NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Friends and co-workers remember John Jodauga

18 May 2023
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor

In his more than 50 years as part of the tapestry of NHRA Drag Racing, whether it was as an illustrator, PR person, NHRA National Dragster reporter, or recreational runner, John Jodauga touched the souls and hearts of a lot of people, many of whom share their thoughts about J.J. below.

Phil Burgess, National Dragster Editor

I was lucky enough to work with John through two separate and distinct phases of his National Dragster career — three if you count the years that he ran an advertising agency that counted among his clients were giants such as Moroso, Russell, Jesel, Lamb, and many more.

Even though his editorial and advertising contributions to National Dragster ended up in the same publication, John could never seem to get his ads to us on time. Many a long day we spent at our longtime printer, NewsType Service, in the 1980s waiting for J.J. to arrive with his artboards in hand (this, of course, was before email). It became quite the running joke, even well into his post-retirement years.

When it came to the editorial side, John wasn’t always on time, but more so than when it came to the ads. I traveled to races all over the country with John for more than 20 years, and while he certainly didn’t need any help figuring out the story angle, the number of times I had to help him with his computer issues was mindboggling. You could show John a procedure and he would methodically write down, in detail, each and every step of the process (“scroll to the bottom of page; hit Save button”), yet somehow always wind up flummoxed.

Having gone from manual typewriters to a powerful and sometimes confounding computer, he was always a trouper, hanging in there and unafraid to ask for advice (again). But, oh, how he loved the sport and, of course, Pro Stock. His ability to get the best out of his interview subjects, his ability to create masterfully exquisite and/or funny drawings in no time, and a deep, deep love for the NHRA and National Dragster and all they stood for will forever keep him near and dear to my heart.

Kelly Wade, former National Dragster Associate Editor

My cubicle in the National Dragster office was catty-corner to John’s, and on my first day as an associate editor at National Dragster, I remember watching him out of the corner of my eye. I think I was a little starstruck at first, but even more than that, I was curious. I had seen his work. I knew that this man had dreamed up and brought to life some of the most beautiful and unique art that the world of drag racing had ever seen. To see him sitting in a cubicle with his eyeglasses perched just above his brow, rolling from computer to file cabinet searching for something … it was just such a normal way for a person to behave. How could someone of such skill, such talent, such grand experience be simply rolling about on an office chair, snacking on peanut M&Ms? It was just so … so … so human.
John Jodauga was an artist, and oh, how that spoke to my heart from day one. John's work is so rich; each piece holds incredible depth and a tenderness that can only be captured by someone who truly loves what they do. I wanted to write the way that John Jodauga painted, and, luckily for me, I got to work closely with him during my brief time at "the paper," as he called it. 
We shared the Pro Stock beat. He made room for the new girl in a space that he so treasured, and he told me more stories than I could ever, ever remember. I wish I had written all of them down — what a book that would be! He filled my brain with everything he could extract from his own, and I fell in love with this class, in large part, because of those stories. No. I fell in love with Pro Stock because of the way John told those stories — and the way he trusted me with them. I can hear him even now: "Oh, you would have loved it!" I can see him pressing his lips together and shaking his head and waving his hand, eyes slightly closed. "You would have loved it." 
Once, John and I covered the race in Brainerd together. The Monday morning drive to the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport was long, so long, and I was so tired. I asked him to drive, and he gladly did so. I thought I would fall asleep, but we found a radio station that we both liked and started playing the "Name that Tune" game. That man knew music of many genres. I learned that day that he loved Echo and the Bunnymen. Who knew? 

There were so many moments. We ran into each other at a 5k once, both of us sweaty and hot and a little high on a post-run rush. We both loooooooved the Los Angeles Dodgers. I was jealous that he asked our friend and copy editor Melissa [Pasillas] to edit his book. I was nervous for him to read mine; it mattered to me, what he thought about how I reported on Pro Stock. After he retired, they gave him a forever hard card, and he was so proud of it. He showed up at the first race of the new year wearing it around his neck, sporting the coolest shades, and looking healthier and happier than I'd ever seen him. That's my forever picture of John Jodauga.
I will close on this note: What struck me most, while walking through the Pro Stock pits with John Jodauga on more than one occasion, was the mutual and genuine respect he shared with the drivers. It's one thing to be a reporter, and another to be a reporter for NHRA's National Dragster. But to be respected, trusted, and appreciated the way that John was? That's something to strive for, in life and career. He was kind, he was good, and he cared deeply about what he created. It mattered.
I love you, J.J. Thank you for everything. xo

Brad Littlefield, former National Dragster Associate Editor

I think back to how lucky I was to spend my 20s crisscrossing the country to different dragstrips with National Dragster staff, among the most frequent travel companions being John Jodauga. J.J. was kind and gracious. He’d listen to the thoughts of a cub reporter with as much attention as you’d see him gathering anecdotes from Greg Anderson. His artistic talent preceded him, and his racing knowledge was well-documented. However, what impressed me most was the hard work he would put forth to fill any gaps in his job description that were outside of his strong suits. It made for a collaborative environment because John would never pawn off an assignment; J.J. approaching with questions regarding his work meant that he wanted to do the best job possible to relay timely and accurate information to the reader.

Having seen firsthand how tirelessly J.J. worked without any clamoring for incentives or pats on the back, it was heartwarming to witness the Pro Stock racers honor him during pre-race in his last NHRA Finals as a full-timer and also to earn recognition for his lifelong achievements at the California Hot Rod Reunion. The way he beamed during both occasions is how I’d like to remember my old friend and colleague. 

Candida Benson, former National Dragster Senior Editor

I’ve been thinking a lot about J.J. since last week, and while there have been tears, I’ve found myself smiling and laughing a lot remembering the adventures with him, not to mention his kindness and what a great human he was.

One memory that keeps coming up again and again was a trip just he and I took to Atlanta that kind of encapsulated J.J.: his love of snacks, his love of being in the pits with a notebook and talking to his buddies, and I guess his love-hate relationship with computers. We got to the track Friday, and I started setting up my computer. I could tell J.J. was kind of just sitting there not setting up, so I looked over, and when I saw him just staring forward, I asked him if he was OK. He looked at me and said, “Please don’t tell anyone about this, but I forgot my computer.”

Me: “What do you mean you forgot your computer? Like at the hotel or back in California?”

J.J.: “At the hotel.”

Me: “Wait, how do you forget your computer? Didn’t your bag feel too light?”

J.J. looks at me, reaches into his bag, and pulls out the shopping bag of snacks he always seemed to have with him that made his bag feel normal. All I could do at that point was laugh. He set his stuff down, pulled out a notebook, and headed to the Pro Stock pits to talk with his friends and do the work he could do without a computer. Thankfully, that was before we did the really heavy internet work, so we made it work with just my computer that day, and as far as I know, J.J. never forgot his computer again. The bag of snacks always came along, but he made sure to keep them separate from the computer bag.

I also remember introducing (and then somewhat regretting introducing) him to the movie Memento and how he dove into it 100% like he did with everything he had an interest in. And, of course, knowing more about The Sopranos and Twin Peaks than someone who has never seen a single episode of either show should ever know because of J.J.’s passion for both shows.

The time he told me he liked Linkin Park based on the song "In The End," so I brought the CD with us to listen to on the drive from Atlanta to Commerce. J.J. liked a lot of music, but as it turned out, Linkin Park was not part of that. He gave them an honest try and listened to the entire CD, but that was the one and only time we listened to it that weekend.

The Diet Coke bets we had when Utah and UCLA played football each year. Our bet was a Diet Coke, but as he often did, J.J. went above and beyond with his version of a Diet Coke that first year when Utah won, walking in Monday morning and placing a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke on my desk with a bit of a thud to make sure I saw him do it. I returned the favor the following year when UCLA won. I don’t remember which year it was, but there was also the time when Melissa [Pasillas, copy editor] distracted him long enough for me to change the wallpaper on his computer to a particularly rough sack Utah had on the UCLA quarterback in the game. When he got back to his desk, I heard “What?!?” Followed by “Candida!” Then Melissa and I just burst out laughing, joined a moment later by J.J., who was always a good sport.

Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor

Traveling with John Jodauga for many years as a member of the National Dragster staff I have many stories I could share, some worth telling, and perhaps some others best left unsaid. My favorite J.J. memory happened in 2001 when he got to experience Wrigley Field for the first time. Jodauga may not have been a Chicago Cubs fan, but he loved baseball, so when we saw there was a game scheduled for Thursday night before the start of the fall Route 66 Raceway event, it was easy to make travel plans. 

As any Cub fan knows, the best place to sit at Wrigley Field is the outfield bleachers. You not only get a unique view of the game, but it’s also home to some of Chicago’s most rabid (and vocal) sports fans. Jodauga loved the taunts of the opposing team (as if his beloved Dodger fans don’t engage in similar behavior).

This also happened to be the first baseball game played in Chicago after the 9/11 attacks, so we got an up-close view of the iconic sports moment when Cubs star Sammy Sosa circled the outfield with an American flag. It was one of those bone-chilling moments that you’ll never forget, and thinking back, I’m glad Jodauga was able to experience it. 

Don Prudhomme, drag racing legend

We were pretty tight in the early days. He did a bunch of stuff for me, and I just loved his work. He would do renderings for us, for sponsors and stuff like that. I just really liked him outside of doing work for us.

Monique Valadez, former NHRA Museum PR Manager and NHRA Media Relations Manager

I'm gonna miss his entertaining stories of working at NHRA. You could write a book on his adventures with NHRA. He loved every minute of working there. He lit up when talking about the Who's Who of NHRA. We had a grand time celebrating him at CHRR when he was an Honoree in 2015. He was a talented artist and storyteller. For a while, I'd take John back and forth to doctor appointments. I didn't see this as a chore but more of our time to reconnect and hear all his stories about NHRA, his running milestones, and current events. I was like a little kid listening so attentively to a grandparent. 

Pictured: Vanessa Wiarco, John, and me at CHRR 2015 when John was honoree. We were all running buds for a brief time but remained close til the end. 

I'm sure he's loving Hot Rod heaven reunited with all his dear friends from NHRA who have passed. Godspeed, John!

Steve and Cindy Gibbs

Steve: When I went to work for NHRA in 1969, John was on the staff of National Dragster. I treasure the working relationship and lifetime friendship that we shared. It didn't take long to realize just how talented he was, both as an artist and as a writer ... and he loved drag racing. He understood the sport and could convey those feelings with his art and his words. He could drive you crazy, pushing deadlines to the limit, but he always delivered. 

Looking back, I think we almost took John for granted. His contributions were immense, yet the full recognition seemed to somehow escape him. I was pleased to see him honored at the 2015 California Hot Rod Reunion. The sport owes John a great deal.

Cindy: J.J.’s artwork was everywhere during my childhood, whether it was the anticipated upper right-hand corner of the latest cover of National Dragster that graced our coffee table or displayed on our living room wall, I saw his incredible work literally every day. My mom had commissioned him to do a montage of my dad one year for Christmas, that hung above the fireplace for years. I can picture it in my mind, almost every detail, I’ve looked at it so many times.

And it’s impossible to measure the impact of one particular “cartoon,” the Big Hook’s Traveling Acceleration Show piece [honoring her father, Steve, then the NHRA Competition Director] is truly epic. I started thinking about it more after we got word of J.J.’s passing, what that project must have been like for him; I’m smiling, thinking he absolutely LOVED creating that piece … and how fun for my dad when he saw it for the first time. It’s a priceless gift that will always endear us to the creativity of John Jodauga. Race in Peace, friend.

Bob Frey, former NHRA announcer

Johnny, ‘Grumpy,’ and the Duke: John may not be a household name among current drag racing fans, but he was a hero to those of us who have been around the sport for ages.  John was, I can honestly say, one of a kind. His love for the sport was his life. Well, that and the Los Angeles Dodgers. But more on that later. John was part of the National Dragster family since 1969, but I’m sure you’ll be able to read about that elsewhere as the tributes to him pour in. 

He was a talent when it came to research and writing about the sport, primarily his first love, Pro Stock. And as good as he was at that, his work as an artist was unmatched in the history of the sport. From National Dragster stories to press kits to illustrations for folks like John Force (and family) and Jeg Coughlin (and family), he was without equal. His press kits for Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins are highly sought after by collectors around the world, as are the pieces he did for Car Craft and a wide variety of other magazines. He was so talented that he could write a book about artwork, in fact he did (The Art of Drag Racing). I am proud to say that I have three original “Jodauga’s” hanging on my walls. But none of that tells the real story of John.

Over the past few years, since I retired from traveling the circuit, John and I have talked a lot about the sport and maybe even more about baseball. Yes, as passionate as he was about Pro Stock, John was just as passionate about those Los Angeles Dodgers. John and I were in Bakersfield [Calif.] a few years ago for the Hot Rod Reunion. I was there because the Friday Night at Bakersfield was the best social event of the year for a drag racing fan. John was there to be honored for his years of work at National Dragster. After the event was over, John asked me if I could give him a ride back to his home near L.A. When I said yes, I didn’t realize what a great ride it would be. For the next three hours, John talked Pro Stock, his own career racing in the Sportsman classes, and, much to my delight, about his encounter with the great Duke Snider.

As I listened to John tell the story of his time at the Dodgers’ Fantasy Camp many years ago, I was amazed at his knowledge of baseball. He knew everything, and I mean everything, about the Dodgers’ history and could recite from memory the stats about all of their stars. He especially loved — and I mean loved — Duke Snider. “Bob, I got to meet him that week, and it was the biggest thrill of my life,” he told me. “And after I got to take batting practice and play in a game with them, we all went back to the bar to talk sports. Duke and Don Drysdale were there, and they couldn’t believe how much I knew about their careers."

As he went on, I could see in his eyes that John was a fan, a real fan, and he remembered every little detail about his encounter with the team. It was amazing, and it made the three-hour ride go by so quickly, and when we got back to his house, the stories continued while we sat in his driveway. It was a side of him that I never knew. He was in awe of the team and even went so far as to paint a picture of “The Duke” that he later presented to him.

As great as his work was for the drag racing community, John’s love of the Dodgers and his story about his “Dream Week” showed me another side of this multi-talented guy. Not only could he draw, he could also hit a curveball. Or at least that was his story. Fantasy or not, it made a three-hour drive in L.A. traffic very special to me, a ride that I will never forget.

For the past dozen years or so, John was writing the stories for the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion programs in Bowling Green [Ky.] and Bakersfield. I was at several of those events and always encouraged the fans to not only look at the pictures in the program but to read the stories, the stories John had researched and written so very well as only he could do, and all of the honorees that I spoke to were so proud of the way they were portrayed in the stories. I only wish I could have talked John into doing a story about the Dodgers. 

John was very special, extremely talented, and a true friend. He will be missed.

PS: I never had the heart to tell him that as a Phillies fan, I really couldn’t stand the Dodgers.

Rick Voegelin, longtime motorsport and drag racing writer and publicist

J.J. and I were friends and colleagues for 50-plus years. We collaborated on his illustrations for Car Craft articles on Bill Jenkins and SRD Race Cars, All-Star Drag Racing Team centerspreads, Oldsmobile and Warren Johnson press kits, Reher-Morrison and Dart ads — and so many more.

J.J. and I were true soulmates, united by our love for doorslammer race cars. In recent years, he suffered from numerous illnesses and afflictions, but regardless of his health, we'd always talk after NHRA national events about the happenings in Pro Stock, because that was our common bond. And whenever we spoke, he regaled me with stories about his early days with "Dyno Don" Nicholson, Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, Richard Maskin, Wally Booth, and many others. 

He spoke passionately about racing his Camaro in Super Stock and Econo Altered competition, and about his progress on constructing model kits of WWII aircrafts. He was a key contributor to the souvenir programs for the NHRA Motorsports Museum's events in Bakersfield, Epping, and Bowling Green, drawing on his deep knowledge and appreciation of drag racing history. I treasure the Jodauga illustrations that are hanging on my office walls and sequestered in my file cabinets. John's passing is a huge loss for me personally and for the sport we loved. Race in Peace, J.J. I hope I'll see you in the heavenly staging lanes.

Teresa Long, former National Dragster Photo Editor

Mr. Joe Doogie. That’s what I called my friend John (I think that a former ND prankster had him paged at the airport by that name). John loved to be in on a prank. He drew cartoons depicting pranks or incidents. Some of them became iconic to the staff. We would say, "Remember Jodauga’s drawing?” And that was enough to bring laughter. He loved making people laugh, even when he was on the other end of a joke or teasing. Years ago a mouse was discovered in John’s cubicle. It was enjoying the nuts, seeds, and M&Ms in John's desk drawer.

Copy Editor Melissa Pasillas and I named the mouse J.P. for “John’s Pet,” gave him a slot on the staff sign-in board with a marker that looked like a piece of cheese. We left notes on his desk from J.P. with snack suggestions, put a mouse picture as his screensaver, and little mouse pictures all over his desk. He, of course, protested, but he loved the attention and fun. He was a unique guy. Despite his talent and all the notable friends he had in drag racing, he was honestly one of the most humble human beings I have ever met. I am so glad I got to be part of the same family at ND. You had to be there.

Bill Holland, former National Dragster Editor 

John was constantly faced with people mispronouncing his last name. He once lamented that when the Arrowhead water man came to his studio and knocked on the door. He asked, “Who’s there?” “Jug of water” came the reply. Without hesitation, J.J. emphatically said, “No, no. It’s pronounced Joe-Dew-Gah.” 

Once he used the NHRA Xerox copier to make duplicates of his family Christmas letter, but inadvertently left the original in the machine. For the next week or so, various NHRA staffers would taunt him with questions about Beryl and Al (his parents) and other family members. 

We also used to give him crap about "Sarah" (his '69 Camaro that was sponsored by Sarah's Beauty Salon).

Bill Holland, left, and Jim Edmonds, National Dragster OGs of the 1970s

Back in the dark ages, we had a weekly “PROfile” feature that was a mini bio of various NHRA racers. Part of it was John doing an illustration of the racer. One of the racers slated to be featured was Don Nicholson. But J.J. — who was the de facto PR guy for Bill Jenkins — left on a trip to Pennsylvania before turning in the illustration. He said, “I’ll do it on the road.” Nothing came. Jim Edmunds, then the managing editor, kept after him. After a bit, J.J. told Jim, “I’ll send it to you.” Still nothing. “I mailed it in.” Nothing came. Backs against the deadline, we had to run a headshot photo of “Dyno” — no drawing. For years I’d ask, “Hey, did that drawing of Dyno ever show up?" Finally, after ages, he fessed up and admitted that he had not done it. 

Somewhere, I have a photo of John and me in my ski boat at Lake Isabella. But this one of him and Bill Crites with Frisbees at that same outing is priceless.

Pro Stock came into being about the same time J.J. joined the Dragster staff, and he was one of its biggest “cheerleaders.” 

For race coverage he’d do Pro Stock, I’d do Top Fuel and Edmunds Funny Car. Once I convinced Wally that we should have First Class tickets coming home, so we could use our portable typewriters and get a leg up on the upcoming thrash. 

On the way back from the race (I think it was Indy or Englishtown), there were J.J. and I up in First Class, typewriters and all. I managed to get a sentence down before falling asleep. Jodauga managed “Pro Stock …” and he, too, nodded off. As luck would have it, Rollie Enriquez (father of Don Enriquez) spotted us slumbering and took a photo. He subsequently went to Steve Gibbs and asked why NHRA was spending the money to put the Dragster guys in First Class, only to sleep. That was the first — AND LAST — time we had First Class seats. 

John was a talented writer and a gifted artist. What he did with his typewriter and “Dr. Ph. Martin’s dyes” was extraordinary. Fortunately, his artwork will live on, and he’ll be remembered fondly. 

Neil Britt, former NHRA Vice President of Publications

I had the teeth clenching/pleasures of working with John from his time running his ad agency through the end of my NHRA career. 

There is no way to count the number of times we sat together talking about his latest projects. He would excitedly tell me about the latest, say, Bill Jenkins press kit illustration he was completing. And always, it was due in two days. With equal excitement, he would drag it out of his briefcase to share his excitement. 

Jodauga gifted me with a painting of my son, Sean, when he was a baby. A treasure back then and even more so now.  

Invariably — with two days to complete the illustration — he would show me a penciled-in outline with about a quarter of the art actually colored in. Again, invariably, I’d gasp and ask how could he finish it on time. And, finish it he did, but rarely “on time," rather on “Jodauga time.” Somehow all those instances of late turned into finished, even if the printer had to insert it “on press.” After a while, it became Jodauga Rigeuer. However, the unspoken guarantee was that it was always “draw”-droppingly exquisite. 

Through many vales of tears and cheers, it will always be his talent with a brush, pen, and pencil I will remember about him most.

J.R. Martinez, former National Dragster Art Director/Corporate Art Director

John and I shared a love of the Dodgers, plastic model building (cars for me, military aircraft for him), and the TV series Twin Peaks, but the one thing I think we shared most closely was creative insecurity. 

While art director for National Dragster, I spent more than one evening before a deadline at John’s house encouraging him and commenting on what he was creating for us. Concept and composition were things he wanted my input on, but that unmistakable Jodauga style was all his. We spent much of our time talking about how difficult it could be to lay down that first brush-full of color on a final drawing and how occasionally an illustration would just evolve from that point on. 

He could be very unsure of his solution to an assignment, and there was never enough time to “get it right.” All I could do as he spoke was nod because I knew exactly what he was talking about. I got to know John as a person those evenings and he me. I was always pleasantly surprised to hear his voice when he would call me out of the blue. But my fondest memory of John will always be as a fellow artist. His work is part of the fabric of motorsports, though his talent went far beyond cars and racing. He will live on through those images. Thank you, John.

James Ibusuki, motorsports artist

I was surprised and saddened to hear that my old National Dragster buddy John passed away. He, along with Bill Crites and Phil Burgess, were the first staffers I met so very long ago. Besides our shared love of drag racing and illustration careers, John and I also attended Art Center College of Design. The prestigious private college was such a minefield of stress, competition, and all-nighters, that meeting any alumnus makes them instant comrades. I liken it to the sissy's version of military veterans! 

John was always such a strong supporter of my work and career. Being a fellow illustrator, he could offer constructive criticism or catch nuances that weren't obvious to the untrained eye. And I appreciated that! 

When I began to sell my work through National Dragster, John and I became immediate pals. We had so much in common. The most unexpected and surprising? John said that he roomed with Craig Nelson (my favorite instructor) as Art Center students! Craig was my mentor at the beginning of my career. When I told Craig that I was now working with John, he said, "I don't remember much, but I do remember John having a racing engine in our living room!"

John began to work for Petersen Publications, notably several illustrations in Car Craft magazine in the early '70s, and I was one of the young subscribers who saw and admired his pen and ink and color wash work.

During my 15-year print career, John penned two very nice articles about my paintings. The first one was just a few years after I began. John was assigned to write an article about the various drag racing artists around the country. Kenny Youngblood had been around since the early '70s. So, of course, he's always been treated like royalty. But when John got around to talking about me, he said, "James has brought a level of realism and detail that has never been seen in drag racing artwork." Needless to say, I loved his article. 

And when I did NHRA's 50th-anniversary collage painting in 2001, National Dragster made the subject of one of their weekly editorials a major focal point of each issue. John asked me to send some details about my painting research and process. I thought he was going to just use my email for reference. So, I was surprised to learn that my words ended up being virtually the whole article! John made just enough adjustments to improve the flow and make it read from his point of view (instead of mine).

Because my drag racing paintings featured historically accurate backdrops, I'd often get the most surprising comments on occasion. Two times I had people call me to order a print because — their house was shown in the background! I had a variation of that comment from John himself. This was for my 1962 Winternationals painting of two Super Stock 409 Bel Airs. Because of the historical facts, I was stuck painting two very "Plain Jane" colored cars — both were white. This early '60s period was before color magazine photos became commonplace. Hence, 90% of my research only turned up black and white pics. But, eventually, I found a Sounds of the Drags LP on eBay. Its cover had a nice color pic of Pomona in 1962. I was delighted to see a very bright yellow and royal blue street sweeper in the background. I could place this colorful machine between the two white cars to create some visual excitement — and it really livened up the piece!

I debuted the painting at Indy during Labor Day weekend of 2004 at a hotel collectible show. When John saw it for the first time, he got very excited. Yes, John loved the 409s because he was good friends with both of the depicted legends, "Dyno Don" Nicholson and Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, but here's John's remark that caught me off guard: "Wow, I can't believe you even got the Wayne street sweeper in your painting!" I asked John why that was important. John: "After school, I used to have a part-time job at the Wayne Co. My job was to sand the bodies before they got painted!" Well, son of a gun! 

My Indianapolis buddy who hosted the collectibles show gave me one of John's originals, a black and white portrait of Larry Arnold (created for ND's PROfile series). Arnold drove a '70 'Cuda Funny Car called the "King Fish," one of my dear favorites. I think I told you that I owned the "King Fish" fiberglass body for seven years. The gorgeous paint was gone (just covered in tan primer), and it hung in my garage. When my biz went south, I sold it to a vintage collector in Pennsylvania. So, to have one of John's originals, a portrait of a favorite Funny Car driver, was such a cool thing. And it means more to me now with the passing of John. Rest in Peace, John!