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The Camfather’s 95th Birthday Celebration

Pics and words :Kleet

95 years old is quite an accomplishment for anybody in this day and age, and when “The Camfather” Ed Iskenderian turns 95 it’s quite a big deal and calls for a big party. LTR Racing Engines, in Onyx California was the site for this year’s party and car show. The location was kind of out in the middle of nowhere, but for those that made the trek, and dodged the wildfires, they were treated to an afternoon of stories and adventures from “Isky’s” past. There were also several special guests that showed to celebrate with Isky. Including Gene Winfield, Al Teague, Pat Ganahl, and the family of Junior Thompson to name a few. The party’s master of ceremonies was, Dave McClenan who is known for his announcing work for the NHRA and ESPN in the 70’s and 80’s. He kept the crowd entertained throughout most of the day. To go along with the car show, the event also had a small cacklefest, with Don Garlits’ Swamp Rat III, Roger Gates’ Fuel Dragster, and The Dragmaster B dragster all roaring to life and giving the crowd a taste of nitro and some ringing in their ears.
The man himself, Isky, was very spry and active throughout the day. He made time to visit with almost everybody at the party. Many folks at the party asked, what’s his secret? He responded that he just enjoys life, still goes to work, loves jalapenos, and enjoys a little vodka now and then. One of the best memories I brought back from the party was while chatting with Squeak Bell, about our various projects, Isky came up and sat down beside us, lit up a cigar, and began visiting with us. We sat for over an hour as he told us all about his military duty during WWII, how he started the cam grinding business, and the many other adventures that he’s had over his 95 years. What a wonderful day with a legend of a man.