Today I thought about my dad’s decision to paint a star of David on the back fender of his drag bike. Using black modeling paint and a fine brush he added a Jewish star, as I depict in Big Sid’s Vincati. Somewhere I have a close up pic of it; perhaps one night I’ll find it. Sid took the shot above after starting the bike and then stepping back. You can see a brush fire in the distance and Sid also remembered the smell of smoke that day at the strip.
This was one of his favorite photographs and he never failed to mention the Star of David, which in its final iteration appeared at the center of a circle of letters that spelled out THE RATTLER.
Sid also used the Star to gauge the people he allowed to mill around his bike while in the pits. He was a good judge of character and trusted his instincts on spotting anti-Semites by their facial reactions to seeing the Star.
He also liked to quip that “there had to be at least one fast Jew at the drag strip.”