On Sunday, January 16, 2005 a Memorial Service was held at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona. This is a modest account of this celebration of his life and of course, a tribute to an old friend. DE
Photos by John Ewald and Robert Briggs

 

One & half hours before the Memorial. Lots of empty chairs that will later be filled with standing room only against the walls and showcases.

 

Above all, DJ believed life should be fun and if you knew him he did live up to his beliefs.

 

 


 

In the drag racing world Jim is probably best remembered as the owner of the first Top Fuel car to officially record a five second run. This was done at the 1972 NHRA Supernationals at Ontario Motor Speedway with the late Mike Snively in the seat.

 

 

 


 

Jim was also an avid hot rodder. Here's his last streeter a very cool sedan delivery truck. The beautiful Harley belongs to his wife, Betty.

 

 

 


 

Dave McClelland MCed the event saying, among many other things, that Diamond Jim was one of his very best friends from the time he arrived in California in 1971.

 

Standing room only. This image shows only 2/3 thirds of the room. There were people standing all around the room and in the hall way. Had everyone come who would have liked to (like those of us who couldn't get to California) the entire museum wouldn't have held the crowd.

 

The Annin family are in the front row. Jim's wife Betsy is wearing the floral sweater and his son is a Chief in the Navy. Other family members are in the remaining front and 2nd row.

 

 

 

Steve Gibbs, Gloria Gibbs, "Doc" Hales, Herm Petersen and Mike Kuhl are just a few of the folks in these shots.

 

 


Barbara and Wally Parks.

 


 

Gary Beck toasts his old friend with Jim's favorite - Lemon Hart Rum. Gary and Jim were had a constant presence around Keith Black's in the '70.

 

Jim "Bones" Noteboom remembers DJ whom he knew from his old drag boat days and more recently through street rods.

 

Herm Petersen and Marvin Graham share some of their favorite DJ memories.

 

Another very old friend of Jim, Leroy "Doc" Hales, laments their days together with the NHRA Safety Safari.

 

Next to Jim's family Steve Gibbs probably took DJ's loss the hardest. They were as close as two friends could be and its evident here that Steve had some tough moments getting through his stint at the podium.

 

Needless to say this wasn't easy for Betty Annin either. She and Jim were married for a long time and although not unexpected, his loss will leave a huge void in her life.

 

 


 

After the "formal" part of the celebration, Betty stayed to receive a huge line of well wishers including Roland Leong.

 

Some of "bar scene in Star Wars" attendees were John Ewald, Herm Petersen, Steve Gibbs, Carl Olson, Bob Muravez, Marvin Graham, Dave McClelland and "TV" Tom Ivo.

 

John, Roland Leong, Herm and Richard Schroeder.

 

Paul Peterson (from the old Donna Reed Show), TV Tom and Floyd.

 

Jim VanDyke who worked for many years with Jim on the NHRA Safety Safari.

 

From Jim's drag boat days, Larry "The Shoe" Schwabenland one of the best Blown Fuel Hydro drivers ever.

 

Gibbs is getting a headache listening to Petersen and Olson lie to each other.

 

Jim's parting gift was befitting of his character - In-N-Out burgers for everyone! It was an all you could eat deal and people lined up from the museum door to the mobile kitchen for a double-double animal style (my favorite).

 

 

Ray Alley, Dale Pulde and Val Harrell.

 


 

Steve Gibbs and Betty Annin say goodbye - for now.

 


 

This was Annin's first Top Fuel at OCIR car in 1971.

 

 

Fresh off its five second performance at Ontario, here's "the blue car" at the Last Drag Race (Lions) in December of 1972.

 

DJ last drag racing effort was this funny car in 1973.

 


 

 


 

64th Birthday party for "Diamond Jim" Annin

 

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