Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Remembering Joe Kerr

Joe Lee “JL” Kerr, 94, passed away on Saturday, January 18, 2014. Born in Whitley County, Kentucky to Joe and Molly Kerr he lived most of his life in Southern California.

Joe was a passionate, hard working man who enjoyed life in many ways. His marriage to Dottie Hamilton in 1940 was followed by service in the Army during WWII. Joe soon entered service in the Santa Monica Post Office where he put his many mechanical skills to work, retiring as their Manager, Building Operations. Seemed like he could fix or build anything. His retirement was to work summers at the Friendship Flea Market and winter at his home in Morongo Valley, CA. He loved the companionship of the flea marketeers. “Everythings for sale, except the wife and kids, cause there is a law against that” was a favorite response when asked if an item was for sale.

Joe was very proud of his 4 sons, Jerry, Terry, Larry and Randy Sam. Randy was lost to him in 1983. After Dottie's death in 1979, Joe married Virginia “Chris” Greer in Indiana. This brought together two of Friendship's favorite families. Joe now included the Greer kids, Bob, Judy, Jane, Rick, and Sue as part of his family. With them and the growing numbers of grandkids and great grandkids his years in the 80's and 90's were full of love and family. After Chris's death in 2006, Joe lived with and was cared for by Larry and Andy. Their love and care gave him much comfort in his final years.

Every person he met will remember Joe for a special reason. Jeep enthusiast, electrician, plumber, mechanic, pack rat, huckster, builder, father, grandpa Joe, or friend. He has left us for now, and each of us is richer for having known him.

No services are planned. If desired, donations to your local Salvation Army would be appreciated.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

2014 is coming

I can't believe 2013 is almost over.  The years seem to get shorter and shorter.  I made some wonderful additions to my family tree this year.  I made connections with a second cousin that I had not talked to in over 40 years.  His input will add even more to my Hamilton tree.  Another amazing find was a friend from my early off road racing days.  I have yet to talk to him but just knowing that he is well is enough until we do talk.  This is another 35 plus year connection.  I anticipate a positive year ahead and pray that all of my friends and family join me in celebration of 2014.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

SEMA coming to Las Vegas

I am looking forward to reporting on the new products and cool cars coming up in a couple of weeks.  Small clips here but full reports on Las Vegas Motorsports News.  Http://

Friday, October 25, 2013


Had a chance to start a new tree for some friends yesterday.  Starting with the 1940 census was fun and very productive in just a few ( 30 ) minutes.  Unlike the brick walls of the current family tree.  An example?  I found n
My friends parents and after hours of searching and page by page, line by line in sheets where they should be, I have yet to find my own parents.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I was watching the GRC global rally cross and had a thought!

An off shoot of the x-games rally cross which provides a stadium course that simulates the terrain of the worlds rally courses.  Does this idea sound familiar ?  Mickey Thompson did the same thing back in the 70's.  First in the Santa Ana river bed near Van Buren Blvd..  He then moved the races to the Riverside Raceway.   These races were a huge success and I believe they were the last actual spectator race at the closed track.  While doing these races Mickey was developing the stadium style races which premiered at the Los Angeles Coliseum. 

Today, Robby Gordon is promoting stadium races for off road trucks and buggies.  

Ascot Speedway in Gardena, CA also had weekly off road races during the '70s.  Internet searches for these subjects will provide you with loads of stories, pictures, and videos if you want to learn more.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Where have you been?

I have no excuses for my lack of posting.  It's not like I have much else to do for a few minutes every two or three days.  So this one is just a note to say that I am back and hope to hit the keyboard more often than ever in the coming weeks.

Check out this little fella I found in my back yard.  A desert Tortoise.  I have not seen him after letting him down off the block wall.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day 2013

So today is Father's Day.  A day that always brings forth both happy and sad feelings.  Sad for the loss of loved ones and happiness for all your dad has done to shape who you are today.  For those of us who grew up in the 40's and 50's our fathers were very much like the famous fathers of the television sitcoms.  The bread winners who came home to dinner with the whole family at the dinner table.  Dad's who had survived the depression of the 30's and WWII in the 40's.  Dad's who had a job that had a future and the hope of something better for their kids.  My father provided all of this plus a strict hand in his discipline for misbehavior.  A guy that worked hard and sacrificed to provide the best that the time could offer. 

The house that Dad built and the pine tree planted at the beginning of construction are seen in this photo taken at Christmas with Joe Kerr, Dorothy Kerr and sons Jerry and Terry with their new red wagons.  This was always a favorite gift from my Dad.  He loved giving wagons to kids for presents and cast iron skillets to newly weds.  Oh how that neighborhood changed over the years.

For me, I really appreciated the major sacrifices he would make to provide vacations that we have never forgotten.   From Jeep runs over a weekend, or holiday trips to the Salton Sea, or the 52 day cross country trip, we always had interesting and educational experiences..  Not sure how much of a "vacation" they were for him,  Often, he would work extra jobs prior to the trip to earn enough money so we could go.  If that failed, he would borrow from the bank just for the trip and then work extra to pay off the loan.  This was his way of making sure that we had the opportunity to see all we could about our great country.

One of my favorite Dad moments was this one in 1969 when Dad brought his 14 month old grandson Jason his little red wagon. Jason's bib overalls and Dad's playful look always brings a smile to my face. 

Dad, I hope these photos and our memories of these times brings a smile to your face too.