Friday, August 17, 2012

Family History

I love getting emails from my grandfather! 

He has read every book and knows every fact about everything, but most of all he is passionate about our family heritage and lineage. Because of this passion and all that he has taught me to appreciate in life, my wife and I named our son after him. His emails are often linked to exploits of past family members and provide context to my character.
Madison Square Garden Six-Day Races - December 1908

Today I received the following email from him:
"I don't think I ever told you why you and Hank like the bicycle so much. Your Great Uncle was a pro bike rider when the old Madison Garden was the home of the 6day bike races. It had a round oval all wood around the inside of the Garden on a steep slant high up. The race was a two man partnership and went constant for 6 days. He and his partner won often. You and Hank have the genes, so now you know. Love, Chief"

I recently read the book about another fascinating track cyclist - Marshall Walter "Major" Taylor (26 November 1878 – 21 June 1932) was an American cyclist who won the world 1 mile (1.6 km)track cycling championship in 1899 after setting numerous world records and overcoming racial discrimination. Taylor was the first African-American athlete to achieve the level of world champion and only the second black man to win a world championship—after Canadian boxer George Dixon.

Now I am going to be totally obsessed with tracking down information about my great uncle and his 6-day racing exploits. If anyone has recommendations on books or information about the history of Madison Square Garden 6-Day racing please let me know!

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