The Rattler’s Star of David



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.”



3 thoughts on “The Rattler’s Star of David

  1. Putting our beliefs in the public eye takes courage and conviction. Sid clearly was up to that challenge, and by his actions and accomplishments, he was truly a man to be respected. I enjoyed meeting him on the salt flats, some years back.

  2. Matthew, I enjoyed reading this, your reflections on your father. I was very fond of Sid. I felr that we hit it off very well the first time I visited his shop there on VB Blvd, back around ’83. Although I was permanently stationed with Navy duties in Little Creek, I wasn’t actually home very much; however, if possible, a stay in the area meant a chance to drop in and check out your dad’s latest projects, maybe get my hands dirty or just talk a little.
    I remember how proud he was, telling me when I was spending some time over in the UK, that you were there just then, studying music, if my memory serves.
    One of those things I shall always treasure is the phone call Sid made one summer evening, inviting me to join him and a handful of other enthusiasts when Mr. Phil Irving was visiting. Wow, that was a true, bucket list moment, hanging out in your home garage checking out those beautiful Vincents and, sure enough, your dad kicked one over and treated us to some sweet music from those exhaust pipes! Your mom and dad were a very special, dear couple.
    All the best to you, Matt!

  3. Mathew , thanks for your input at such trying times. I thought our generation would end this hatred, but we still have a long way to go. Thanks for the post.

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