Old-school drag racing
Little River track to host eighth-mile event for vintage rods.
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
The Chargers will be there. So will the Chevelles, Camaros, Mustangs and Mavericks.
It’s Vintage Drags racing day, and it’s coming to Little River Dragway on March 5.
“We usually do this in October, but we’ve had many requests for Vintage Drags in the spring,” said Mike Garvin, owner of the drag strip. “We decided to make it a twice-a-year event.”
The historic little strip — it opened in 1957 — always draws a good crowd during its March-to-November season, but Vintage Drags is perhaps the most popular event of the year.
“We’re expecting 100 race cars and at least 1,000 spectators,” Garvin said.
Tickets for the event are $15 per person and $10 for active-duty military. Kids 12 and under are free.
“We don’t do online sales,” he said. “It’s all pay at the gate.”
The event is open to all 1975 or older American-made hot rods.
“Vintage Drags is dedicated to vintage speed,” Garvin said. “You will see early-style hot rods, gassers, dragsters and more tearing down the strip. Over the years, the name has changed — it used to be called Temple-Academy Dragway — but it’s the same ol’ track my dad raced on in the 1970s.”
“Little River Dragway is a piece of Texas hot-rodding history,” Garvin said. “And Vintage Drags is an event you need to experience to appreciate. It’s living history.”
According to Garvin, Vintage Drags will be eighth-of-a-mile runs divided into several classifications.
“A driver’s classification will be determined by the car’s times in the qualifying runs,” Garvin said.
Qualification runs begin at 10 a.m., and the runs give drivers the opportunity to get a “feel” for the track. The early runs also allow Garvin and crew to time the racers and place each one in the proper classification.
Cars running slower than 10 seconds will be placed in the Leisure class, and those running in the 8- to 9.99-second range will compete in the Street class. The Competition class will feature faster racers — those qualifying in 6.51 to 7.99 seconds.
A hopped-up 1972 Ford Maverick launches off the starting line during a race at Little River Dragway. Courtesy photos
THURSDAY | FEBRUARY 24, 2022
TISD, Bell County to have delayed starts because of potentially bad weather
Temple ISD will have a two-hour delayed start Thursday because of potentially icy weather. All buses will run two hours later than normal.
Bell County offices will not open until 11 a.m., and all early voting locations in the county will delay opening to the public until noon to allow election workers time to prepare the sites. Voting locations will close at 7 p.m.
Mission critical Bell County employees will still need to report for duty and should contact their supervisor if they have any problems getting to work.
Baylor Scott & White clinics and outpatient centers are modifying schedules over the next two days. Hospitals will remain open.
Patients who have an upcoming appointment should call their provider's office or reach out using MyBSWHealth to confirm appointment details. Virtual care options will remain available, including same-day care for many common conditions. Visit MyBSWHealth.com or text BETTER to 88408 to download the MyBSWHealth app.
Morning, in-person classes at Temple College will be moved online. In-person classes that begin at noon or after will be held at their regular times and locations. Campus offices will open at 10 a.m.
By VINCENT MUNDY, special to Our Town Temple
Football season may be over, but we can always enjoy local sports history year-round.
Every two weeks I will select a Temple Gridiron Great in order to demonstrate our town's football legacy, which I feel is deserving of a permanent museum display.
| | | | | | |
Barton "Botchey" Koch was born in 1907 and was a starter on the Temple Wildcats varsity football team in 1925 and 1926. Those teams had a combined record of 14 wins, 2 losses and 2 ties, and Koch was named All-State in 1926.
The style of football in the 1920s was Rugby-like, and gridders had to play offense and defense.
The description of Koch from the 1926 Temple High School Cotton Blossom reads: "No man trained harder than ‘Botchey.’ He was a hard hitting, bone smashing end who loved the game… Players of his type are hard to find.”
Current Temple High football coach Scott Stewart would have loved this guy!
Barton was recruited to play for the Baylor Bears, and by 1930 he was captain of the football and baseball teams. He was a fine catcher on the baseball diamond and played outfield as well. His rugged style of play on the gridiron “botched” opponents’ plans on both sides of the ball.
Koch was named consensus All-American for the 1930 season, the first ever All-American for Baylor football and that will always be his legacy.
After his playing days were over Koch did not play professional football. Articles from The Lariat — Baylor’s newspaper — indicate that he had suffered a knee injury.
Koch became a line coach for Baylor and other universities until he served in WWII as a merchant mariner. After the war he lived in Temple and did bookkeeping work until his death in 1964 at age 57. His youngest brother, George, played two seasons at Baylor and was a member of the 1945 NFL champion Cleveland Rams.
Barton Koch is enshrined in 5 separate Sports Halls of Fame, yet his only acknowledgement here in Temple is engraved on his tombstone, which reads: Barton "Botchey" Koch — A real All-American.
For more about Wildcat football legends, visit the Facebook page Temple Texas Football Legacy
Barton Koch was buried at Hillcrest Cemetery in Temple. Vincent Mundy photo
Rick Trevino will be one of six acts at the Heritage y Familia Music Festival in Downtown Temple on May 7. New details about the concert were released today.
Tejano music festival tickets will be $20 in advance, $25 at the gate
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Organizers of the big Temple Heritage y Familia Music Festival, set for May 7 in Downtown Temple, announced additional details today about the event.
Tickets for the six-band show will be $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Online sales through EventBrite are expected to begin Saturday.
“It’s a Cinco de Mayo celebration, but we decided to hold it Mother’s Day,” said Roney Castor, event coordinator and fundraising chairman for the Temple Breakfast Lions Club.
“Money raised during the festival will help support the Lions Club’s charity efforts,” Castor said.
These charities include McLane’s Children’s Cancer Center, Operation Feed My Sheep, Operation Feeding Temple, the Un-Included Club, Family Promise and the Ralph Wilson Youth Center. The club also supports the Texas Lion’s Camp, Texas Leader Dogs for the blind and several missions related to vision and glasses.
“We want to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of our community,” Castor said. “We want to make sure Temple stands out as a hub for diverse community activities.”
“We’re really excited about the six bands we have lined up for the festival,” he said. “They are very diverse.”
The big names for the event include Bobby Pulido, Rick Trevino and Las Fenix, a group consisting of five sisters from Houston. All three have massive fan bases and would normally headline a concert.
Also performing at the Cinco de Mayo celebration is Roberto Pulido, father of Bobby Pulido, Max Baca and David Beck.
Robert’s career has spanned five decades and he is responsible for pioneering the Tejano sound by introducing accordions and saxophones into his music.
“That sound helped bridge the gap between traditional Conjunto music and modern Tejano,” said Roney, who has been a Tejano DJ for many years.
Max Baca & Los Texmaniacs have been around since the mid 1990s and the band won a Grammy in 2010 for Tejano album of the year.
David Beck’s Tejano Weekend was formed in 2017 when Beck was looking for a new musical direction. He attended a house party where he found his new groove. At the party, a huge TV was blasting a Selena concert and he was captivated. Soon, he gathered up his friends, hired an accordion player and created English-language Tejano music.
“It’s traditional Tejano, just in English,” Castor explained. “Every song is a dance track and every show is a party.”
Along with music, the festival will feature arts and crafts, clothing vendors and a variety of food trucks.
So why is Cinco de Mayo so important?
It was popularized by beer, wine and tequila companies in the 1980s, and today alcohol sales rival another big event: the Super Bowl. But, the reason for the celebration goes back much further.
“Cinco de Mayo is more popular in the United States than it is in Mexico,” Castor said. “The celebration began in California where it has been observed annually since 1863. Activists raised awareness of the holiday in 1960, in part because they identified with the victory of indigenous Mexicans over European invaders during the Battle of Puebla.”
For more information about the Heritage y Familia Music Festival, contact Castor at Ritmotejano@aol.com.
To include your events in What’s Happening, email information to OurTownTemple@gmail.com. Photos are welcome to for use in the publication as space permits!
the LINKS: NEWS FROM EVERYWHERE! State, Nation, World, Business, Sports…all the news you need!
On this day in 1836, William Barret Travis, commanding the Texans under attack in the Alamo, wrote his famous letter addressed "To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World." In the letter, he pledged that he would "never surrender or retreat" and swore "Victory or Death." The predominant message, however, was an entreaty for help: "I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch." Travis knew that his men, besieged by Mexican forces under Martín Perfecto de Cos, could not hold out long without reinforcements. Inspired by his letter, more troops did make their way to San Antonio, but too few and too late to avert disaster. Travis was among the first to die in the battle of the Alamo, on March 6.
OurTownTemple@gmail.com | (254) 231-1574 | www.OurTownTempleTX.com