Welcome! Most of you have been with me at NHRA.com for a long time, and now we begin the next chapter (pun fully intended).
Today seems like the right day to start blogging here in a legit fashion. Last night, with the support and help of my wonderful wife, I dove headlong into the building of a Kickstarter campaign to hopefully raise not only some funding, but also awareness for my upcoming book “Bats, Balls, and Burnouts” and in less than 12 hours my campaign was approved and launched.
The key to Kickstarter, of course, is to give folks a compelling reason to jump in an be involved, at even the tiniest level. But, you can also add in some rewards that just might make a few people step it up a little, in order to possibly get in a return something rare and authentic. With that in mind, I’ve put quite a few race-worn (but cleaned!) crew shirts on the page, dating all the way back to the start of the CSK days with Worsham Racing, both embroidered and printed, right up to the past seven seasons with the LRS Funny Car and Team Wilkerson.
Don’t need a shirt? How about a real-live “Winner’s Jacket”? It will have my name stitched on the front, but maybe you can see that as some sort of provenance or added value? If not, embroidery can be removed. Each one was purchased after a race victory.
No need or desire for a jacket? Well, did you ever think you could have a real 100% authentic Wally trophy in your possession? I’m willing to part with up to 20 of them. You can have one.
The Kickstarter page is right here:
But really, the goal is to get the word out there about the book, and this blog is the place where you can stay totally up to speed (again, pun fully intended) on my progress during 2016. I’ve already gotten a lot of work done, including photography, graphic design, and the Kickstarter page, and during the rest of December I have some very important and pressing plans. As in Hawaii. Or more precisely, Kauai. So there’s that to focus on.
Then we’ll travel back to what we still consider our “real” hometown, Woodbury, Minn., to enjoy New Year’s Eve and our anniversary with our dearest and best friends. Lynn and Terry Blake will be hosting our raucous group this year, while Neighbor Dave and Nichol Jacobsen will once again be providing “safe haven” from drunk drivers by offering us our standard room at their house. We call it the Jacobsen’s Bed & Breakfast. And, one more bonus, it sounds like Barbara’s sister Kitty will be coming up from Florida to spend the holiday with us, as well. Woo Hoo! That’s awesome.
So, once January rolls around I’ll clear away the last vestiges of my reports and files from the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello season, and become a full-time writer. I’m thinking a Fedora might make me feel more the part. And an old manual typewriter!
So much so, on the typewriter, that I actually put an image of one on my new business cards. Hey, a writer has to socialize and spread the word about what he’s up to, so I’ll be handing these out all over the place. I already started doing that at a local Christmas party we attended a few nights ago, out here in Spokane. They were a hit!
Gotta admit, I’m a little nervous. If by “a little nervous” you mean pretty darned nervous. Not about writing the book. Heck, with my NHRA blog and the former “Bob On Baseball” (the archives from which still live here) I’ve done enough test drives to have nearly written it many times before, but more about the process and belief that I can not only do it, but do it well. I’ll be writing about so many rich characters and vivid unbelievable stories, I have to do it all justice.
If it all works, that will be a legacy. Not just for me, but for my parents, who instilled in me everything I’m about. And for my wife, who quite literally changed my life the day we met and who supports me wholeheartedly in this endeavor.
This new “Bob’s Blog” resides here at The Perfect Game Foundation, which my brother Del Jr. and my sisters Cindy and Mary, along with myself, founded to honor the memory of Del and Taffy Wilber, our late parents. They were special, and they instilled so much of what they were in all of us. Please, feel free to nose around the main site to check out some of the pages like “About Us” and “The Team” to see the fine group of folks who work hard to give aspiring young people a chance to get a foot in the door for a career in sports. They often say it’s who you know, not what you know, and in our cases that had to be true. For our applicants, TPGF tries to be that someone they know, and my brother Del Jr. does an amazing job here. I just write a blog… And “They often say…” Well, who’s “they” anyway?
My NHRA blog was supposed to last a whole month, way back in 2005. Instead, it lasted close to 10 and a half years. Many thousands of installments, many millions of words, and many millions of hits. But the most impressive thing was the friendships and the support, encouragement, and loyalty that developed from a little blog about just about anything. Life changed. Life better.
And now we kick things off here. Come back often. I’ll try to write as often as possible and provide updates and stories, facts and fiction, laughs and groans, and oh so many characters. Two of which are named Buster and Boofus. We can’t blog without those two!
And I thought about changing my tag line at the bottom of each one of these. The ubiquitous “Wilber, out!” closed out every single NHRA blog I ever wrote, so I think it is time for a change, and I think I stumbled onto it with the first “Bob’s Blog” here, when I more or less simply wrote “Hey, check back often. My new blog will be right here…” Then I signed off with the first thing that came to mind. And it works.
So check back often! And check out Kickstarter if you have a chance.
Bob Wilber, at your service