Holiday Cheer






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Publication: National Dragster
Author: Beebe, Suzy
Date published: February 4, 2011

So how did you spend your holidays? Did you stay home with the family or go on vacation? Larry and Ali Dixon enjoyed Christmas in their Avon, Ind., home with children Donovan, Darien, and Alanna; however, they spent New Year's Eve in Jamaica, mon. "We wanted to go somewhere warm to celebrate the championship," said Ali. "We drank, ate, and swam. Now we are working off our gain; well, I am. Larry worked out every day of vacation." No fair.

On the other side of the country in beautiful Lake Tahoe, Nev., Courtney, Laurie, and Brittany Force and Ashley Force Hood carried their favorite John through the Christmas holidays. The Force clan usually spends Christmas there to enjoy the winter festivities. Laurie and John will soon move into a new home in Yorba Linda, Calif. John's favorite Christmas present of 2010? Perhaps the love from his family, or just being able to live in the main house. Whatever the case may be, he is one lucky fellow. When asked if John will be underfoot, Laurie answered, "It's a big house." Need we say more?

During the 2010 holidays, friends paid a visit to Dellie and Joe Reath in their Long Beach, Calif., home to present them with a "Christmas Reath," a Certificate of Appreciation for the Reaths' lifelong contribution to drag racing. On the plaque is a photo of the Dunn & Reath Top Fuel dragster (yes, that's Jim Dunn, the fireman himself). Dellie asked, "Before the photo runs in National DRAGSTER, is there a way you can take 10 years off me?" Ah, her great sense of humor lives on.

I'm happy to report that Dick and Claudia LaHaie have returned from the Dominican Republic none the worse for wear. Dick underwent a stem cell transfusion Jan. 13. The procedure went as follows: On Jan. 4, Dick had 330cc of blood drawn at the Regenocyte Therapeutic in Bonita Springs, Fla. The blood was flown to Israel, where they grew 56 million of Dick's stem cells, then shipped them to a hospital in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where doctors preformed the operation. Claudia was happy to report, "Dick will begin to breathe better soon." The transfusion is the result of emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Glad to hear the good news about one of the nicest guys in all of drag racing.

Not good news for all you Dale Pulde fans: He is suffering from valley fever and has been bedridden since Oct. 10. Valerie Harrell, Dale's soul mate and caregiver, wants people to know where to find information regarding this almost always undiagnosed disease (www.valleyfeversurvivor.com). Dale added, "The only thing I think people need to know is if they get the same symptoms every year and doctors pass it off as flu, bronchitis, or pneumonia, insist on more testing." It's an easy X-ray or blood test that is sent to a competent lab - competent being the key word here. Best wishes to two of the nicest people in nostalgia drag racing. Can't wait for Dale to return to the War Eagle.

On a happier note, the Dixons were not the only ones who enjoyed Jamaica this winter. Angie and Matt Smith also took in some rays in the land of blue water and sunshine.

Wendy, Jeff, and Jenna Arend also had a great time at home during the holidays. Jenna must have been a good girl during the year because Santa left lots of goodies under the tree. That's a smile no one can resist.

Author affiliation:

Suzy Beebe has been covering the social side of drag racing since the 1960s for a number of publications, including previously National DRAGSTER, for which she also wrote a column, Women in Drag Racing, in the mid-1970s. Her Suzy's Scrapbook column will appear once a month in ND. To contact Suzy, e-mail SuzysScrapbook@live.com.

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