This month we celebrate the birthday of our longest serving employee, Donny Owens. For those that have come to the track for many years, Donny is the one face that has remained consistent year after year. Even those that haven’t been here in quite a while always ask when they return, “Is that old guy still at the gate?”
Donny has told me many times how he used to run into town for Pat Goodman to retrieve things they needed when the track was being built. What many may not know is that Donny has also worked for the paper in Charles Town for over 50 years as well! He is lovingly referred to as “the Mayor of Summit Point”.
His little blue truck can be seen rod knocking its way into town almost daily. I once followed him as he made his way through Charles Town and was surprised when nearly everyone on the street greeted him with a “Hey Donny!” as he drove. Seems fitting since he has a wave for everyone he passes on his trips. It was only when I followed him up the road, that I realized I wasn’t the only one he waved to, but don’t let that fool you into thinking he doesn’t remember or recognize you on his trips. I often get scolded by him for speeding by him. “You better slow down young man.” He will tell me.
Last week I gave him a ride to a doctor’s appointment in Hagerstown. When I picked him up he told me he hadn’t been in a convertible before, which I find hard to believe. As we made our way down Lee Town Road he told me to watch my speed through Middleway. As we got on I-81 he exclaimed, “Now we’re moving!” The entire trip was spent with Donny keeping a watchful eye on the speedometer. At the office he was his usual chipper self, flirting with the reception ladies and promising to see them next time.
On July 13 we plan to have an ice cream and cake social at noon at the Silo concessions here at the track. We would like as many people to come as possible. You can let us know you’re coming by responding to the Facebook event post, or by emailing us at email@example.com. We want to make sure we have enough cake and ice cream so please let us know if you can come! It’s supposed to be a surprise so don’t blow it! We also have a very large birthday card at the Summit Point Pro Shop for everyone to sign as well between now and the party. Even if you can’t make it be sure and wish him Happy Birthday when you come by this month!