This is a vivid look back at the last four years of the speedway’s existence as seen through the eyes of six guys and six girls whose last years at Islip High School coincided with its closure. It is a true unfiltered look at what life was like in the mid to late ’70s, particularly the class of ’76, ’77, and ’78. While most of the girls worked at the speedway, the guys grew up under its shadow. This was the last group of young adults who would be directly influenced by the speedway’s presence. Its resonant frequency echoing from the super modified cars is what permeated the souls of these extraordinary individuals, which now acted like a glue, bonding them together as they come together and grow together despite their many varied backgrounds.
Also, they represented a pure slice of American culture during the disco era, so it’s easy to follow them on their journey from teen to young adult and then out the door at eighteen! It is a trip back to a time when Islip was a motorhead town and street machines ruled the day. It is a multifaceted read, which is part narrative, part screenplay, and part musical. And there’s a bitter satirical aspect as well. The reader is totally submersed while traveling along with these twelve for one hell of a hot rod ride to adulthood.
You can strut along to the sounds and smells—yes, the smells—of the salty sea air as it wafts across the bay, filling up the streets in this beautiful beach town. However, tranquility is shattered during the summer weekends by the sound of pure American horsepower, and the sea air is transformed by the burning of 120-octane fuel. In every small town in the United States, one can find its thing that all residents will identify with, either good or bad. The speedway was the thing that made the people of Islip so interesting. Located just fifty miles east of New York City is what helped make Islip, Long Island, one of the coolest suburbs, and it also provided a great backdrop to hang their story. Along with the music of the time and hot rods too, their constant socialization helps complete the teleport. (Got marshmallows, anyone?) For many, this is a look back to a much simpler time, but what you end up coming away with is that everything comes with a price! Americans as a whole need each other, and these twelve had it in spades as they discovered early on that the real secret in life is to love and admire the differences that exist in each of us.