Ralph Jones, former Deputy Executive Secretary for the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission, has announced his memoir "Buckeye Side Wheelers & Keystone Tail Sitters, Reflections of Harness Racing's Glory Days.”
Jones, 86, is an Ohio native now residing in Mechanicsburg, PA. He's been involved in harness racing throughout his lifetime—from his days as a youngster visiting the Delaware County Fairgounds to watch the races with his parents to serving as a judge, racing publicist, photographer and journalist.
His memoir recounts various tales and thoughts from a lifetime involved with Standardbreds. Jones has attended every Little Brown Jug since 1947, and his reflections of the people and horses involved in Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere are sure to delight any harness racing fan. One such tale speaks of a stopwatch given to him by the legendary Sep Palin, trainer of the mighty Greyhound, and another anecdote reveals how revered trainer Harry Burright's beloved bulldog suddenly went missing from his stable.
Jones also relives the early days of harness racing—before there were starting gates, before there were photo finish cameras, and before there were video replays of rough driving tactics used by crafty reinsmen at the county fairs and pari-mutuel ovals.
The 64-page, soft-cover volume includes 41 black and white photographs and retails for $9.95. For those wanting to purchase Jones' book, they can do so by sending a check or money order for $11.50 (to cover shipping & handling) to Ralph Jones, PO Box 309, Keedysville, MD 21756. The book can also be found in the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame Gift Shop, 240 Main St., Goshen, NY 10924, http://www.harnessmuseum.com/.
Jones' book will also be available for purchase at the upcoming Pennsylvania Fairs & Showmen Convention at Hershey, PA, January 23-26, 2013.