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  1. #1
    Supporting Vendor JonB ~ PartsRack's Avatar
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    Bit O Hissstory 1925 vs 2020 We Will Beat This

    95 years ago, Winter 1925.

    The population of Nome, Alaska, was at its PEAK! 5X the population of today, due to gold mining boom. Miners brought with them diseases, and the local population of mostly Eskimos were dying of a diphtheria outbreak. Children were especially vulnerable. But NO Vaccine existed near Alaska.

    Alaska was USA territory since 1867, and telegraphs fed the story to newspapers and radio stations of the day, exposing the heart-rending story of dying and gravely-ill native children, laid on the snow to help break their fevers. NEW YORKERS HAD TO DO SOMETHING!

    Turning to wealthy donor-barons and government of the day, Diphtheria serum was quickly produced and relayed by air, land, and sea, thousands of miles to SEWARD Alaska. The Alaska Railroad was to carry the serum north to Nenana Alaska, about 425 miles. From there it was still almost 600 more miles to Nome. No Rail. No Roads, No air service. Rivers and ocean frozen solid. Media of the day carried nightly updates on the serum progress, and the mounting death toll.

    CAUTION: This new Serum Could NOT BE FROZEN, or it would be rendered inert! A total waste.

    Village elders of Athabaskan, Eskimo, Inuit clans stepped up. They had been fishing, hunting and trapping almost every mile, with SLED DOGS in the Winter. They also carried local mail! With the help of telegraph and short wave, they set up a village network Sled Dog Relay of the precious serum, from Nenana to Nome. Approximately 25 teams agreed to hand-off serum in a Relay Race to save the population of Nome. Serum was rotated INSIDE their fur parkas, to keep it from freezing. Inside a week, the serum was safely delivered to medical staff in Nome. "NOME SAVED" read the headlines. The lead dogs of the two most treacherous segments became worldwide heroes: BALTO even has a statue erected in NY Central Park.... perhaps you've seen it? Disney made him even more famous, but only Alaskans know his owner/trainer/musher: Leonhard Sepphala.

    The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates this historic event each year since 1976. They Mush 1000+ miles thru the historic villages from Anchorage to Nome. Its a BIG DEAL in Alaska! The mushers pre-race banquet is the biggest dinner in AK!

    The 2020 Race is finishing this week in Nome. Right Now, as I write this! Each musher carries a symbolic packet of serum. Mushers from around the world compete, and their family comes to Nome to meet them. The MUSHERS BANQUET after each race is the biggest annual event in NOME ! But not THIS COVID YEAR.

    3 Covid-free Villages had kept mushers outside of town centers this year. Nome has NO COVID, so the banquet is cancelled. The awards will have to wait. How ironic that the serum run that saved 1925 Nome, could now bring disease to 2020 Nome!!

    If there is a relative point here it may be this: "We Can Get Through This by PULLING Together." Which is what Sepphala said back in 1925 as he awaited his turn at the relay serum.



    FYI: I was a volunteer/race official for 25 years on the Iditarod, most years from 1978 -2005. I have been in almost every check-point, and lived thru -53f temps there. The above is from memory, not from Google. Dodge is the Official Truck of The Iditarod, due in part to my efforts dating to 1983. "ONE Tough Trail---One Tough Truck!" Bob Lutz had my hat in his office and winters in his ski-bag!

    And so began my affinity for, and work with Dodge Motorsports...they cover Dog Races too!
    Last edited by JonB ~ PartsRack; 3 Weeks Ago at 05:49 PM.
    Jon "JonB" Brobst ~~~~:<~ JonB@PartsRack.com


  2. #2
    VOA Mamba Member
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    ACR-ISH's Avatar
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    Amen brotha! PREACH ON!
    Northern CA VOA Operations Director ****** 2014 SRT Viper - Full APR Aero - BC Racing Coil Overs - Forgeline GA3R-6 - and the list goes on...
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  3. #3
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    thetalonguy's Avatar
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    Thanks for providing your “memory”. Can sure use something uplifting away from all this doom and gloom.
    Matt-
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  4. #4
    Enthusiast TA Two Oh's Avatar
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    Jon

    Well, I had absolutely no idea of any of this! Thank you so much for sharing. You're a treasure to the Viper community. Here are some photos of you from the only time that we met in person, in early 2016. I'm not sure if you've ever seen them and it was the very first time that most of us had seen a Gen V ACR. (There were 6 of them; three SRT demo's and 3 customer vehicles) First one is you, with multiple record breaking driver Chris Winkler, and SRT Engineer Eric Heuschele. You helped me line them up to sign my car.
    IMG_0251.jpg
    Next, a few shots of you keeping us safe. (Not your Best side in that first one!)
    IMG_0261.jpg

    IMG_0269.jpg

    IMG_0270.jpg
    2015 TA 2.0 Venom Black. 2001 Sapphire Blue Roadster SOLD, 1994 Viper Black Roadster SOLD

  5. #5
    Supporting Vendor JonB ~ PartsRack's Avatar
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    Thanks Talon and TA for the VERY kind words. Glad you enjoyed my Iditarod recap....
    TA thanks for the pix! That was a great track day, good to meet you there....
    Jon "JonB" Brobst ~~~~:<~ JonB@PartsRack.com


  6. #6
    Regional President
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    Bryan Savage's Avatar
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    Great story, Jon!! I didn't know anything about any of that!
    TA 37/93. 57,326 miles.
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  7. #7
    VOA Mamba Member
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    JonB, totally awesome! Thank You.
    2013 GTS, 2018 Trackhawk,2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, 2010 HARLEY SUPER GLIDE CUSTOM

  8. #8
    Supporting Vendor JonB ~ PartsRack's Avatar
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    Thanks Bryan and Bill....... glad you enjoyed. Ive told that story on a bunch of school and rotary-etc presentations over the years. Weird connection from Dog Racing to Dodge !

    One anecdote is that a loaded 44 Mag Revolver (Moose protection) ended up in a checkpoint campfire !
    Jon "JonB" Brobst ~~~~:<~ JonB@PartsRack.com


  9. #9
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    PatrickB's Avatar
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    Very cool story Jon, thanks for sharing!
    - Patrick (VOA Carolinas Region)
    2000 Viper RT/10 (Steel Gray)
    2006 Viper SRT10 (VOI9 Edition)


 

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