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  1. #1
    Jimmy Skids's Avatar
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    A great friend of Warbird racing has been lost.

    With great sadness I am letting everyone know that Jerry Votaw a long time SAM racer and CD was shot and killed last night in Sacramento. Jerry, also known as, Vman to his many friends was a long time contributor to racing in Northern California.

    Jerry was the man behind the “Big Kahuna” race held each year in Sacramento and could also be seen at the races as the man on the PA calling out the play by play for many a heat.

    My deepest sympathy goes out to Jerry’s family and those close to him.

    Jerry, you will be missed my friend. The V - line is all yours….... God Bless.
    TEAM JR
    Spitfire Brotherhood #99
    Outlaw Racing CD 2001 to present

  2. #2
    pjakew's Avatar
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    RE: A great friend of Warbird racing has been lost.

    Crazy world indeed. I can,t believe when I was down there on Sunday that that would be the last time I would see Jerry. He was a funny guy and his absence at the races will leave a void that cannot be filled. Tell everyone that you have my condolences and seek each other for healing in this tragic unfolding of events.
    \"You Can Teach...Monkeys To Fly Better Than That!\"

  3. #3
    Jimmy Skids's Avatar
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    RE: A great friend of Warbird racing has been lost.

    Dale Kral (two minute tango) sent out this email today. With his permission I am sharing. If anyone else would like to share memories of Vman, please do.

    To: Everyone
    *
    * I have known Jerry my whole RC life,*about twenty years. He was my favorite Club president. There was one day when I first started flying RC and I needed help, I asked *Jerry if he could help me, Jerry said "yes"*but asked "are you shore you want me to help you?" I had no idea why he asked me that. I had*brought out my whole air force that day, determined to learn the skill. Well, severial crashes later*the SAM crash buckets were full. Jerry had tought me a valuable lesson that day. There is no fun in letting someone else crash your planes for you. Jerry just*asked, "got any more?" My reply, "no I think I'm done", and then*he laffed. I don't remember*if I ever flew any of Jerry's airplanes, they always scared the hell out of me. They would go just straight up or straight down, or bored holes in the sky. Back then*John Bigwood and I worked the pylon cages at an event, when they were underneath the poles, how dumb was that. We would hear the announcer, "Lane 4 the Cardiac Kid, Jerry Votaw !" Jerry then,*was building, scaring and crashing, then building, scaring ,and crashing. Jerry always helped others on their events. Like the Quickie 500, were I first started racing. Jerry was the Race Starter that day and when he dropped the flag, it was on. I was around*turn 1, then*turn 2 then around*3 I saw Jerry jump backwards just as my plane crossed in front of him, waist high. *Jerry was not known for hes speed, and I gave up quickie flying that day. Along came a guy named Jerry Cunningham, who started building air planes for Jerry Votaw aka the V-man. He flew*straighter, faster and was winning races. I don't know why Jerry always had me building planes for a raffle, running a event or*involved me in he's sceems. "Dale you need to call for me in the next race."*"We need to get in the lead*and make everyone brake out."*Why me, maybe it was the Quickie thing,*I don't know. *Jerry was never afraid to ask,*he just knew I loved it.*At times I was Proud of Jerry, sad for Jerry, disgusted with Jerry, mad at Jerry, but Amy and I always look forward in seeing Jerry.**I could always hear Jerry behind me saying "you can do it," and Amy woud say*"Super K." Amy and I*will truly miss him. The SAM sight will never be the same for*us with out him. But, as we all know Jerry, with how much he loved this club and the flying site,*he would ticked off calling us a bunch of PANZIES, if we did not continue...
    *
    Dale
    Super K
    TEAM JR
    Spitfire Brotherhood #99
    Outlaw Racing CD 2001 to present

  4. #4

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    RE: A great friend of Warbird racing has been lost.

    This is very hard to write about. It deeply saddens myself and my family that this tragedy happened. I was supposed to be at this meeting with Jenna. She always goes with me to say hi to her friends from the club and she tries to win a raffle prize. The strangest thing happened this past weekend. My tooth started hurting so I went to the dentist on Monday and had root canal. The pain was still to great yesterday to make the meeting otherwise Jenna and I would have been there. It seems some stronger power kept me home so Jenna wouldn't have to see her friend get hurt. I am really at a loss for words. I am crying even writing this.

    Jerry use to jokingly every once in a while yell out when I was racing, Leadfoot...... YOU SUCK! I wanted to prove him wrong one day. I looked up to Jerry as I do alot of the gold racers because they were at a level far greater then my abilities. It saddens me to know I won't get a chance to compete with Jerry. I know he lives on in many of us who were friends with him.

    From my family to Jerry's family and friends, we greave with you. You guys are not alone and if there is anything we can do to help anybody out please call us. My number is easy to find on SAMS website. To everybody that was there, we are so sorry everybody had to be a witness to this horrible crime. Jerry passed with friends beside him. He will not be forgotten.

  5. #5
    Tommy_Gun's Avatar
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    RE: A great friend of Warbird racing has been lost.

    To whom it may concern,

    The Sacramento Area Modelers would like to respectfully request your discretion and understanding as we try to deal with this tragic event.
    We also ask that you join us in support of the family of the deceased.
    The Sacramento Area Modelers have lost a much loved and respected member who was a cornerstone to many of the club activities for many years.
    We do not wish to further report any other details or contribute to any conjecture about the circumstances leading up to this terrible event.
    Thank You,
    Tom Richardi SAM's Publicity Director

    That being said,
    God Bless you Jerry.
    Blue skies and sunshine with a good tail wind to you my friend.
    You will be missed, and remembered.
    Tommy
    It\'\'s called \"Warbird Racing\".
    So ask yourself, is that a warbird?

  6. #6

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    RE: A great friend of Warbird racing has been lost.


    ORIGINAL: Tommy_Gun

    To whom it may concern,

    The Sacramento Area Modelers would like to respectfully request your discretion and understanding as we try to deal with this tragic event.
    We also ask that you join us in support of the family of the deceased.................................................. ..........................

    God Bless you Jerry.
    Blue skies and sunshine with a good tail wind to you my friend.
    You will be missed, and remembered.
    Tommy
    Thank You Tom, I would only add that there are two blood families devasted by this, who both will desperately need unwavering support from us. The hell of it is that we're all family too....

    No matter what happened, both those men were very, very dear to me. And both their families still are.

    This is gonna be a long tough road, and all I know for sure right now is that in the end, when something like this happens, all that ever finally helps me heal, is working to help the families heal.

    Bless you guys, you are all family to me, and I would take your pain unto myself if I only could.

    Chucky going numb for a little while now
    Carbon is groovy man...

  7. #7

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    RE: A great friend of Warbird racing has been lost.

    This news saddens me greatly. I only met Jerry a few times but he was a great person. My sympathies go out to his family and all who knew him.

    James "Bulldog"
    James \"Bulldog\" Gale
    Fly it like you stole it
    www.rcpylonracing.com

  8. #8

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    RE: A great friend of Warbird racing has been lost.

    It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that I post this message.

    Jerry truly touched our hearts in unique ways and his spirit will live on with the memories he left each of us. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and the members of th S.A.M. community. You are all in my thoughts during this difficult time.

    I will miss his bear hugs and infectious laugh as he was always joking around.

    My dear friend Jerry, you may have built wings out of balsa wood, but you truly earned the wings that matter most in the end.
    May you rest in peace, my friend.

  9. #9

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    RE: A great friend of Warbird racing has been lost.

    Very tragic for all involved. My prayers go up for all those involved.
    Race101
    YS Engines
    Team JR AMERICAS
    Waymire Decaling

  10. #10

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    RE: A great friend of Warbird racing has been lost.

    Still hard to believe this is true. I was at the next bench to Jerry at last Sundays PP race. He had his pink Spitfire and was his normal happy self. During one of the races I commented to Dale that Jerry was all over the place but was a heck of lot faster than me - Dale said something like "he always flies like that".

    I am deeply affected by this tragedy because although I did not know Jerry very well I felt like I was just getting to know him and really liked him. I had recently realized that under Jerry's gruff exterior was a heart of gold.

    Jerry was one of the larger-than-life personalities that make the world a much more interesting place. Without people like him things would be dull. One of the reasons I drive down to SAM is there a group of fun loving guys like Jerry who are welcoming and fun to be around. I joined three years ago and was immediately welcomed by a number of people including Jerry. I remember Jerry teasing me at one of my first PP races saying "don't worry John someone has to come last" but he did it in a fun way with that big laugh. When I started a plane and the prop nut came off he busted up laughing - he did it in a way that you couldn't help but laugh too.

    I also was suprised to see this big tough guy turn up with two or three little dogs that were running all over the place!

    Too often in my experience people like Jerry do not leave the world in a normal fashion and often leave before their time is up. I am sure that if Jerry were here to comment on his own demise he would have something funny to say, in very colorful words, that would make everyone laugh. I realize I can say this because I was not there and did not witness it whereas some of the folks who posted here have to deal with the having witnessed this tragedy.

    I did not know him well, or for very long, but I have very fond memories of him. To me Jerry was what life should be about - getting the most out of each day, having fun, treating others well, and doing it in your own way. For me this is something to live up to.

    Jerry, I will miss you.

    John Gray
    John Gray

  11. #11

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    RE: A great friend of Warbird racing has been lost.

    I met Jerry about seven or eight years ago when I first joined SAM and started PP racing with the regular Outlaw’s gang. Him and C-man would show up and win heat after heat along with Skids and Hughes and I thought after months and months of last place finishes I would never get the hang of this ‘pylon racing thing’. Soon I started to watch the other pilots and ask more questions to learn more, that’s when I noticed when C-man and V-man brought their wreckage back after mid-airs there were all these holes drilled in their airplanes… those sneaky guys were up to all kinds of tricks like that. Most disconcerting was the way Votaw flew and when he was racing near you he would holler “watch out, your going to crash… you cut… you suck” at the top of his lungs. It was pretty hard to get used to but, I think it made better pilots out of us new guys if we didn’t get the jangles and just crash. Anyway, as acerbic and intimidating as the man sometimes was on and off the race course, I knew he had a big heart. He always gave me the thumbs up when I did well, and once I got to know him I learned that a heavy dose of trash talk was just his way of communicating. Were all going to miss the big guy.
    Happy Flying wherever you are, V-man!!

  12. #12
    Jimmy Skids's Avatar
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    RE: A great friend of Warbird racing has been lost.

    Well it has just been a little more than a month and the pain of the loss gets a bit easier to deal with each day.

    Last weekend the Outlaw racers had their March race and even though Vman wasn’t there in person he was there in spirit. For March the racers put Jerry in the matrix and four fellow racers flew Jerry’s plane in his absence. After the race the plane was retired and now hangs at RC Country hobby shop just as you enter the aircraft section. Now each of his racing friends can have a fun reminder of Jerry as they shop.

    My earliest memories of Jerry are from when I first joined S.A.M. and was learning to fly. Along comes this big guy who had some of the fastest airplanes I had ever seen (I was just starting out mind you). As mentioned by others, Jerry had a tendency to crash airplanes, and I soon learned to appreciate Jerry’s airplanes as soon as they came out of his truck…. If you didn’t look at them when he pulled them out, you may not have a chance to see them in one piece again. I also learned that when Jerry took one of his planes up that you had better pay attention, because there was going to be a show of some sort. Along with the race planes, Jerry also loved acrobatic planes and would do blenders with the best of them. Like I said, Jerry always put on a show when he flew.
    As I started racing Jerry would always be there to lend a helping hand. I remember one race where a bunch of the pilots from S.A.M.’s went to a race at one of the other Sacramento fields. I was racing Gold and was pretty new to the Gold class. Before the last race of the day Jerry comes up to me and says “Skidmo, you need some V-line fuel in your plane”…. I don’t know if it was because I was naïve or what, but I took a pull off Jerry’s bottle. My poor little YS91 roared to life and rocketed to first place in the final heat of the day (I won 1st place that day). However, as I was inspecting my plane at the end of the day, my motor was toast. I don’t know what Jerry’s put in his fuel back then, but boy did it rock that little YS’s world.

    As the years went by I got to know Jerry better. Somehow he convinced me to help out with score keeping and running the matrix for his races. He had a knack for getting others to chip in and help with the races he ran. Maybe it was because he always helped the other CD’s with their races, or because he was just the type of friend that you wanted to help out; you somehow got sucked in to helping. Who knows?

    I miss Jerry and our conversations about flying, racing, and just about whatever came to mind at the time.

    This weekend S.A.M. will hold the Big Kahuna Memorial race. I know that V will be watching, and if by chance I’m holding the PA microphone when someone has a mid-air or puts a plane into the ground by pilot error (or system failure, etc.) I will do my best to channel the Vman with a full chorus of “Down goes….”

    Jimmy Skids
    TEAM JR
    Spitfire Brotherhood #99
    Outlaw Racing CD 2001 to present


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