Ski Stories # 10

I will do anything to ride for you, Ski pledged to Roberts. I just want a chance.


Ostensibly at some point someone thought it was a good idea to team Dave Sadowski and Thomas Stevens together. This was not one of those times.
Ostensibly at some point someone thought it was a good idea to team Dave Sadowski and Thomas Stevens together. This was not one of those times. Dean Adams

If Ski got an idea in his head I really don’t think that anyone¬†could convince him that maybe we should let this one percolate a while before action. This is how Ski ended up sitting on the picnic table in Kenny Roberts’ yard once. Ski decided that he was going to talk to Kenny Roberts face to face about racing for him in Europe. So, Ski fueled up his van and long-armed it, drove solo from New Hampshire to Hickman, California. He found Kenny’s ranch and when the gate would not open, he jumped the fence and walked up to the house (do not do this). He banged on the door to Kenny’s house and KR’s then wife answered, and told him Kenny wasn’t home and she didn’t know when he would be back. Ski saw the picnic table in the yard and asked if he could wait. She said sure but it might be a while. Ski sat down.

Hickmann in July is no picnic. The sun and its heat are relentless; it truly is a fireball. Ski sat there all afternoon and when Roberts finally returned, he found Ski sitting at his picnic table very sunburned but undaunted by a pesky thing like the heat. I will do anything to ride for you, Ski pledged to Roberts. I just want a chance.

Roberts let him down easy and said he had way too many irons in the fire to take on one more project, but that he’d keep an eye on him. Roberts said later that honestly, he would have been more open to Ski’s gesture if John Kocinski hadn’t already done the same thing (“I will do anything …”) and that situation was in the early stages of going G. Gordon Liddy-level bad.

Semi-satisfied Ski jumped back in the van, pledged to Roberts that he would not let him down and drove home. He won the Daytona 200 the following March.


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