Barney Oldfield In His Own Words, Circa 1911

Barney Oldfield at the Tacoma Speedway Races in July of 1915.

I have wanted to write something about legendary race car driver Barney Oldfield for some time, but I don’t think I can do better than his own words. I found this interview with Oldfield from 1911, and it is such an absorbing account that I am just going to present it as written. Note that it starts out with the question, “Is the game worth the candle?” I had to look that one up. It is a saying that originated when people had to illuminate with candles when gambling after dark, so the potential winnings had to be sufficient to warrant the expense of the candles. Oldfield also refers to a pilot named Hoxsey and Colonel Roosevelt. He is referring to Arch Hoxsey, the pilot who took President Theodore Roosevelt for a flight and made Roosevelt the first American president to fly in an airplane. Hoxsey died tragically in a plane crash a few months later, but Oldfield lived until retirement and beyond, not dying until 1946, so I guess, for Barney Oldfield, the game was worth the candle.