Veteran motorsports editors, publishers, writers and artists became ordinary fans when they spent some one-on-one time with Tom Medley at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum October 2010. Tom was honored by the guys and gals that worked with this renowned cartoonist and grew up with Stroker McGurk.
It was my honor to host the gathering for our former publisher and I couldn't have pulled it off without the help from Dave McClulland the voice of NHRA, past R&C Publisher DeEtte Crow, who spearheaded a raffle that raised money for the museum. Jane Barrett, Research Editor for Road&Track, provided "Stroker McGurk for President" magnetic dash plaques, and sponsor Jack Chisenhall of Vintage Air, who made sure everyone received a Stroker hat as well as the coolest name tags with McGurk greeting the attendees. Darold Kohout of Sacramento Vintage Ford graciously sponsored the luncheon as well. Faye "Lady Bug" Pierson of K&P Manufacturing made sure Tom's go karting gang was in full attendance.
Ed Justice of Justice Brothers Car Care Products wowed the group with his magic while Jack Mattson, Jr. dazzled the ladies and gents with balloon artistry to take home with them (don't forget this was for a cartoonist).
Jerry Pitt, Publisher of Hot Rod and Hot Rod Deluxe, Dave Wallace (who's grin never left his face), Editor of Hot Rod Deluxe, Brian Brennan, Editorial Director/Editor of Street Rodder Magazine, Pat Ganahl, former editor of R&C, Spencer Murray, the first editor of R&C, and Alex Xydias, past editor of Car Craft, had the time of their lives sharing the day with Stroker's dad.
But it was over the top when noted motorsports artists came to honor Medley. Tom Fritz presented Tom with a framed and signed painting of Stroker sketching Tom Medley. Darrell Mayabb illustrator, cartoonist and Stroker fan traveled from Arvada, Colorado to present Tom artwork. Artist Tom Daniel of Kanab, Utah, a prolific designer of wild automotive art sent his artwork for Tom to enjoy as well.
Finally, Orah Mae Millar, whose late husband Pete Millar created Arin Cee (R&C) cartoons for Rod & Custom, reminded Tom that he told Pete, "not to quit his day job," which filled the room with laughter.
In the end, some hard-core media people stood in line to have 90-year-young Mr. Medley autograph their Stroker hats. My plan is to do this again when our beloved "Smedley" hits 100.