This week Kate and I had the privilege to be invited to Three Graces Vintage, a new business located right in the heart of downtown Stafford Springs. Owner, Lisa Zelonka, showed us around in this week’s version of LIVE with Kate & Kurt. We talk about last week’s Spring Sizzler results from Stafford Motor Speedway, Tocka’s weather and much more! Please check us out on Facebook and check out the video below, cool bloopers at the end too.
On Sunday, April 22, 2012, from 1pm to 4pm, in honor of Earth Day, come support the local community and volunteer to help clean up beautiful downtown Stafford Springs!Volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves, rakes, shovels, and brooms. Non-perishable food or personal items are being accepted for Safe Net Ministries as well. There will be live music in Haymarket Square and refreshments from local businesses. This whole thing was put together and is being sponsored by Jeff Giglio from Studio 85 and Kathy Aspelin of Middle Ground Cafe. We have a beautiful town and beautiful parks, please come down Sunday and do your part! Remember, if we all threw our trash away properly on a daily basis we wouldn’t need to do this. Watch the video below, one of my all-time favorites! Keep Stafford beautiful!
Cindy Cable, Barbara Bresnahan, and all the members of the Stafford Community and Civic Affairs Commission did an amazing job putting together the Second Annual Winterfest Parade. Kate and I were privileged to announce the floats as they came down Main St on Sunday. We were able to capture some good photos and video clips that Kate put together in this wonderful video commemorated the day’s events. Check it out!
Congratulations to Kate and Elisha Palumbo for beating me in the ClearPoint Center Challenge. They both lost over 10 pounds in 9 days, I lost just 9.6 pounds so Elisha got to host this week’s show in my place. Also a huge shout out to Fred Nassiff of Paradiso Insurance who lost a whopping 23 pounds in 9 days. Thanks again to Steve Munn and Shannon McCarthy for helping all of us get more healthy. also on this week’s show Dr. Dutton teaches us about the old saw mill near Spellman Road, Tocka’s weather, and all upcoming Stafford events. I would also like to thank the staff at Bravo’s Restaurant for another amazing spread the put on for us, the food was fantastic. This Sunday afternoon at 3:00pm the Stafford B-Team will be taking on Tolland with the winner of the game takes home the Northern Division regular season championship. I’m very proud of our team, they’ve played great all year, especially my little buddy #24, Noah Vail. Come support us Sunday afternoon at Olympic Field. Also, for the month of November, if you dine in at Bravo’s and mention the Kate & Kurt Show you will get 10% off your entire check!!! What a deal, check out this week’s video below. Don’t worry people I will be back on next week’s show.
This week’s Live with Kate & Kurt show was taped at Village Pizza on 81 Main St. Next Thursday June 23, 2011, Village will be having 50 cent wings, $2 Bud & Bud Light bottles, and $5 Hurricanes. Whoever eats the most hot wings will win a $25 gift certificate to Village Pizza, I will be there taking photos for the Kate & Kurt show, see you down there. Watch the video below to see us eat hot wings, talk about all the news in Stafford, and get big trucks to blow their horns. Next week’s show will be filmed from Bravos Pizza on West Main St. in Stafford. Goto myStaffordSprings.com for all the local news!
A big shout out to Milltown Tavern in Stafford Springs for hosting the Kate & Kurt show this week. We had a lot of fun shooting our best show yet. Find out what Shayne Prucker did for the first time Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway or the taco challenge at Milltown Tavern. Where to go to get free food and an autogragh from local driver Michael Bennett. All this and much more! Watch the video below and keep an eye out for all things Stafford @ MyStaffordSprings.com or on Facebook @MyStaffordSprings. Let me know what you think.
Stafford Springs native Peter Jellen has been working with Sprint Cup race teams for over 23 years and I saw this article by Joe Menzer on NASCAR.Com and I had to share it with you. Peter and his family grew up directly across the street from me right on route 190 above his father’s piano shop. He and his sister Kathy used to watch me when my parents were away. It is awesome to see yet another person from Stafford do so well in this industry. Peter drives the big rig for Kyle Busch’s race team, probably the best driver on the planet. I talked to him briefly today and he agreed to talk to me throughout the season to talk about his experiences on the road. Read the article below, and make sure to look for Stafford native Charles Lewandoski in this weeks Nationwide Series race in California. He will be driving the Go Green number 39. I will try to talk to him this week, so stay tuned.
Life in the hauler ain’t all that bad for Jellen
March 22, 2011 1:06 PM, EST
That’s because Peter Jellen drives the hauler that gets the race car to the track each week. Jellen, currently driver of the No. 18 Toyota hauler for Joe Gibbs Racing, talked with NASCAR.COM about working with Kyle Busch as well as former champions Bobby Labonte and Alan Kulwicki and some of the challenges he faces in the job he’s held for 23 years.
I haven’t seen a lot of craziness. I’ve seen a lot of stupidity. You know, cars cutting you off and telling you how great they think Kyle is. There is some stuff I can’t say, but nothing that out of the ordinary.
Question: So how nuts will this week be, getting back from last Sunday’s race at Bristol and turning around to drive the hauler to the West Coast for the next race at Auto Club Speedway in California?
Jellen: You get used to it and you just do it. What’s different this year is that we’re killing three of our five West Coast trips right off the bat. So if you look at it that way, it ain’t bad.
Q: But what’s this week going to entail?
Jellen: Well, it helps that we’re running Interstate [sponsored] cars this week and not M&M’s cars. That means we can be prepared decal-wise, paint-wise. That helps out, because logistics-wise they’re ready to go [even before the race is over at Bristol]. We’ve got a guy back at the shop, so as soon as I get back at the shop Sunday night we start turning the truck around. There is a lot of planning involved.
Q: How much would rain have screwed you up?
Jellen: We’re leaving Tuesday morning regardless, so not too bad. It would be a quicker turnaround, that’s all.
Q: What time will you hit the road Tuesday to drive the hauler to California?
Jellen: I told the guys I’d like to hit the road about 8 [a.m.] or so. Noon at the latest.
Q: Wow. That’s a pretty wide window. Is it sort of like when a family says they’re leaving on vacation?
Jellen [laughing]: Yeah, it’s a pretty wide window. Listen, we’ll probably leave first thing Tuesday morning. But I’ve been gone all week and want to spend a day with my daughter. You still have a life you have to balance, you know?
Q: How old is your daughter?
Jellen: She’s five. So I’m going to take her out of day care [Monday] and have a daddy-daughter day with her. We’re going to go fishing. I won’t see her for another week, so those are the checks and balances you have to figure out.
She’s a great little girl, 10 years in the making. She’s my pride and joy and I love her to death, so that’s the best part of the week.
Q: So how many hours will you be in the truck going to California, and how do you split up the driving time?
Jellen: I usually drive first, and we go in 10-hour shifts. By law you can only drive 11. It’s about 40 hours to get out there. So we switch out. We stop to get fuel, get something to eat, check our cars out, things like that. But we can do it in about 40 hours, and that counts getting washed, getting gas, getting our groceries.
Q: After driving all across this country for more than 20 years, what’s the craziest thing you’ve seen?
Jellen: That’s the funny thing. I haven’t seen a lot of craziness. I’ve seen a lot of stupidity. You know, cars cutting you off and telling you how great they think Kyle is. There is some stuff I can’t say, but nothing that out of the ordinary.
Q: So you get a fair amount of one-finger salutes from drivers telling you what they think of Kyle?
Jellen: Oh yeah. But I’m glad Kyle’s my driver because he gets it done.
Q: Speaking of getting it done, what was it like working with Alan Kulwicki when you first started out in NASCAR?
Jellen: Oh, that was a trip. He was a smart guy, almost too smart sometimes. But he taught me a lot. We worked on the cars together; we worked on the truck together. It was a small team, so everyone was close-knit and everyone did everything.
He could drive you nuts sometimes, but he was always teaching you something, too. He taught you about racing, he taught you about the money, he taught you about the sport. He taught you how to handle yourself with the sponsors.
Q: You actually had to drive the hauler out of Bristol Motor Speedway after his death? (Kulwicki, then the defending Cup champion, died in a plane crash on April 1, 1993, as he was attempting to come to Bristol following a sponsorship appearance in Knoxville, Tenn.)
Jellen: It was no fun, especially after all the success he had enjoyed [at Bristol]. He had won races on this track, and then he gets killed coming here. I heard it on the CB radio first; then I heard it on the FM radio. Long story short, I got to the race track and I didn’t know what was going to happen then. Jerry, Alan’s father who passed away just a couple of years ago, told us we could try to race if we wanted but he really thought we should come on home. So I got in the truck and made a couple of laps with the guys to kind of honor Alan. And once we left, we really thought we weren’t coming back racing. [Kulwicki’s father kept the team running that year with substitute drivers and later sold the team to Geoff Bodine].
Q: What has it been like working at Joe Gibbs Racing the past 14 years?
Jellen: The team has really grown. I’ve won two championships — one with Alan and one with Bobby [Labonte, when Labonte was with JGR]. I’ve been around when Tony [Stewart] won his two, and with all the success Denny [Hamlin] has had and all the success Kyle has had. … I’ve been pretty blessed. This sport has been very good to me. I’ve got no complaints.
Q: Does Kyle draw the biggest reaction from fans, good and bad, of any driver you’ve worked with?
Jellen: A lot of good, yes. People forget that. But some bad, too. They all know I’m not Kyle, so when I pull in somewhere with the hauler and someone starts in on me, I’m always like, ‘Look, I’m not Kyle. If you don’t like Kyle, I’m sorry. There are 42 other drivers you can choose.’
But the reason they don’t like Kyle is because he’s beating their driver. It’s kind of fun. … It’s all positive stuff, because the kid is good. You can’t take that from him. And Kyle’s a good guy. He’s a good-hearted guy, he’s good to us. He expects a lot from us because he gives us a lot. If he’s giving us 110 percent, he expects us to give it back to him. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Q: So in addition to driving the hauler, you double as the race-day cook? What was on the menu at Bristol?
Jellen: Pork loin, chicken breast — and I’ve got some steamed vegetables for the guys along with little mini-potatoes.
Q: I’m guessing you didn’t cook steamed vegetables back when you were working with Alan?
Jellen: Uh, we had baloney sandwiches. My wife made pasta once in a while, but that was it.
Every insurance commercial says they can save you money on your car insurance, but you always have to dial an 800 number and talk to a complete stranger. If you call back, do you think you’re going to talk to the same person? Paradiso Insurance in an independent insurance agency which allows us to shop your insurance around to many of the biggest and most established insurance companies in the industry, to find you the best coverage and most affordable rates.
Everyone’s situation is different, everyone’s needs are different, if you sit down with me, I’m going to go over all your coverages with you face to face, and help you taylor the plan that best suits your individual needs. If you care about service, I’m available 24/7, not to mention a fully staffed office with top-notch professionals and Chris Paradiso, himself, who was voted one of the top forty businessmen under age 40 in the state of Connecticut.
No matter what your insurance need is, we can help, life,health,auto, home and commercial. The choice is yours, dial an 800 number and talk to a stranger or dial (860)458-9366 and talk to me, or stop down at our 8 East Main St office in beautiful downtown Stafford Springs (right next to the post office). All quotes are always free, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Call now and let’s see how much we can save you!
Recently, Kate Pisciotta, and I, more Kate than me actually, took footage of the Winterfest Parade last month that went from Olympic field through main street and ended at the town hall. At the town hall there were Christmas carols sung by the Stafford High Madrigal singers and hot cocoa and cookies for everyone. The floats were great and of course everyone’s favorite the Stafford firetrucks were a big hit. You can check out the video below if you haven’t seen it already. The video has been a big hit, although a lot of people around town said they didn’t know about this event, I didn’t myself until I stumbled across the local youth band Riptide practicing before the parade. So Kate, Chris Paradiso, and myself thought that we could create a website to promote this wonderful town in which we live in, and that website is mystaffordsprings.com.
The purpose of this website is to promote Stafford Springs and to keep people informed of everything that is going on locally: civic events, Stafford sports, high school and middle school musicals and plays, events at the youth center or the senior center. There is a huge art movement in Stafford, we want to showcase local artists. We also want to promote local businesses, we want people to buy in Stafford. We will spotlight local citizens.
Above all, we want your input. This is your website, let us know what’s going on out there, leave suggestions, be involved. Let’s make this community better together. Please go to mystaffordsprings.com now and subscribe to stay updated on everything Stafford. Thank you, Kurt.
Thank you again to Bosco from Bosco’s Market and Deli for allowing us to shoot our video there last week, I hope you took advantage of the free coffee last friday. This week’s video was shot on location from The Witt School where I tried out the sledding hill, click the video below and check it out. Congrats to Jamie for winning a large grinder at Bosco’s for winning last week. Please fill out your picks this week for Coach Vail’s click your picks and let me know who you think is going to win the Superbowl.