My Father’s Role in the HMB Drag Strip by Don Walrod
I thoroughly enjoyed your story about the Half Moon Bay Drag Strip. A bit of further history on the strip for you: Jim McLennon was an acquaintance of my father, and yes, Jim did rent the air strip and turned it into the Half Moon Bay Drag Strip.
But it was used for drag racing even before that. There were two car clubs—the “Lightning Rods” from San Bruno and the “Piston Pushers” (?) from S. San Francisco.
My father, Dick Walrod, was on the San Bruno Police force and was the “adult advisor” of the “Lightning Rods” (something that was required back then) and when the clubs told Dad they wanted to have a place to race legally, he told them to find a place and he would do whatever paperwork was necessary to make it legal.
They found the airstrip in Half Moon Bay but someone of legal age had to sign papers with the City, and since all the boys were under 21, my Dad ended up signing all those papers. The two clubs raced there for about two years but more and more clubs wanted to join in and the City demanded that improvements be made to the strip and insurance be taken out for safety purposes.
Since none of the car clubs had the funds to do what the City wanted they had to give it up. The City put it up for rent, in stepped Jim McLennon, and the rest is history.
Note: Dick Walrod passed away on Thanksgiving, 2006.
Link to earlier Half Moon Bay Drag Strip posts:http://www.halfmoonbaymemories.com/category/half-moon-bay-drag-strip/