Tomorrow, Saturday, April 14th is the Memorial Service for racer Jim Keech, “Kemowsod”. You can read the obituary here, and here are some words from Chuck Miller:

Here is my salute to Jim Keech , A great flagger, a great racer and a friend to many a lawn mower racer.

Keech loved mower racing and to be honest I think he just loved racing period. He knew his way around a racetrack and was one of the best flagman to flag any race I have ever done. He had it going on and was serious about it.

He just had a way of waving the flags and having the right ones up at the right time and he even was one of the first at the mower races that would give us the hand count for how many laps were left. It was like he had been trained by NASCAR for the job. He always would stand at the edge of the track behind a mere haybale or two and take whatever came flying his way.

In case some of you did not realize this, at the end of the day the flagger would be pretty dusty or if it rained they will see a little mud. Now I don’t know about any of the other racers but I found it sometimes a little fun to try to throw a little roost his way if it had rained and give him a mud bath. I would come around the next lap and see him with a little grin and pointing a finger at me.

The most memorable time with Jim was when Jayson and I were having a hard battle on the track and with Jayson normally in the lead I was doing my best to make a pass. I just knew that Jim was trying to keep track of the two of us. I was trying to pass on the outside and kept getting closer to the bales where Jim was standing. It was really getting to be a heated battle. Well I am not sure what lap it was but I got in to the loose stuff and the rear kicked out on me and I just got in the bales right where Jim was standing . I don’t know why but I was watching Jim’s reaction to where I was and it was something I will not forget. His eyes were as big as goose eggs and I don’t know if he had ever moved that fast in his life. Hehe. We both recovered and finished the race and boy did he give me a talking to after the race was over! We both were laughing about and he would mention it from time to time. This is just one of several funny stories to share of Jim’s passion of mower racing and I wish I could have been here in person to tell it!

A poem by Kevin Penne, Cooter, #104

Jim Keech was cool,
A tough old bird.

Cross him twice,
And he’ll have words.

Game face on, and helmet too,
On two wheels, and right with you.

In the turn and down the straight,
On the gas and he won’t wait.

Big ‘ole smile when he would win,
Even when he was tinkerin.

Change that belt, feel the heat,
Lookin’ good in the driver’s seat.

I see ambition in his face,
I miss our pit talks at the race.

We’d talk about the track and moan,
Like breakfast time with no backbone.

We’ve seen a lot both he and I,
Damn I’m gonna miss that guy.

His jokes smile and chuckle too,
It’s in your heart, you feel it too.

Next time that it’s mowin’ time,
Let him know you’re doin’ fine.

Raise your fist, or thumbs of two,
Cause that’s what all the winners do.

Not all races can be fun,
Jim’s last race was just that one.

You try to do the best you can,
But sometimes stuff goes through the fan.

His time was short, but he had fun,
The light you see is not the sun.

It’s Jim, he’s smilin’ down on you,
So pay attention what you do.

The Lord and Jim will race some day,
Jim will win, the Lord will pray.

Jim rode off, away he went,
Cuttin’ up was time well spent.

See ya pal, save me some grass,
And show the Lord how ya really pass.
Jim Keech was cool,
A tough old bird.

Cross him twice,
And he’ll have words.

Game face on, and helmet too,
On two wheels, and right with you.

In the turn and down the straight,
On the gas and he won’t wait.

Big ‘ole smile when he would win,
Even when he was tinkerin.

Change that belt, feel the heat,
Lookin’ good in the driver’s seat.

I see ambition in his face,
I miss our pit talks at the race.

We’d talk about the track and moan,
Like breakfast time with no backbone.

We’ve seen a lot both he and I,
Damn I’m gonna miss that guy.

His jokes smile and chuckle too,
It’s in your heart, you feel it too.

Next time that it’s mowin’ time,
Let him know you’re doin’ fine.

Raise your fist, or thumbs of two,
Cause that’s what all the winners do.

Not all races can be fun,
Jim’s last race was just that one.

You try to do the best you can,
But sometimes stuff goes through the fan.

His time was short, but he had fun,
The light you see is not the sun.

It’s Jim, he’s smilin’ down on you,
So pay attention what you do.

The Lord and Jim will race some day,
Jim will win, the Lord will pray.

Jim rode off, away he went,
Cuttin’ up was time well spent.

See ya pal, save me some grass,
And show the Lord how ya really pass.

Mike Cupps,To Be Honored at a Race in Marble Falls, Texas

While racers gather in Michigan, another fallen gentlemen, Mike Cupps, will be honored at a race in Marble Falls, Texas. Here with a memorial of Mike Cupps from Lone Star racers Caroll and Teresa Campbell:

First, Mike’s first thoughts were always Miss Vickie, every decision involved her first. Mike always included her in his decision making. He was a sweet man who was very attentive to her and his friends. Friendship was very important to him and he showed it every time I was around him. Father’s Day weekend, Bulverde race, 2009. Mike has this little rough looking old looking mower for sale. It is the ugliest thing I had ever seen. All the men were just ooohing and awing over it. I could not see what they were seeing. Caroll was salivating over it something fierce. Everyone kept coming up to me and asking me was I going to let Caroll buy it from Mike. Well that was breaking my number 2 rule; we were not going to race in more than one division. I said heck no we were not buying it. Later in the race when Caroll was on the track racing, Mike came over and said Caroll really wants that mower, I gave him the heck no look and he looked back at me with that ‘he really really really wants that mower’ and I caved and told Mike we would buy it, he then moved the mower inside our trailer for Caroll to see it when he came off the track, he took the for sale sign and marked it as sold, Happy Fathers Day. That was the birth of GIZMOW Jr. Junior has been a part of our family happiness ever since, Mike was a true friend that day helping me with keeping Caroll happy. I loved that day. We miss you Mike and we think of you often, happy days in Mowheaven.

 

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