Jollie Ollie Palmer                       


                  I was not aware, at the time, that I saw Ollie Palmer as early as 1952, at a program at Rutland, Vermont's dusty Pico Raceway. Even to a five year old, it was apparent that the track was struggling that day to stage the show - and that was before a very sparse crowd. It had to be discouraging, seeing as management had just spent a lot of money installing nice bleachers atop one of the first cement retaining walls at any race track at a time when many venues did not even feature fences or bleachers of any kind.

             I can recall the program going sort of slowly and - perhaps in that particular show, the infield which double served as the pit area had so much moisture that an errant stock car became mired. The corresponding wrecker - likely from John L. Cootey Pontiac of Rutland - became stuck trying to get the thing out and had to be towed by a second wrecker [which I imagine had be summoned from somewhere in the city]. It was a pity that that moisture couldn't have made in onto the track that was baking in an intense summer Sunday afternoon sun.

             I know, mostly from listening to the adults talk, that the track did attract cars such as those of Proctor's Steady Tony Provencher, the Henry LaVictorie car from Pittsford, two cars from the Romano family that onwed most of the track, the 5 Aces of Jerry King, the 6 7/8 of George Connors, and more; but to be fair to the track, it did also attract some top names in the sport at the time like Steve Danish, Jeep Herbert, Dave Brooks, and many others.

             The only car I can honestly say I remember from that day was one called the J-O [and that was because it didn't have any numbers. Many years later, I would find out that the J-O was a man called Jollie Ollie Palmer, from Westmere, NY. Ollie would go on to race at Stateline Speedway, No. Bennington, VT; the Pine Bowl Speedway, Snyders Corners, NY [near Troy]; and more than likely at Route 66 Speedway, Averill Park, NY; and possibly at Lebanon Valley Speedway. Ollie would resurface for me around 1964 when he signed on with Pine Bowl car owner Bill Fowler, with a NASCAR - legam sportsman coupe, the 27Jr.

              I THNK the Fowler 27Jr effort started as an offshoot of the Brush Radio 27 cars out of Schenectady - at Pine Bowl. One photo shows Ollie with a 27Jr there that looks like a carbon copy of Brush's 27 that had featured such greats as George Welch and Link Pettit at the wheel. Ollie would continue for a while with the 27Jr until he decided, at some point, to hang up his helmet. The 27Jr would go on to see such drivers as Robbie Kotary, Jerry Pennock, and Ken Shoemaker. The team went well into the modified coupe era.


McDowell Photo Courtesy of Phil Miller

Ollie, at Stateline, with an early J-O. Most of his early J-O's were Fords, not like this Chevy.

Purchased From Dan Ody
Ollie,with an early Ford
coupe. Driving with a fracture
must have been fun.

Courtesy of Otto Graham
Ollie, at Stateline, with an early J-O. Most Note Buck Holliday's C38 in background.
Ed Feuz Collection
 Courtesy of Fonda Book

Ollie, on his roof on the Fonda
frontstetch with the little Ford. He's
deposit Fowler's 27Jr in nearly
the same spot years later.
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD's

The J-O Ford in warmups
at Fonda. I wonder  if this
was the night he dumped it.
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD's

Ollie's car is spied briefly in this frame
from a 1950's 8MM movie at Stateline.
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD's

Same shot, half a second



Russ Bergh Photo
 Courtesy of Mike Russo
Ollie, with a car 333
at Fonda. This number was
also used by Ron Quackenbush.

McDowell Photo Courtesy of Phil Miller

Ollie, with a 4Jr car at the Pine
Bowl. Andy's Welding sure made
a nice racing wheel out back.

McDowell Photo Courtesy of Phil Miller
An early 27Jr at the Pine Bowl. It either belonged to Brush or to Bill Fowler.
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD's

Ollie's 4Jr car is leading the pack
at an early Pine Bowl race.

From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD's

Racing against Jerry Bullinger's
V-6 at Pine Bowl.


Ladabouche Photo
Fowler's 27Jr arrives at Fonda
under threatening skies.

Ladabouche Photo

Fowler's 27Jr - at Fairmont
late in the 1963 season - when overhead V-8's were allowed for the final program..

Ed Feuz Collection
 Courtesy of Fonda Book

Ollie, on his roof on the Fonda
frontstetch with the 27Jr. He's
nearly the same spot years earlier.
Note this is a different, three window

 Courtesy of Hackel Family

Lee Palmer , with what is said to
be the first stock car in the
Hackel family. [Before that only

Irv Conron Photo  Courtesy of Chris Companion
Ollie, looking Jolly, along with [from left - Howie Westervelt, Lee Palmer, {Ollie], Lou Hacker, Bob "Radar" Kudlate, and Henry Bouchard.
Not sure if this is Whites Beach Speedway or a very early Lebanon Valley shot. I know Irv did both.

 Courtesy of Otto Graham
Otto caught Ollie and Lee, in at the festivities at a Fonda legends night.

Ladabouche Photo
Lee Palmer - at an early NESCOT breakfast in Watervliet.

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