Let's go back 7-8 years ago when my wife and I were moving into our "new to us" new house.The day we are moving in we met our neighbors Lynn and Jim and we also met Phillip. Phillip was a site.A short black guy maybe 125lbs soaking wet wearing a awful looking straw cowboy hat, cowboy belt with a huge belt buckle and brand new boots and yes they were roachkillers and what a site he was. Well we learned that they were on their way to take Phillip to the airport so he could go back to Niroby(spelling?),Kenya. Jim and Lynn were sponcering Phillip to become a U.S. citizen. Jim and Lynn had met Phillip in his very poor village about 100 or so miles outside of Niroby and took a liking to him and they decided to help him come over and get an education and as it turned out he wanted to stay. Phillip had to go back and stay 6 months and then he would be able to come back and stay permanent. Well when Phillip got to Niroby he was severly beaten and almost killed just outside the airport all for the hat,belt and boots he was wearing.He was hospitalized for 6 months and it was over a year before he was physically able to come back to the states and I was there when he arrived and he was still in pretty bed shape.
Now let's fast forward to a couple years ago when I was working the t-shirt trailer deal. I was conversing with Phillip telling him how cool the altereds are and I invited him and Jim up to Denton for the OFAA show, gave them a couple of RP shirts and tickets. They watched the first round of qualifying from the spectator side and then came over to the pits. Phillip was amamazed to say the least . He was in total awe of the hot rods and wanted more. I told him hey go down the pits and talk to the drivers and check out their cars up close , It's ok they don't bite and everybody is cool. After a while Jim walks up and asked if I had seen Phillip.Naturally I hadn't and Jim says Phillip really wanted to see the the Hayride car as it was his favorite from watching qualifing.He continued that they saw a car called Reeper and I said yea Larry's car. He said we looked at a blue car with a big burrly guy who looked like he wouldn't fit in it and I said yea Dodad. and then Jim says thats where I lost him. Well come to find out he had spotted the Hayride and had bolted with out Jim seeing him.Gee I wonder how many times that has happened at a drag race LOL.I told Jim not to worry he would be back when everybody came up for the next round.
Cars start coming up and low and behold here comes Phillip. He was so excited and says I found the Hayride. With the excitment of a child on christmas morning he starts telling me how he was standing admiring the car and Tim pulls him over and starts talking to him.He says "Do you know Tim and Candy".I must say the way he pronounced CAanndayyy was crazy funny with his accent. Anyways he tells me how Tim showed him all over the car,let him stand next to it while they warmed it up and CAanndayyy took me in the trailer and gave me some food and water. I want everyone one to know besides Jim and Lynn hadn't anybody in this world ever given him food and water and I don't know if candy knew it at the time but that was a gesture of love,family and belonging that only someone from a poor third world village could understand. Anyways Phillip is standing there with burn't up spark plugs, bent parts, parts,Hero card and I even think ha had a belt that Tim signed, just going on and on about what his expierence mean't to him and how wonderful this country is and mainly because of people like the Hay's.I said "it sounds to me like your a "hayseed" now. He says a hayseed what is that and I said a member of the team.I thought he was gonna burst with pride . Well he's standing there and see's the rack with everybody's hero cards and asked if he could have some of Tim's. I said sure take all you want and have some of the other cards to .No he only wanted The Hayride cards. He got so many I sarcasticly asked if he wanted the box and innocently he says no but can I have a bag.He probably took about 30 or so and said he had some people he wanted to give them to. What could I say but take what you want. Phillip has yet to quit talking about that night since then and he always ask about Tim and CAnndayy.
Last Sunday when my wife and I got back from a little weekend vacation to celebrate our aniversary a little early so I could race on our aniversary Jim was outside in his yard. I went over and told him what had happened to Tim and he asked me not to tell Phillip yet. It seems that when they had gotten home that night from the races Phillip wrote a letter to the village he was from.On the outside of the package he wrote I'm a Hayseed .Apparently they don't have internet and the only way to correspond is by regular ole mail.So now there are "High Voltage Hayride" cards all over this village celebrating Phillip being on the team,a Hayseed.Jim also told me that the little apartment Phillip has has all these parts allover as decoration with the signed hero card and the priceless t-shirt.
Last night when I got home from work I saw Phillip as he was leaving Jim and Lynn's and naturally he asked about his hayride buddys.All I could say was everybody's hanging in there the best they can . With that Phillip hopped in his little car and drove off but what made me smile is he has a You Lift You lose sticker in the back window of his little cavalier.
That night Tim and Candy made a difference in Phillips life. He told me that night he felt so alive and full of cheer and he even said"my heart is so full of happyness". I know Tim made a difference in alot of people's lifes and his tradition will always be continued thru Candy and the kids.
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