun evening…

More names

Steve Weaver, Steve Weaver Jr., David Weaver, Danny Maddox, Chuck White, Gary Mcgorn, Jim Boswell, David Fryer, Charlie Belavia, Mike Blankenship, Mike Franklin, Bobby Bakeef, Steve Dielman, Steve Kilbury, Steve Brack, Keith Brack, David Russell, Larry Rogero, Rickie Rogero, Ed Griesmier, Martin Maresca, Mike Copeland, Allen Styer, Tommy Styer, Jim McCoy, Bobby Buechman, Ron Kaouk, Greg Kaouk, Tim Shafner, Mike Tomas, John Levy, Charlie Bible, Paul Magill, Jake Reedy, Mike Powers, Ernie Reeves, and so many more. I know my spelling is off on some names. If half the people that showed up would have showed up half the time at the track, there would still be a Hialeah Speedway.

Glen Frye

i am glad somebody was paying i thought the song was perfect to bad Hot Shoe was not there

my husband grew up with randy tissot and yes his dad owned a few places we all called him papa tissot randy now lives in arden n.c with his family his son lee raced in hooters cup for a while i keep in touch with them as much as i can and yes they all hung up at grace wood market they called it moltons lol asfar as charlie ragan he was another good friend of my husbands last we seen him was in orlando speedway but have heard through the grapevine he ha smoved to georgia do not know how true that is though his son also raced at one time so many many memories wish we could have made it to the reunion i worked at the old hollywood speedway for a short time the one on pembroke road so i go way back in racing i met my husband when i was 15 and are dates consisted of friday night at the drive in and then racing on saturday night and then when plam beach raced we were there also
my husbands name is dave wilson and iam cheryl wilson now known as nanny wilson my son races dirt and now my grandson is racing dirt so i guess it is in our blood lol

Hialeah Reunion

Yes, the Tissots live in Arden, NC and Randy is not in great health. Lee is still racing but now with the UARA group. Does pretty well too. Big Charlie Ragan lives in Titusville, FL while Little Charlie lives in South Georgia.
No Tissots or Ragans at the reunion - to bad.
Cheryl I remember you and David from Randy’s shop days on SR 84 in Lauderdale. Glad to see you guys still involved in the sport.

hi marty yes i remeber you also and yes randy is not in good health we were up there a few years ago to see him thank you for letting us know that big charlie lives in titusville and yes patti randys wife had told me that lee is racing we have such good memories of hialeah and old hollywood and palm beach those were the good old days we will always be involved in racing marty it is in our blood even though my husband never raced but like i said my son races and my grandson dirt now they race at hendry county in fact you were there announcing one night i did not get to see ya as i was working that night at the gate but my husband did go up to the booth to see ya take care