True story of how the drag strip came to be

In answer to an Aug. 2 letter regarding the funding for the original drag strip back in the 1950s: After numerous meetings by myself — the founder of the Valley Isle Timing Association — along with the county and Mayor Eddie Tam, there was no support from the mayor’s administration to save the drag strip.

There were plans by Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. to plow the drag strip and plant cane there. Then Eddie Tam passed away and Elmer Cravalho ran for mayor and got elected. The club backed Elmer in his election and he agreed to do what he could to help the club, and he did.

After meeting with myself and then-club president Donald Garcia, Elmer got the first 20-year lease from HC&S and prevented the strip from being plowed. He then assisted the club in buying the first timing lights. They wanted county help to pave the drag strip, but this was very costly. The county assisted in paving the first 100 yards.

And that is how our present-day drag strip began, folks, thanks to the never-ending determination of its founder, Gilly Cambra; first president Donald Garcia; and one of our greatest and best-loved mayors, Elmer F. Cravalho.

Thank you, mayor, for your support. We are grateful. Rest in peace until we meet again.

Harold “Gilly” Cambra