September 11, 2016
15 years? It Seems Like Only Yesterday
Tim St. Peter one of my agriculture students came into my third period class (about 10:00 o’clock am) saying planes had hit the World Trade Center in New York. I thought it must have been a wayward private plane or something similar. Class continued until only minutes later when another student came in and said he had just came from history class where they were watching the news live on TV. Another plane had hit the Pentagon and no, these were not small planes.
What do you do when you hear news like that and you are a teacher. My instinct was to maintain as much as possible, a sense of normalcy. After planes had hit the Pentagon and crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania all sense of normal dissipated.
Students wanted to know what was going on, when I certainly had no idea what to tell them except let’s continue to concentrate on the tasks before us. After lunch at the time we were harvesting crops grown on the school farm. That day the out-of-doors nature of agriculture was a needed relief from the tension filled halls at school.
I do not remember what we were working on in the field that day, I do remember I was glad to get my students out there on a day where in the fresh County air that exceptional warm and sunny day it just did not seem possible that our country was suffering such a horrific attack.
Now 15 years later the freshmen school children were not born. They need to be reminded by those who lived through the attack. I suspect the survivors of Pearl Harbor felt that way when, every year, fewer and fewer people remembered that fateful day December 7, 1941.
Caribou was blessed this year to have airline pilot Steve Scheibner speak about his experience on 9/11. The day before on September 10, 2001 First Officer Scheibner logged onto his computer from home in Georgetown, Maine to see what flights were available the next day. He put in for American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles leaving at 7:45 am.
At about the same time another American Airlines pilot Tom McGuinness was at home celebrating his birthday with his family when he decided to log onto the site where assignment for flights take place. McGuinness had a slight amount of seniority so he bumped Scheibner to take the ill-fated Flight 11 that hit the North Tower at 8:46 am.
Scheibner tells of the story how someone took his place that day and died. Scheibner knew that it very well should have been him who died at the hands of terrorist Mohamed Atta as he took over the flight controls. He tells about how someone else, Jesus Christ, died for him some 2000 years before making it possible for him to have eternal life and that no matter what, his future was secure.
Scheibner’s intriguing story is found at http://www.stevescheibner.com/
Let me never forget. May you and our fellow Americans never forget about that day in history when “normal” changed.
Northern Maine Karting Association Season Finale
One hundred fifty competition laps were run in three divisions Saturday at Spud Speedway when the Northern Maine Karting Association held their season finale. Double feature races were run to make up for the rain date earlier in the summer.
Caribou’s Damian Theriault completed his undefeated string of feature races by winning both that day. He becomes the first kart racer in the Senior Champ Division to accomplish this feat. Imagine how difficult that can be when every part on his race kart must say together every lap of every race.
In addition, no other driver could make a mistake which might take out the leader. Will this ever happen in again?
The Northern Maine Karting Association raised $218 for the C.A.N.C.E.R. organization to help victims of the disease right in the County. The club will be holding their annual members meeting in October at a date to be announced.
What Has Crouseville’s Gene Cyr the Drag Racer Been Up To?
I finally had some time to catch up with County drag racer Gene Cyr last evening. Cyr has been very busy this summer often putting in 50 or more hours per week at Thompson Tree Service Property Management then making the trip to race.
Over the Fourth of July weekend he raced at Oxford Plains Dragway on their 1/8 mile track and made it three rounds in the Outlaw Street Class. Winterport Dragway’s 1/8th mile track was his destination the next day where he raced Super Pro class.
Cyr made the finals at the Central Massachusetts Drag Racing Club’s (CMDRC) July 15th points race at Oxford Plains Dragway. As of now he sits eleventh in points in the club.
Cyr hosted the “Street Tire Bash” at Oxford July 23rd. As sponsor of the race he was able to award second place to Portland’s Mike Landry and first place to Tyler Wilkerson of Windham.
The County racer went back to Winterport on August 7th. I did not get a report from Cyr on how he did that day.
Two weeks later, he engaged in one of his busiest endeavors of the summer beginning on Friday August 19th at Oxford Plains Dragway. After he lost in round two the team immediately packed up and headed for the 1/4 mile Lebanon Valley Raceway in Lebanon, New York.
After the five-hour drive they unloaded to prepare for some stiff competition. Once again a second round loss meant the team would immediately pack up and make the 7 hour drive through the night from New York to Winterport Dragway where, you guessed it he lost in round two.
Not to be discouraged by what seemed like his inability to make it out of the second round in recent races, the team trekked back to Oxford Plains Dragway on the second of September. This was the first stop on their Labor Day trip south.
In Top Eliminator class, modeled after the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) idea, Cyr lost round two. The silver lining in that cloud was his personal best at Oxford with a 5.98 ET and 115 mph in the 1/8 mile.
The next day they were at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire where Cyr went three rounds before breaking his torque converter. He set his person best prior to that with a 9.44 second ET at 143 mph on the 1/4 mile track.
Sunday found the team at Winterport Dragway racing in the Super Pro class where he turned in a 6.02 second ET at 115 mph despite torque converter issues.
The racing season may be winding down for several local racers. Not so for Cyr. With a new torque converter due to arrive this week, he plans to install it and do some minor tuning and repairs. He is getting ready for the final Central Massachusetts Drag Racing Club points race of the season October 1st at Lebanon Valley Raceway.
The next day is the Ken Strong Classic at Lebanon Valley, their largest event of the season in terms of payout and car count. Cyr predicts there will be “300 to 400 cars in that race”
Total purse is $10,000 with the overall winner earning $5000. Cyr stated, ” My goal is to win the race, however, with that stout a field I would like to make the Sweet 16, possibly the Elite 8″.
Finally Cyr hopes to be in the top 16 in points for the October 15th race at New England Dragway. Of that top 16 his goal is to make it into the final four.
Cyr has competed in 25 races this summer from eastern New York to Winterport. He estimates he has travelled well over 2600 mile to compete.
Look for reports of his season right here over the next few weeks. And best wishes for good racing and safe travels.
Let’s Go Racing,
Soli Deo Gloria