There came a surprising, unexpected phone call early this year, It was an invitation to join four other women in celebration of the International Day of the Woman. The ladies all work in the automotive and motorsports industry and all that was expected of us was to talk about our daily lives, each a different journey in male-dominated professions.
I’m ready at the drop of a pin to talk up land speed racing, but jabber on about myself? Not so much. It was the same for the other gals as well. Not a mantle we easily picked to carry.
This March 8th gathering took place at the Larz Anderson in Brookline, Massachusetts. It is America’s Oldest Car Collection and while the place carries a man’s name, Isobel Anderson was as good, if not a better driver, than her husband. She would have to be better, think about all the clothing “baggage” a gal was required to wear back her day. And the girl was a society taste-maker to boot, so dressing well was required, not optional.
This live storytelling event was billed as “Women’s Motormouth” A Vehicle of Human Experience and I was privileged to share the stage with Samantha Briody, Sally Dawson, Dawn Hayes, and Jody Perewitz.
In the audience of some 150 people was Tim Baer, who writes for the the Motorcyclist’s Post. Tim was kind enough to allow me to post his report here and it includes some short bios of each of the gals. Read his report here: https://landspeedproductions.biz/wp-content/uploads/Motormouth2018.pdf
What hit me afterwards was that one of the gals had yet to be be born when I began my motorsports career running around the country racing jet cars in the mid 1970s. Listening to each of these woman was a joy. Every one of them spoke with conviction and purpose, it was clear they enjoyed what they did and when you are happy in your labors, most often you are also good at what you do.
Dawn came to her path through abject tragedy and has stoically taken sadness and brought joy to thousands by teaching them how to safely ride a motorcycle. Sally Dawson owns and operates her own auto repair shop. Guys work for her! Samantha is a service writer at a dealership, who even at her tender young age, has amassed a respectable brain trust of info to get her clients, in and out of the shop deftly. And then there is Jody. Most would be impressed with what this gal does 9 to 5 at her dad’s custom motorcycle shop, but when you mention that she throws a leg over two-wheelers on the Bonneville Salt Flats and has set numerous records. . ., eyebrows rise exponentially.
The message? I think I speak for all of us when I say, ignore the naysayers, if you want it, go get it, whatever the career you desire. Girls, ladies, know this: there isn’t car, bike, or truck that knows what gender is at its controls. The machine will simply respond to input. Be your best and time will take care of the rest.