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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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March 20, 2013     Hays Free Press
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Page 2C NEIGHBORS Hays Free Press March 20, 2013 + + The cover of the March 25, 1957 issue of Sports Illustrated featured a former chicken farmer, the magazine's choice for "driver of the year" for the second year in a row. Nowadays most people associate Carroll Shelby with the classic "muscle cars" he created or the chili concoc- tion that bears his name. But half a century ago he was the American racecar king who had the audacity to win Europe's most grueling road race. Carroll Hall Shelby was born in 1923 at tiny Leesburg in the northeastern corner of the Lone Star State. A sickly boy almost from birth, he was seven years old when a doctor finally figured out the problem was a defective heart valve and ordered him to bed. To get his son out of the house, his mail-carrier father took him to dirt-bike and auto races. It was love at first sight for young Carroll, who also became a flying fanatic but only after his dad bribed him into taking his maiden flight. Not until he turned 14 was Shelby pronounced physi- cally fit for a normal life. The family had since moved to Dallas, where the teenager attended Woodrow Wilson IIS WEEK IN high school. A fair-to-mid- dling student, he was more ' interested in tinkering with internal combustion engines and rebuilding go-carts. Shelby's formal education ended with his graduation in 1940. His plan to enroll in an aeronautical engineering program was put on perma- nent hold by Pearl Harbor. Enlisting in the Army Air Corps, the Texan took to aviation like a duck to water. Too knowledgeable to send overseas, he spent the war at bases in his home state and Colorado teaching aspiring pilots how to fly bombers. While stationed at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center, renamed Lackland Air Force Base in 1947, he met an attractive member of the opposite sex. To make an unforgettable impression on the object of his affection, he flew over her house in a "bor- rowed" airplane and dropped a love letter in her yard. That must have done the trick for the couple married in De- cember 1943. ROCHA Alex Rocha Jr., age 47, of Martindale passed away on March 14, 2013. He was born on November 4, 1965 in Austin to Alejandro St. and Gloria Rocha. He was a devoted son and husband, loving brother and father, and caring grandfather. He will be deeply missed by his family. He was preceded in death by his mother, Gloria Rocha. He is survived by his wife, Veronica Rocha; daughter, Amy Mendoza; son, Alex Rocha Ill; daughter, Monica Rocha; daughter, Desiree Quinonez; daughter, Rosario Ortega; son, Diego Rocha; daughter, Maura Rocha; father, Alex Rocha Sr.; sis- ters, Dolores Martinez, Rosie Martinez, Maryann Vela, and Melissa Payne; grandchildren, P.J., Isaac, Mariah, Pete, and Donovan; and a host of other family members and friends. A Rosary will be recited at l:00pm on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at Santa Cruz Catho- lic Church in Buda, after- wards, a Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 2:00pm with Father Charlie Garza as the celebrant. Buda Bits Continued from pg. 1B noon. This year the mar- ket will be located under the oaks on Main Street across from Garcia's Restaurant. Austin Family Jewels, making opening day a fun and festive event, will provide music. There is still time to take part in the free Amateur Radio Classes that started Monday, March 18. Just contact Frank Sanders by email at kn8kaz@ yahoo.com or give him a call at 512-786-8443. Classes will meet every Monday from 7 to 9 p.m., with the last class on April 15. Birthday wishes go out to Pat Simon on March 21; our Free Press favorite, David White, on March 22; eight- year-old Thro Britton and Ken Edwards on March 24; Kim (Kunkel) Rodriguez and Gabriella Stoops on March 25; Marie Gamboa, Dan Slovak, Mark Porterfield (remember him), Lucille Owens on March 26; Beth Nelson and Dick Sch- neider on March 27. Congratulations to Faye and Horace Fletcher who will celebrate their 59th wedding anniversary on March 27. Commissioner Mark Jones will be hosting a Buda Town Hall meeting at the new Hays County Precinct 2 building on Thursday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m. The new offices are located at 5458 FM 2770 just south of Barton Middle School. With spring coming, it is time to get your pets vacci- nated and the Buda 4-H Club is ready to help. A rabies/ vaccine clinic will be held Saturday, April 20 from 1 until 3 p.m. at the BudaVoAg Com- plex on FM 2770 (between Loop 4 & FM 1626). The clinic is provided by Dr. Sellman with Town and CountryVet Hospital. All proceeds will directly benefit Buda 4-H Club and scholarships for kids. eee The first day of Spring is today, March 20, and even without the much-needed rain, the bluebonnets are blooming. Four years later, Shelby had a wife and three children to support and no idea how to do it. He worked in the oilfield for a short while be- fore going into business with a dump truck. Then in 1949 he envisioned a promising future in poultry. In the beginning, it looked like Shelby had discovered the pot at the end of the rainbow. His initial batch of chickens yielded a profit of $5,000 - more than $40,000 in today's inflated currency - but the second never made it to market, dying of avian botulism or limberneck dis- ease. The unlucky chicken farmer's next stop was bank- ruptcy court. With lots of free time, Shelby accepted a friend's invitation to put his custom hot rod through its quarter- mile paces. This ice-breaker in January 1952 was followed later in the year by his first two road races. Behind the wheel of an- other friend's MG, he bested a bevy of identical British two-seaters and in a second race that same day drove the little MG powered by a mere 54 horses to victory over a field of far faster Jaguar XK 120's. After that impressive feat, the 29 year old amateur was the talk of auto racing. The first professional team to seek his services was Cad- Aliard, and he responded by taking second place in a major road race. The story behind Shelby's famous striped bib overalls is well worth the telling. Arriv- ing late for a race, he did not have time to change clothes. "When I noticed how much attention they got, I decided to wear them all the time." In 1954 the rising star drove in his first foreign road event, the Kimberly Cup in Argentina. When the mo- tor suddenly caught fire, he had his co-driver urinate on the burning engine block enabling the quick-thinking Texan to finish a respectable tenth. Back in the U.S., Shelby set many records on the Bonn- eville Salt Flats in an Austin- Healey. Refusing to let serious injuries from a 1954 crash keep him out of action, he continued to compete with his arm in a cast and his hand taped to the steering wheel. First place in 19 consecu- tive races ensured a repeat as the Sports Illustrated "driver of the year" in 1957. But, in- stead of resting on his laurels, Shelby set his sights on the Formula One circuit. Nineteen fifty-eight was a year of mixed results with just one top-six finish. But in June 1959 he captured the crown jewel of the European sport by winning the 24-hour test of man and machine at Le Mans with co-driver Ray Salvadori. For longer than anyone knew, Shelby had been rac- ing with nitroglycerin pills under his tongue to ward off a heart attack. He retired in the summer of 1960 to con- centrate on his next career - designing "muscle cars" like the Mustang Shelby GT500, Shelby Cobra and Dodge Viper. But it never was all work and no play for the fun- loving legend, who organized the fabled Terlinqua Interna- tional Chili Championship in the Big Bend. Carroll Shelby lived the last 22 years of his life with a heart from a Las Vegas gambler and the final 16 with one of his son's kidneys. But death can be postponed only < so long and it came for the ~olaq moJj 'alzznd mlopnS 6 I IS' i i! "I;- 9 E 8 Zi T 6 c; i 11 S I9 m! 8 Z L .O!.l.nlos I aolaq Z0~i'S moJj 'pao&ts~oJD sgxaJu T 5; /t7;I pzoMssoz:3 SeZe.T. old chicken farmer in May 2012 at the age of 89. Bartee Halle welcomes your comments, questions and suggestions at P.O. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 77549 or haile@pdq.net. 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