Jim Owens and Carolyn Balzar
These pages relate to family pictures and personal interests of Carolyn and myself.
Carolyn retired from Bank of America where she finished her career by serving as Market President. She is quite busy with personal projects and volunteer efforts she finds rewarding including serving as the president of the Amarillo and Canyon United Way last year and working on her golf game. Yes, she beats me soundly with considerable frequency!
Carolyn and I are fortunate to have four wonderful children, three quasi-children (spouses) and six obviously superior grandchildren. The list below is in chronological order:
Kent is the eldest and lives near Atlanta. He shares my interests in motorcycles and other things that make noise and move fast! Alisa (his former spouse but we still stay in touch) stays busy keeping track of Kaitlyn (the beautiful young lady in the picture above). Kaitlyn gives new meaning to the term "wired" and has an energy level that is beyond description. She is very bright and very athletic. The two handsome young men next to Kaitlyn are Cash (left)and Kai (right) who are the children of Chris and Kim. They all three obviously take after their beautiful Mother's.......Kent is a huge fan of the University of Georgia Bulldogs and even had a guest room in his house with their logo painted on the walls!
Chris is the second son in chronology and recently moved to Brooklet, Georgia to teach. Chris is married to Kim who has a private massage practice for patients requiring recovery from traumatic injury or stroke. They have two sons; Cash is the eldest and Kai the youngest. Chris shares my love of teaching although his focus is more on the younger grades and he graduated from Kennesaw State University in December, 2006. I was fortunate enough to be able to watch him graduate so it was a very special time. The picture is all of us after a celebration dinner at a restaurant in Atlanta. The picture above is Kent on the right and Chris on the left (who would ever guess we are related?). Chris is currently finishing his Master's Degree in Education so the "go to school" gene must have stuck!
Melissa and Tyrone are both sergeants in the U.S. Air Force. They have been with the Air Force for more than 18 years and are the proud parents of Tyler, Jadon and Mia. Tyler lived with Carolyn and I for a year during Melissa's tour of duty in Korea and is the oldest of the grandchildren at 17 going on 28! Mia is youngest so is pretty much the center of attention whenever present although her brother Jadon is extremely precocious and hard to ignore. The pictures are of Jadon, Mia and Tyler (he and his girl friend dressed for high school prom) from left to right. Melissa (below) is shown when she was promoted to Staff Sergeant. Tyrone is in the picture below with his normal expression of "you want to do what?". They are stationed at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota so there is no topping the winter stories! Melissa currently is a Master Sergeant and back in Minot after serving at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emiratesfor six months and for six months in Iraq. Tyrone is also a Master Sergeant and a big part of the security system for missle silos all over the northern plains so has even better winter stories as he goes out four days at a time all year long to maintain them and the people who man them!
Carl is the youngest of the four and lives here in Amarillo. He is a delightful young man and we share an enjoyment of bicycle riding and other outdoor adventures. Uncle Carl is the obvious favorite relative for all of the younger children. He has participated in nine marathons around Texas and Colorado. He ran the New York Marathon in 2006 and again 2009 in 4:08 and recently did 100 miles at an MS150 ride at an average speed of 24 mph on his bicycle. Needless to say, he backs off when he rides with Dad! He works as a physical therapy assistant and did wonders for me when I had both my knee replacements. The picture is him at the New York Marathon in 2009 and I have no idea where he finds the lovely young women but they seem to find him......... The other picture is the two of us at a "Ride of Silence" held in May, 2012 to remember those killed while bicycling in the local area during the past year.
We all got together in May, 2004 for a family reunion. It was in Gulfport, Mississippi and the houses we rented were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The link will take you to a few of the many picures I took during the weekend.Gulfport
I have a long standing interest in bicycles and particularly in ultra-marathon cycling. I had the good fortune of being the crew chief for a husband and wife team who won the mixed tandem division in RAAM (Race Across America) about 18 years ago. I have since done more ultra distance (more than 250 miles) riding and crewing plus serving as a RAAM race official. I continue to follow the sport with interest and the links below are all cycling related:
RaceAcrossAMerica The 2012 event was won by Reto Schoch from Switzerland. Begins again in June, 2013..
2012 Tour de France Lance is hard to replace but its still interesting..........
Ultra Marathon Cycling Association The UMCA sanctions and reports on our events
TitanFlex What I consider the best bicycle I've ever owned or ridden
Bike Friday Fantastic travel bike; mine has been over 300,000 miles in its travel box plus a few thousand miles on the road in different locales.
My latest hobby is building bicycles out of junk parts and bits of steel tubing. The picture below is a recumbent trike I recently built along with a "pusher" trailer that hitches to the trike and has a 36 volt electric motor that pushes the whole rig up to about 30 mph! Believe me, when your butt is six inches off the ground; that 30 mph feels more like 60! It has underseat steering, disc brakes and everything was handmade in about a month of weekend "play". Currently working on a "delta" trike that will have front wheel drive and rear wheels that will lean into the turn with the front wheel just like a two wheel bicycle.
Pity's home (my workshop) can be a bit of a mess with all the grinding dust and welding mess but she still thinks its cool that I work late hours in her house so she gets lots of attention although the MIG welder switch is a clear signal to go outside until that nasty stuff is finished! Pity was a "dump dog" someone left along the road to get rid of and has been a constant companion for almost 14 years. Her name comes from my laughing that she looked "pitiful" when I found her cowering in a ditch and talked her into coming home with me.
I am a big fan of auto and motorcycle racing with a special affinity for open wheel dirt track racing. The links below will take you to some of my favorite racing sites.
F1 Net Great source of information, photos, etc. regarding Grand Prix racing
MotoGPAll the scoop on international motorcycle racing including Grand Prix and Superbikes
AMA Pro Racing Front stretch at about 110 and throw it sideways on dirt! Huge fun!
NASCAR Probably more information than most people really want
Outlaw Sprint Cars If you like racing and haven't seen these guys, you're missing something great!
USAC Sprints, Midgets and Silver Crown Where NASCAR champions get started