“And, therrrry’re off!”
They’re actually off at the Musuem Center at Five Points where the new exhibit, “In The Mud: The Fast and Dirty World of Dirt Tack Racing” has opened.
The exhibit got a premiere with a V.I.P. open house for the museum membership and is now open to the public through Aug. 16.
“It shows the history of this type of racing which has been such a big part of the history of this area,” said museum executive director Hassan Najjar.
He said the exhibit has interactive sections which test visitors’ knowledge about the history and trivia of the popular sport.
There is also a computer display that aids in bringing the sport to life.
“We also have a chalk wall which serves as a memorial wall where visitors’ can write to acknowledge those who participated in the sport they enjoyed so much and aren’t here to accept this accolade,” Najjar said.
There is a display of the different types of flags used to signal drivers as to the status of the race.
“Everybody knows the famous checkered flag design, but I would guess there are some with which many would not be familiar,” Najjar said.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is the restored 1934 Ford Flathead that was driven by John Roberts.
Uniforms, helmets and pictures from the past line the walls along with information about what the visitor is seeing.
“I think one of the great things Lisa (Chastain, curator of collections) has done is add information throughout the exhibit which gives advice on how to preserve old photographs,” Najjar said.
Chastain said preparations for the exhbit has been a five-month process.
“Because the museum does not have a lot in its permanent collection [on this subject], we really had to rely on the community,” Chastain said.
“We sent a call out for help and for objects back in March. Then it was a slow roll with people calling in saying they had great stuff and great stories. The actual construction of the exhibit took about a week.”