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About The Author

His Life Since the Accident

I am now in the twilight years of my life and life has been good to me. I have never dwelt on the poor decisions I made and always moved forward. I have never let someone telling me “no” that I could not accomplish something stop me from pursuing my goals.

A year after I got out of the hospital I married one of the nurses that took care of me but unfortunately it did not work out and we got divorced after only one year. She was only twenty and thought she could pursue her dreams better without me. She also got very upset every time I went to Joy’s house to fix something that broke. Joy and I tried to get back together but we just could not get along and we parted ways again. Things were very amiable between us and we shared custody of our two boys. They lived with me on weekends and entire summers.

Quite by accident or by fate, I went to a “Parents without Partners” dance at a local fire house because of the urgings of J.B.   I met a wonderful woman who had three young children.  We fell in love and have been happily married for over 37 years. Once again things happen for a reason which we do not understand at the time.

It’s been said “If you fall off a horse, you have to get back on “After my accident I built a new  race car and returned to drag racing for a couple of years but traveling all around the country to attend races got to be too much.  I had learned from my past mistakes that traveling every weekend to race would not be beneficial for my marriage and family. I gave the dragster to my partner Bill.

Not having a lot of money and having to provide for my family, I had to race on a limited budget. I bought an old Formula Ford race car at a fire department charity auction and made some modifications to it. The formula Ford was an older version of a Formula 1 race car but powered by a 4 cylinder ford engine. It could reach speeds of 140 MPH. I raced the car for a couple of years and took my family with me to the races.  The race tracks were less than 200 miles from my house in north Jersey.

I managed to always end up in the top 5 of the approximately 40 more expensive cars that I competed against and even managed a couple of 3rd place finishes.

Most of the top Formula 1 drivers started out in Kart racing at a much younger age than I did and then graduated to Formula Ford or Formula 3 cars. A very few of the really skilled made it into Formula 1. Unfortunately, I did not have the skill to even attempt to be a professional Formula 1 driver.

I had always dreamed of being able to fly like the birds. The least expensive way of humans to fly was by hang gliding – jumping off a cliff with something like an over head horizontal sail for lift. I started hang gliding but after a few crash landings and minor injuries I decided upgrade to flying a ultra light airplane that would be safer. An ultra light is like an airplane made of aluminum tubing covered with cloth and powered by a very small engine.  While taking instructions I had to practice driving the ultra light down an airport runway at a slow enough speed so as not to become airborne. This was the plan until reaching a later stage of my training. However one autumn day while practicing driving down the runway faster than I was instructed to do, I unexpectedly found myself airborne and flying but not knowing how to fly or land I crashed!  This event taught me that it would be safer to learn how to fly a real airplane.

After getting my pilot’s license I bought an older four seat Piper Cherokee. The plane had a top speed of 140 mph but I wanted to fly faster so I traded in the reliable Cherokee for a partially completed experimental airplane and completed its construction. I flew the plane for several years and then sold it.

In 1987 I moved to Texas and resumed working as a Lead Engineer for Exxon in their cracking reactor group.   While working for Exxon in Texas I earned approximately 20 U.S. patents and Exxon’s Most Valuable Patent award twice.

In Texas I built a house on a lake and bought several boats which I modified to increase their speed. In 1999 I bought American Offshore Power boats company that built several high performance family oriented power boats. I designed 3 new high performance power boats.  I started racing several of these boats and won approximately thirty races. I won every race at the Lake Of The Ozarks between  2006 to 2019 with a speed of approximately 140 MPH and The Texas Outlaw shootout every year from 2009 to 2021.

After retiring from EXXON and working as a consultant for them for 13 years we parted company over a disagreement over travel expenses for a consulting trip to China. I then went to work for Knighthawk Engineering and among other things I helped them develop a reactor to turn garbage into useful products.

My story will make you question how much or how little control did you have on the choices you made? Did you dwell on your past mistakes or did you move forward?  Did you let someone tell you that you did not have the ability to accomplish your dreams and did not pursue them. Life is short and unpredictable. My life makes you question and contemplate the decisions you made in life and if you made those decisions differently  would life be any better than it is now or would you just have a different set of problems? You should pursue your dreams as I did no matter what you are told by others.

If you have read this far , live in the Galveston Houston area, and are a member of a book club I will E Mail you and all your members a PDF of the entire book for only $3.00 each. If you want I will also attend your book club meeting when you discuss my book. You can pay me by paypal using my e mail address Text me any questions at 281-235-5174. You can also pay me at your meeting.

Art DiNick