Monday, January 19, 2015

Using Kickstarter To Begin A Big Racing History Project?

Okay, first...

Don's California Racing Recollections:  Best Of The Blog And Beyond

Available via print on demand at Lulu in Hard Cover or Paperback

Moving on...

Having waited a couple of days to post this, I think I may have talked myself out of this idea, but I'm open to input.

This is something I would very much like feedback on, so feel free to comment and tell me if I am over reaching or if this is an idea you could support.

I am very much interested in sharing ALL of my research with the people who enjoy racing history, doing more research and putting together what would probably end up being a series of books.

To do this properly would require a tremendous amount of time and it would be a job to do.  Basically, a full time job.  Not a lot of slacking off either.  The ideas are flying around in my head right now, and I want to try to make as much sense as I can here.

First and foremost, this is NOT an editorial type of project.  This is about the facts of racing history and NOT the politics.  The forthcoming autobiography covers the opinion stuff and the Best Of The Blog And Beyond has a combo of history and opinion within those pages.

This project would include extensive history, week by week results and articles for several of those seasons, point standings, driver profiles, photos and all of that.  It would start with Antioch Speedway, but I would also include other tracks, starting with Merced, Watsonville, Chowchilla and Petaluma Speedways. 

There would articles from me, but also two of my top writers, Gary Jacob and Harlan Osborne, would be included in this monumental project.  And, there would potentially be several books.

To do this, I will need to do serious research through my own archives. I will be scanning a lot of pictures.  What was in the recent book was only a glimpse of what I have.  This would mean I will be retyping articles word for word and transcribing stuff from my collection of tape recordings.  I have a lot of information there, and this includes Vallejo Speedway.

I would also probably need to go to at least one library, if not others, and get copies of old articles to flesh this project out further.  There is also a certain archive I would attempt to attain.  I can't get into details any further than that, but there is a lot of history there, if I can get it, that would open this project up even wider.

It would be a full time job that will take months and probably at least the whole year to complete.  I'm not in a financial position to just do all of this.  In fact, if I am unable to do a Kickstarter, the likelihood of any of this stuff getting to the readers will be very slim.  What I have may end up being lost entirely.

I know the names have changed at the tracks, and maybe some people don't care about the history stuff anymore.  I also know a lot of people from the past are out there reliving the old times on various social media sites.  They care about it at least that much. 

Nothing has really been done for Antioch Speedway since I left, and many of you already know what I can do. Merced is sitting on an amazing history that is barely acknowledged, and so on.  So, there is a lot of history just waiting to be told, from the exciting races to the championship battles to some of those great drivers that people may not even remember so much these days.

I think I have the ability to put some stuff together that racing history buffs would enjoy reading, and I am willing to do it if there is an interest.  Or, I can just end it with the auto bio and let what I have just fade into obscurity.  I have always considered it a shame that we never got that book from Gary Jacob.  He covered some big races through the years, and he submitted many of those articles to me for several years.  For instance, books on Bakersfield and Rocky Hill Speedways would also be possible.  I have the ability to let him tell these stories again, in his own words.  That is, if anybody is interested.

I may not be describing this very well.  I have a very big goal in mind, but every penny would go into producing these books and giving me the ability to do it right.

There would be perks for contributors, which would include:

Sneak peaks at what is done so far.
Looks at some of the history I have that is not out there.
Exclusive audio updates for contributors.
A peak into some of my older audio, including audio calls, that have disappeared with time.
Possibly even some .pdf copies of key issues of old DCRR Magazines, including season review and yearbook editions.
And, copies of at least one of the finished books, depending on the contribution levels

If anybody knows me, they know that once I commit to something, I see it through, even at times when it gets a little stressful.  I start seeing those finished books in my mind and I want to make them happen.

So, this is what I'm thinking.  It's just an idea at this time, and I have not opened a Kickstarter page yet.  I'm interested in continuing this process beyond the auto biography, and I can't do it without support.  If you think the history matters and would like to support the cause, let me know.