Monster Trucks, A Family Affair
When Rosalee Ramer was three years old she would hold flashlights for her Dad Kelvin as he worked on his monster truck. Twelve years and a lot of learning later, fifteen-year-old Rosalee is more often found holding a wrench than a flashlight, working on her own monster truck, Detour.
On a particularly warm January day in San Diego, Rosalee diligently worked on her father’s monster truck, Time Flys, readying it for competition the next day in Qualcomm Stadium for Advanced Auto Parts Monster Jam. Wearing a string of pearls around her neck and covered in grease she reached into the massive 66” tires of the truck to make an adjustment, a sight welcomed by another girl who grew up helping her dad out in the garage while wearing pop-it bead necklaces made popular in the late 80s, yours truly.
As reporters hovered nearby, Rosalee and her father Kelvin worked side-by-side to ensure the truck was in optimal running condition.
Says proud father Kelvin of his teenage daughter’s interest in the world of Monster Truck racing, “I didn’t really set an expectation (for her), I just nurture what comes out.” He continued, “My son is 13, he loves the traveling and stuff we do but he doesn’t have any desire to work on them (the monster trucks). My goal is that if my kids are happy, that’s what’s important.”
Under his watchful eye, Rosalee has become a skilled mechanic and driver – she began driving her monster truck at age fourteen – as well as a goal-oriented student.
“I want to be an engineer,” said Rosalee, “I’d like to go to college at Stanford and start designing parts for dragsters, funny cars and monster trucks.”
Rosalee commented that what piqued her interest in the sport was “Not only my dad driving but watching some of the other girls drive, and not just girls but every driver and how when they get out of a truck everyone is screaming for them! They get to touch the lives of so many people and just make them happy for a couple of hours.”
Touching those lives is not only held dear by Rosalee but by her entire family. Says dad Kelvin, “We’re just privileged, we actually get to go out and spend time with a lot of people. We spend time with a young boy who has heart problems…(we get to) help them enjoy life and forget about their problems. These are people that have daily severe problems that they are dealing with within their families.”
There was no shortage of happiness Saturday night in San Diego as Time Flys wowed the crowd with big jumps and fast racing alongside 15 other monster trucks, but the really impressive thing to be witnessed was truly young Rosalee…just a girl and her monster truck.
**Stay tuned for my next article, a female fan’s guide to Monster Truck Racing with Monster Truck Drivers J.P. Ruggerio (El Diablo) and Alex Blackwell (Captain’s Curse).