Retirement Party -- Sorta'
Wally Parks Motorsports
John Ewald Photos
With the cunning planning of
his daughter, Cindy - on this day Steve Gibbs moved into the
"second phase" of his career...we all know he's never
going to retire, but he and wife Gloria (Gordy) will be riding
off into the sunset in their new motorhome for some much deserved
R&R. After a "lifetime" with NHRA, the Gibbs' are
going to see the world outside drag racing. This was a night
that many hundreds of "Steve's Friends" just came out
to honor him...no political statement...just out of respect of
the Man. Steve will still sit on the Board of the Wally Parks
Motorsports Museum and oversee the California & National
Hot Rod Reunions, but mostly life will be about quality time
and some stress free fun. We all wish them our very best!
The guests mingle prior
to the Gibbs' arrival.
Wally Parks' statue was
adorned with an "event" t-shirt.
Steve and Gordy arrive...
How's this for a classy
Steve & Gordy with
Jim Annin and C.J. "Pappy"
The museum was filled to capacity
with old friends. We're sorry everyone didn't end up in the photo
gallery, but here's some who did.
Ivo, Jeep and Ronnie Hampshire
Three of the best Top Fuel drivers
of all time... Gary Beck, Kelly Brown and James Warren.
This trio wasn't too shabby either...
Gordy Bonin, Frank Bradley and Carl Olson
Graham and "Diamond Jim" Annin
Larry Dixon Jr. and son,
Donovan - a third generation driver?
Jim Dunn and Doug Thorley
Control" Geno and George Striegel
Frank Bradley and Jim
Larry Dixon and Roy Miersch
(a Howard Cam Rattler reunion).
Bob (aka Floyd Lippencott Jr.)
Muravez and "TV Tommy" Ivo - two of the original Road
Kings of Burbank.
Gary Beck and Kelly Brown
Linda Jacobson, H.L.
Shahan and Tom Jacobson
Mike Drake, Roland Leong, Jim Annin and Marvin Graham
Tim Gibson and Austin
Coil - two of Force Racings Brain Trust
Larry Bowers and Dick
Steve Faria, Jim Tibbitts,
Dorothy and Doug Thorley, H.L. Shahan
and other guests
Cindy Gibbs, Larry Dixon and
his daughter-in-law Ali with granddaughter Alanna...Larry Jr's
balance of the family
Starrett and Bob Muravez
"Funny Car" Don Cook and
"Doc" Leroy Hales
Kenny Safford and Sharon
Suzy Kelly, Bill Holland
and Ronnie Rapp
George Striegel and Louie
An autograph hunters
Flowers for the Queen
Wally Parks gives the
opening remarks to the "official" send off.
Greg Sharp, who has worked side
by side with Steve at the museum shared his mixed feelings about
the whole "retirement" thing.
BEFORE his boss (for a change),
Austin Coil was tame. Actually he was covering for John who was
late due to the fact his back yard had slid into his neighbors
yard and John had been busy digging it out.
Never short on words, once he
cleaned up his neighbors yard, John Force was in rare form both
roasting and praising Gibbs.
SRO - Wouldn't it be
nice to have this many friends? Steve does.
The evening couldn't pass without
a nose joke or two...apparently a local novelty shop was wiped
out of horn rim glasses and "hooks".
Frank Bradley made a
rare public appearance to honor "Hook".
In honor of a "let's blow
up this old car" deal at Irwindale that got a little out
of hand - another life ago.
Everyone who could make it was
there and there were a ton of folks who wished they could that
didn't. Two of the most honored guests were seated next to Gordy...
Steve's parents Selma and Steve Grana who were on hand to see
their son honored.
Bill Holland models an original
"Big Hook's Traveling Acceleration Show" T-shirt in
honor of the special edition units Cindy had made for the event.
Steve's daughter Stephanie, and
her daughter Kayla who gave a very wonderful speech about her
grandpa...the whole family really idolizes him.
Kelly Brown adds his dime-two-fifty.
Steve and Gordy's other daughter,
Debby is not much on racing (how'd that happen?) but was on hand
to wish her folks all the best.
When it was Cindy's turn to speak,
as usual her heart was on her sleeve(s). She really put everything
into making this day special for her dad (and mom) and by all
account, she did a killer job.
Dad reflects - wallows
in pride as Cindy speaks. Then the hugs...
Then it was time for the "Man
of the Hour". Steve and Gordy took the stage and those who
know them can pretty well guess what was said.
The good folks at In N' Out donated
the food (best damn hamburgers in the whole damn world) as yes,
they remember Mr. Gibbs from Irwindale where they both started.
"How dare you interrupt
Believe it or not, in his 44
years of being involved in drag racing Steve Gibbs never sat
in a fuel dragster - not once. That changed when Art Chrisman
put Hook in the seat and 98% in the tank. Can you say, mini-Cacklefest?
Happy Camper - ya think?
With nitro filling the air and
Steve thinking God knows what, Gordy hung in right behind the
thumping hemi. She wasn't going to miss this moment for anything!
What better way to end
than a dose of nitro from the Winged Express!