And The Beat Goes On…

Nov 7, 2019   //   by bwilber   //   Bob's Blog  //  Add a Comment

I’m truly sorry if today’s headline has implanted a Sonny & Cher song into your head. It did that to me, and I wrote it! But, it’s pretty much the theme right now as Barbara and I get ready for a lot of travel between now and December. Just keep your head down and go.

This will likely be a short installment today, because I have a lot of errands to run and home projects to complete before we fly down to Dallas tomorrow afternoon. And Barbara has it way worse than I do. She has an injured foot that’s really been bothering her since she came over to Kauai at the end of my stay on the island. This week she spent Monday and Tuesday in Toronto, then turned right around and went to Chicago yesterday. She’ll be home tonight and then we go to DFW tomorrow. Yikes. They gave her a walking boot, which she’s pretty good about wearing at home, but those business trips are hectic and she really can’t wear it when traipsing around places like Toronto and Chi-Town.

To make my errands even more fun, it’s not just autumn here anymore. We kind of fell off the cliff in the last few days. Right now, it’s 23 degrees. It’s more than a little chilly. We were in the low teens last night, and I really (REALLY) need to service the hot tub, move some outdoor furniture, put covers on things, and handle a few other details while I can today. Sometimes the onset of winter just jumps out from behind a bush and catches you totally unaware. Fortunately, I got my snow marker sticks in the ground a couple of days ago and turned off all the outdoor water, before we had our first hard freeze.

So, this first trip of three before the end of the month is to Dallas, as stated above. My great friend and former PR colleague Elon Werner is not only celebrating a landmark birthday (nifty, nifty, look who’s 50) his daughter is celebrating one too. When we were invited to come down and join them for a party, we couldn’t imagine not going. We’re really looking forward to it, and eager to spend some quality time not just with Elon but with his family. I feel like I know them all, thanks to social media, but I’ve probably only met his wife, son, and daughter one or two times, if that.

Elon Werner, accepting a huge honor he absolutely deserved (Click on any image to enlarge)

This is Elon (in the middle of course) from a few years back, when he was name the recipient of the Jim Chapman Award. That’s the single most prestigious award a PR person can earn in racing. It basically means you were selected for excellence in PR throughout all of motorsports. You might recognize his boss at the time, on the right, and that’s Michael Knight (who coordinates the selection of the recipient) on the left.

Elon and I motivated each other, cheered for each other, learned from each other, and relied upon each other for many years, out on the NHRA tour. But most importantly, we enjoyed each other. We still talk frequently on the phone, and have the ability to instantly make each other laugh. We’ve been through great times, good times, and horrific times together. Professional racing delivers all of those and you have to be ready for anything. We’ve also been through priceless times, making each other laugh out loud, even when the stress was at its highest. Can’t wait to see him and celebrate this birthday.

Oh, let me digress a bit and finish up a subject from last week’s blog. How did Halloween go in the Wilber/Doyle world? We had more trick-or-treaters than ever. The kids from the nearby family neighborhoods came out in large numbers, and at the end of the night I was down to maybe 16 or 17 candy bars. It was a lot of fun. We did have to put the boyz in a room for a while, because Buster has developed a thing where he likes to dash out the front door whenever it’s opened. Can’t have that, with a black cat on Halloween night. Everyone got through it OK, with no escapes.

OK, back to the upcoming Dallas trip. We’ll get down there Friday night, and then on Saturday we’re meeting my former teammate and roommate (not to mention longtime friend and one of the authors of the two Forewards in my book) Pete Delkus and his wonderful wife Jacque, for lunch. It’s been a while, and I think we’re all looking forward to it.

Pete in Kenosha, 1988. An paralleled season.

It was my dad and me (mostly my dad) who got Pete signed with the Twins after he surprisingly went undrafted out of SIUE. In his second year within the Twins organization, he was basically the best pitcher in all of professional baseball, playing Class A ball in Kenosha, Wisconsin of the Midwest League. Stats don’t lie. As I outlined in the book, this guy went through all of Spring Training without giving up an earned run. And all of April. And all of May. And all of June. And all of July. He finally gave up two earned runs in August. That’s impossible but he did it, throwing really funky stuff from a submarine slot. He was damn near unhittable. Here’s his ┬ástat line from that 1988 season. He was the Kenosha Twins closer, so all of this was in relief when games had to be locked down. Lots of pressure.

Innings Pitched: 68

Strikeouts: 63

Walks: 28

Hits Allowed: 43

Earned Run Average: 0.26

Saves: 33

Therein lies the reason he was named the Twins Minor League Player of the Year in ’88, and why we had a huge brass “Rolaid’s Relief Man of the Year” trophy in our apartment, featuring a big fireman’s helmet because relievers put out fires. It was amazing.

Cheers, Mr. Delkus!

After Pete’s playing days were over, he became a TV weather man. First in Orlando, then Cincinnati, and now Dallas where he’s won too many Emmy Awards to keep track of. He’s the chief meteorologist at WFAA. And he leads the industry in social media sarcasm. He and I would’ve been friends even without the sarcasm gene, but ours were big genes and perfectly matched. He’s kind of legendary on Twitter, and is still hilarious to this day.

I’m sure we’ll have plenty of old stories to share over lunch, most of which will leave our wives chuckling but still uncertain as to our sanity. And we have a lot of catching up to do regarding what’s gone on in our lives, since the last time we were together. Between the Werners and the Delkuses (is that how you write that, or is it Delki?) there will be plenty of mirth, laughter, and love this weekend. We plan to maximize that.

So that’s it for this week. I have furniture to cover, propane tanks to close, errands to run, and I still haven’t made the bed yet today. That’s not my fault. Buster and Boofus haven’t moved, and it’s 12 noon. I never make the bed until they vacate it. It’s their house, we just rent space.

Take care, have a great week, and I’ll check back in next Thursday with tales from Dallas. Should be phenomenal, and the Chief Meteorologist has promised perfect weather on Saturday. I’m holding him to that.

As always, if you dashed through this installment and that “Well, that wasn’t a total waste of my time” clicking on the “Like” button at the top would be appreciated.

Bob Wilber, at your service and heading to Texas.




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