I read Lyle Hills recent editorial about the Glass Expo Midwest Belt Sander Races with great pleasure (see USGlass, October 1998, The Business). I loved the reference to "Mr. Belt Sander." There is no feeling like the thrill of having ones belt sander sitting side by side at the beginning of a 60-foot long belt sander racetrack and the anticipation of the crowd wondering what will happen next. The race official shouts "3,2,1, GO." The belt sanders dig in and erupt in a cloud of wood dust, down the track in less than three seconds. The crowd is silent and there is a rush of laughter and enthusiasm as someone yells out "run em again." Yes, this is an "extremely abrasive" sport designed to get the creative and competitive juices flowing!
As for the race, I concede my loss of first place, but do ask Mr. Hill to note that I did come in second against your stand in, a very worthy opponent and Canadian friend, Alfie Ogston of the Extractor Company.
My ultimate goal in challenging you Mr. Hill, was to intoxicate you with the thrill of the sport, and to ultimately lure you back into the wilds of New Hampshire January 22nd and 23rd for the Glass Forum 99 Belt Sander Races. I extend a new challenge: race your dubious machine against New Hampshires winner of last year, Queen City Glass. It is only fair that the champions of each region have the opportunity to challenge each other for the true claim to the title "Mr. Belt Sander." This is a title I will happily relinquish!
Furthermore Mr. Hill, I ask that you choose which class you will be racing in, the out of the box division or the modified division. For more information about this "extremely abrasive" sport, you can visit the International Belt Sander Drag Race Association website at www.beltsander-races.com and find out how to maintain your title.
BTB Tools, USA
First, Id like to begin by complimenting Mr. Daniels on his eloquent correspondence. Its quite apparent to me that Mr. Daniels is talented in any number of areas and his proficiency with belt sanders is but only one of them. Now for the matter at hand. Unfortunately, I am scheduled to compete in the fourth annual National Vacuum Cleaner Races in Topeka, Kansas on the day in question. However, if I can get my $8.47 entry fee deposit back from the people in Topeka, I will accept the challenge and race against Mr. Daniels on January 22nd and 23rd Additionally, I want to race in both divisions, the out of the box division and the custom modified division. But, I must make Mr. Daniels aware that I intend to bring Johnny "The Mooch" Rago with me just to make sure the race is fair (at least by Chicago standards).
I love your magazine. I think it is absolutely the best trade journal for the glass industry. If Lyle Hill ever stops writing for your magazine, I dont know what Ill do.
However, in the October issue (see USGlass, October 1998, Industry Outlook) there is an article by Leslie Shaver. It is going a little too far when you start publishing prices, even average wholesale prices. Just the aggravation alone, created by customers calling and asking "why not me" stirs up the pot a little too much. I do not know how others feel about seeing prices in a national publication, but my vote goes to "please dont."
Mid-American Glass, Inc.
Editors Note: For further discussion of this, see the Issue at Hand, page 10.
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