Sheperdsville , Kentucky
1969 Chevy Fleetside Pickup
Being at a NSRA,Goodguy’s Event or even a local cruise-in perception is never reality,some not all pretend to be someone their not.We think that in order to fit in we have to create this person we are not,God created each one of us the way he envisioned, who are we to change this masterpiece?
You and me are right where were at not by chance,but by his designed I truly believe this to be true.I have always had a great passion for cars,taking them apart,putting back together in a much different way…stock,restoration whatever you want to call it bores me,but in the last few years its the folks of this Hot Rod community that I fine the most interesting,each one has a different story and its those stories from each Shelby’s Hot Rod Roundup pick that shows how different we are,but we share the same world with the same God given purpose to Love & Fellowship in our communities.
Thursday…Day one of the Street Rod Nationals proved to me personally how even my own perception is not reality,this point rang true after a long day of searching for a Roundup pick.I passed this sweet little 69 Chevy Butternut Yellow pickup many times,but never caught the owner their.I took lots of photos just knowing this was our pick for the first day and after talking to one of his close friends and him sharing a cold bottle of water with me I was assured he would be right back.
I always seem to build up in my mine what the conversation will be like between our picks and myself including the image,age and personality of each one…my perception of this trucks owner was young,new to the hobby of Hot Rodding and really enthusiastic! Well one out of three wasn’t bad,after introducing myself to Ronnie I could clearly see he was very enthusiastic and Hot Rodding was very much a long time passion,but as said earlier perception is never reality.
Ronnie born in 1943 was 70 years young…outward appearance seventy years old,but in the heart and mind of Ronnie was a very passionate 16year old with a incredible life story,his first car was a 1959 Pontiac convertible with a 421 and dual 4 barrel carbs with those ingredients came one answer,let’s go Drag Racing.Living in Bullitt County,Ky in 1960 there was a Ole’ Drag Strip in a corn field called Cedar Creek and Ronnie was there every weekend,but like all of us girls and dating was also on the brain and with that meant setting a good example in front of her parents…being a Hot Rodder and Drag Racing wasn’t going to be a great place to start so after a whirlwind romance of 8 weeks Ronnie and his bride to be went to Tennessee in 1965 to ” get Hitched ” as he told me.The honeymoon was a quick one because right after that was a trip to the 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley Kansas and next stop Vietnam from 1966 to 1967.Once Ronnie return from serving Uncle Sam he and his wife settled in Sheperdsville,Ky and Ronnie later taking a job with Jeff Boat,General Electric and finally Ford Motor Company in 1973 working in their body shop where he retired in 2005.
Unfortantly a soldiers job is never done because after serving in Vietnam and now living his retirement years he was diagnosed with Leukemia,being their in 66-67 Ronnie came in daily contact with Ancient Orange.Ronnie spent a lot of years up until here recently Drag Racing the Super Gas class in NHRA,but because of health conditions and much needed blood thinners his NHRA license was returned….he could no longer compete.This brings us to this first day of the Street Rod Nationals and Ronnie’s 69 Chevy Pickup which he built and painted entirely himself with the help also of good friends,he shared with me that his truck was just recently completed and coming to the Nationals was also a bit of a struggle…you see with the Leukemia and his Chemo treatments just days ago the doctors discovered the disease in his teeth and with the fear of it reaching his brain the removal of his teeth began right before this weekends NSRA nationals.Ronnie is a husband a Father of 2 Girls and Grandfather of 3 Grandkids,2 Grandsons and 1 Grand daughter, Ronnie is a true Hot Rodder and very much a Patriot of this great country.I don’t think I could ever imagine what his life was like,but I asked Ronnie if he had any regrets…a very quick NO came from him,but he did explain that his Brother James sixty four passed away a few years ago.
Ronnie Thank You for your service…Thank You for sharing your story and keep building some killer Hot Rods.God Bless my new Friend!
Note: Here are a few shots from Ronnies wallet of his NHRA Super Gas Days…
My Prayers are with you daily Ronnie,Thanks so much for your Contribution to Hot Rodding all these years!