I have been covering racing at the national level (NASCAR, NHRA) for several years now, but there’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of racing at small, hometown tracks like Senoia Raceway. I’ve been driving past this track, which is right off Ga. Hwy 16 between Griffin and Newnan, since 2005, but had never been to a race there until earlier this month.
I worked at several newspapers around Georgia during my short-lived (6-year) newspaper career. I started out as reporter (I miss AP style, too) for The Moultrie Observer in 2001 and was working as a staff photographer for the Griffin Daily News when I left the industry in 2007. I quit so that I could return to school and finish my bachelor’s degree. My intentions were to re-enter the newspaper world, hopefully a few rungs up the ladder, once I had degree in hand (I had already been turned down one job because I didn’t).
I grew up pretty close to Shady Dale, Georgia, but I didn’t attend my first Shady Dale Rodeo until I was well into my 20s. It was about 6-7 years ago, when I was working as a photographer for the Griffin Daily News. I was blown away that this had been going on right up the road from me for most of my life and I had yet to attend. I immediately fell in love with rodeos and the people who attend them.
I was never very good at sports. I didn’t pick up any girls because of my athletic prowess, I didn’t grace the local weekly newspaper’s sports headlines, nor did I make the rosters of the all-star or traveling teams. But I did have a lot of fun playing sports. Baseball, in particular. And a lot of that fun was experienced on a little dirt patch where I grew up in Bostwick, Georgia. For those of you not familiar with this quiet place, it’s a small, small, town between Madison and Monroe on Georgia’s scenic Highway 83. Population, 366.