I got an e-mail from Title Boxing plugging Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month. If you buy certain merchandise, Title will make a donation to Rock Steady Boxing. As soon as I saw the name it rang a bell with me. I remembered a lady boxer from the area who was involved in fighting Parkinson's using boxing at a gym in Indy. After checking into it a bit, sure enough same young lady, Kristy Follmar. She was on the same card as my buddy Jimmy at least a couple of times that I remember. That's her on the left in the photo above fighting Mary McGee on one of the One In A Million cards that Octavius James used to promote.
April is also National Welding Month. Anyone who reads this blog is certainly going to be aware of welding as a means of joining metals but most people don't realize there are over two hundred different types of welding with more being developed all the time. If you go to the Jobs In Welding site the American Welding Society hosts, you'll see the variety of welding jobs that are out there. If you have someone who is looking for a career path, you can see what's typically available and the type of compensation they can expect. There is definitely a lot more electronics/computers in the industry now than when I was learning the trade. This has opened up a lot of opportunities for technicians capable of programming robotic applications as well as those interested in trouble-shooting and repairing the equipment. We've got a couple of machines at the college that are in need of some work and there's not a one of us old farts that are capable of fixing them - analog guys living in a digital world I'm afraid. However, that does create work for sharp young men and women who wish to tackle these sorts of problems. Also, the number of robots being purchased in manufacturing has gone up substantially the past year or two. Manufacturers not being able to find enough skilled help are turning more and more to automation. There is still going to be a need for plenty of skilled craftspeople in the foreseeable future, however. No reason to worry about being replaced by a machine - yet, at least.
I don't know if April is going to be National Indian Motorcycle Month but March certainly was. Indian kicked off the flat tracking season with a real bang. They finished 1-2 at the Daytona TT and then swept the top three spots at the Atlanta short track race. When I was in Indy last week I stopped at the Indian dealer and talked to the salesman about what if anything Indian had in store as far as a street machine to capitalize on their racing success. He said he hadn't heard anything definitively but said they'd have some trouble using the Scout engine due to the footpeg layout.No reason they couldn't use that Victory motor in a purpose built frame, however. There's still plenty of truth in the old adage, race on Sunday, sell on Monday. There's another short track race this weekend followed by a couple of races on mile tracks. Everyone will see then if they have the horsepower. They definitely have the talent in the saddle. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how things go this year in American Flat Track Racing.