Ken lost his life from a racing accident on May 13th, 2007
this email from Kenny Malaguarnero, on Sunday May 6th. dennis
this is Kenny Malaguarnero. I wanted to inform you that yesterday May
5th, Ken Barrow Number 68, was injured in the super senior race. He was
coming out of turn two when he high sided and and went down hard. He
has brain bleeding and he is on life support. My dad Ruben Malaguarnero
is flying out one of his relatives from Pennsylvania ASAP. If anyone
will like to contribute to Ken please call (760) 948-7826 leave a
message or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks
this email Wednesday aternoon, May 9th from Kens grandson.
I AM SENDING YOU A E-MAIL
TO LET YOU
KNOW WHATS GOING ON WITH HIM AND
HIS PROGRESS. HIS INJURY IS IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS BRAIN AND
SURGERY THAT THEY CAN DO TO FIX IT. HE IS RESPONSIVE A LITTLE TO PAIN
AND IF YOU SAY HIS NAME, BUT ITS NOT CONSISTANT. THEY HAVE HIM ON FULL
LIFE SUPPORT THAT MEANS A BREATHING MACHINE WHICH IS KEEPING HIM ALIVE.
DAD AND I ARE GOING TO TAKE HIM OFF OF LIFE SUPPORT LATE SATURDAY AND
LEAVE IT UP TO KEN AND TO GOD IF HE MAKES IT. WE ALL KNOW THAT HE
WOULDN'T WANT TO LIVE LIKE THIS AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO FORCE HIM TO DO
THATS NOT WHAT HE WOULD WANT. WE JUST ASK THAT IF ANYONE CAN GO AND SEE
HIM DO SO, IF NOT WE UNDERSTAND AND WE ALSO ASK THAT NO ONE CALL THE
HOSPITAL. IF ANYONE HAS ANY QUESTIONS THEY CAN CALL ME DIRECTLY AT
AND MY NAME IS RICH. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND PRAYERS AND I WILL
KEEP YOU POSTED BECAUSE HAVE THE ABILITY TO TELL ALOT OF PEOPLE WHATS
GOING ON. THANK YOU GOD BLESS
this email Sunday AM, May 13 from Kens grandson. dennis vft
I just wanted to inform all of the racers that Ken passed
morning around 2:00AM. Marsha (his long time
here with him, the nurse stated it was very peaceful. My
and I came back to the hospital and will be leaving to go back to San
Diego tomorrow afternoon. We appreciate everyones love and
please feel free to contact me if you have any further
this time we are really unsure of what we will be doing to celebrate
Kens life...??? If anyone has suggestions, please contact me.
Thanks again for everything! Rich
this email Tuesday the May 22nd. dennis vft
Thank you all for your
love and support, your prayers, good wishes and thoughts. We
are so grateful. Ken was loved and respected and a number of
folks who raced with him have already honored his memory in many
ways. We want you to know that you are appreciated.
We miss Ken dreadfully, and were all completely shocked at the results
of his accident. As heartbroken as we are to know that we no
longer have him with us in a physical sense, we take some small comfort
in that Ken passed doing what he loved more than anything.
There is a saying that is common to many motorcycle riders “Ride to
live and live to ride”. Ken enjoyed many things, but we
believe his greatest passion was racing his bike. Thank all
of you who helped make that an enjoyable experience for him!
We will keep you posted
as to how we will celebrate Ken’s life at some point in the not too
distant future. One of the places we plan to scatter some of
his ashes is on the track where he participated in that last
race. We hope to have an opportunity to meet and share Ken
Barrow stories with some of you at that time. Until then,
please know that your love and kindness is truly appreciated.
Richard Price and Eden
(Ken’s son and soon to be
Cycle World Blogs
KEN BARROW 1943-2007
Ken racing 49x Mickey
Alzola at Willow
posting was brief and brutal:
Ken Barrow, racing in the
vintage meet at Tulare, California, high-sided in Turn 2, came down
hard and was put on life support. My first reaction was shock
dismay, followed by the urge to not tell my wife, followed by realizing
that I had to tell her. This is a secret we had to share. Start with a
universal truth, that everything that lives…must die. Part of the deal,
no getting around it.
Closer to home, I
once quipped to my
usual circle that we seem to
see each other only at weddings and wakes, and that every year there
are fewer weddings and more wakes—Ron Griewe, Don Vesco, Ken Maely, Roy
Burris… A guy in my vintage flat-track class died of a heart attack,
and at the meeting where Ken went down, another racer won his class and
suffered a stroke in the pits. The next day in the paper, I read that a
10-year-old, a member of the Hayden racing clan, was killed at the
track. This is part of life, see philosophical statement in the
But Ken Barrow
went right to the heart.
Last season we
picnicked at the night
races. My whole clan and Ken,
whose family lives back East, shared supper. He was the particular hero
of my granddaughter Kalista, aged 6 at the time, because Ken
contributed blue Gatorade. Too cool.
So? It’s one
thing to read about tragedy
in the paper, or to lose a
friend to age or illness. It’s another thing…well, two races ago my
wife was in the stands, camcorder in action, when another rider
low-sided next to me in Turn 3 and my bike jumped the hurdles, came
down sideways, lock to lock. I stayed on, by luck and not by skill, and
she saw the whole thing.
We’re not talking
statistics here, or
fate. We’re talking a friend,
a better rider than me, who runs the same tracks and same class.
A couple of months ago, at practice, Ken was working on his two-stroke,
for the shorter tracks, when there was a shout and he was engulfed in
flames. The carb needle had stuck and flooding fuel spilled and
ignited. He jumped off, onlookers jumped in and hauled the bike to the
water truck. Reuben Malaguarnera had the courage to yank open the valve
and the fire was out, no harm done. We found the grit that stuck the
valve, patched the wiring and Ken’s bike was back running by the end of
the day…except from that day on, I called him “Fireball.”
From where I sit,
I can see a trophy
labeled Second Place. That day,
Ken was First. He’d raced Pro when younger and I was always pumped if I
could keep him in sight. That’s him, #68, in the lead photo, working
the outside line at Willow. Two weeks ago, Ken and I were talking after
practice and he mentioned borrowing some parts, years ago when he was a
kid, from a man who’d packed up and left before Ken could give the
parts back. Ken telephoned the AMA and asked for the loaner’s number.
Sorry, he was told, we can’t give out that information. Ken wouldn’t
accept that and kept talking until the other party put him on hold,
looked up the number, swore Ken to secrecy and told him how to find the
other guy. Ken called and was told, “Heck, kid, thanks for the effort,
keep the parts.”
“And there I
was,” Ken told me, “in my
mom’s kitchen, running up the
That’s the man
Ken Barrow was, and I use
past tense here because the
doctors held out no hope for recovery and the family believed that
keeping him alive artificially made no sense, nor would it be what Ken
wanted, so the plug was pulled.
What this means
to me is, my wife’s
birthday is on the 1st. My
daughter-in-law has pointed out that if we want people at the party,
we’d better have it on Saturday the 2nd. Okay, I said, and soon as I
did, the club moved our next race from Sunday the 3rd to Saturday
night. Summer came early this year.
to miss it, I’m maybe third
in class points. But I have a
From the Flat Track Forum
in contact all
week with Ken's Grandson,
Rich. Spoke with him this morning at 9am and they unplugged the
machines at 6 last night.
Ken passed away at 2am
rest in peace. We lost a good man.
Goodbye old friend.
You will be remembered
Ken, may you
rest in peace.
May 15, 2007
I am deeply sadend with
the news of
Ken's death. We
were all touched with goodness having him as a friend. He was genuine
with the qualities of a true friend. We are all so lucky to have known
him. Look at the awesome memories he's left with us. That upbeat
personality, his big and constant smile, hus humor. Look at the warm
feeling we all share when we say he was our good friend and fellow
What a great
loss of a good
friend. pick up your foot and get on
the gas KenSteve Mihovil
Ken, you were a true
glad to have counted
you among my friends
I enjoyed the laughs we
had in the
pits, I'm glad we got to talk and
hang out before your main.
I'll never forget you and
it out at Del Mar, man you were
all over my ass that day.
I will miss you...we all
my gilrs and I will be
thinking of a
way to honor his memory at
Victorville May 26th.
His will be missed and
our house is
saddened by his passing.
When I first started
going to Eddie's
races, I met Ken.
I never went to
another race without making a special effort to find him as soon after
I got there as possible.
Ken was a cool
guy, and I will
truly miss him.
GOD SPEED, good friend.
I'm sorry to hear that
away. It's never easy to lose someone
that has made such an impact on the people that met him.
Ken gave me a big thumbs
up in the
staging line Saturday night at
Tulare as we were waiting to go to the starting line for our Super
A little later I saw the
crash, but I
prefer to remember
the thumbs up as my last memory of Ken. You will be missed Bro.
Ken I will miss you
buddy. All the
times at the racetrack,the times
printing tee shirts together,
the time at my
house during a
we got drunk and tackled each other into the pool.
But most of all
sitting at your house talking and just being your freind.
God Be With You Ken. your
I don't really know what
to say. I
wasn't a good friend of Ken but I
rememeber his smile and I
will be comforted that he
died doing what he loved.
I would rather see Ken
sitting on the
sidelines but that was not to be. Godspeed Ken...
It is hard
to know what to say
at a time like this. Why do we do
dangerous thing? What is it all about? I
don't know the answer,
know that Ken and I, and all who love dirttrack racing, share a bond
be explained to
those who have
never backed it in on a deep
cushion half mile. To paraphrase Shakespeare:
"He who out lives
this day will long remember what feats we did this day.
familiar in their mouths as household words will be remembered....we
few, we happy few, we band of brothers...."
brother, God bless and
years ago on Wayne
Hosakas earlier forum, there was a
white picture of a pack of racer's,
probably going into turn
the saying ..."There is a special place in Heaven for Those who die
because they are not afraid to live".
I hope that it is
other than the faded copy on our
Whenever we hear of the
another friend I look at that
picture and say a prayer.
Tonight I said a prayer
although I hardly knew him.
Godspeed Ken Barrow.
Sydney Ann &
of us who knew
Ken know that he was never
seen at the track without a smile on his face and a cigar in his mouth.
He made it a point to visit with everyone who attended and I don’t know
of anyone who was immune to laughter when he was around. When he was
out on the track he was always at the limit. He was always exciting to
watch and equally exciting to be around when it was over. I hope we can
share our stories of Ken over the past 40+ years that he thoroughly
enjoyed this sport. I also hope that we can celebrate his life rather
than mourn his loss. (He would have wanted it that way). When he rode
my 750 at Ventura a couple of years ago, I got to see first hand how
much he put into his love of this sport. While we will all miss him,
let us rejoice in the happiness that he had while he was with us and
the peace he must have now, leaving us without experiencing any pain
while doing what he loved so much.
Godspeed Ken - blessings
to you and
Ken was a guy
that once you met him
the first time you looked for him
the next time. A pleasure to be around on and off the race track.
Whenever we raced together we would always bet a beer on it and I had
to pay up more often than not. I will really miss those times with him.
Godspeed my friend.
Ken and I became good
ago.We even played golf togeather
when our schedules allowed.
He was one of those
people that if you
didn't like Kenny there was something wrong with you! I'll sure miss
his big smile at the races but I know he is on the gas, feet up and
Bob Graves 88Y
What alot of
people may not know about
Ken, is that he was just as
great with kids as he was with adults, just ask Danielle.
We will all
miss you Ken, Godspeed!
Sadly, I hadn't known Ken
long, but it was still hard for me
to hear about his death. Every time I saw Ken at the track he was
always smiling, like many of you have already mentioned, and was always
joking around and having fun. When I think about him the thing I
remember most is the first time I met him in Victorville. We were both
on the starting line, about to start our heat race, and all of a sudden
I feel this force hit my leg and I almost fell (before the race even
started, what a cluts!). Not knowing who hit me I turned quick to my
left and had the dirtiest look on my face. Then, I see Ken, sitting
there, looking at me with the biggest smile on his face, and then he
started to laugh which of course made me laugh. I love the fact that
that's the memory that I have of Ken, and it's one that I'll never
forget. Ken was just that kind of person. He loved life and loved to
live it. His smile and laugh were just contagious. You could see the
joy he had from just being there and doing the thing he loved. It's sad
to see that something we all love has caused us this loss but that's
the price we pay each and every time we get out on the track. I think
he would of wanted to die doing the thing he loved most though. At
least we all know that right before he crashed, he was happy.
journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body
but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy sh*t
what a ride!"
We all miss ya' buddy!
I look forward to racing
you again up
Until then, have fun
racing with all
of the other angels!
Danielle Diaz #86v
He sure was. My daughters
him and Brianna bawled her eyes
out at the news of his passing.
Last year I decided after
a 25 year
layoff that I would like to ride
Well the first guy I ran
was Ken and he handed me my butt
Suddenly I had a new goal
in life to
Well a few weeks ago we
met at Perris.
and around we went handle bar to handle bar, Well I keep it on the
grove and beat Ken.
After the race we had a
high fives, hand shakes, and hugs.
A couple of old farts
having a great
Then a thought came to
mind, it didn’t
mater who won or lost, racing
Ken was great fun.
Goodbye old friend, I
hope the track
is smooth and your old Champion is
running on both cylinders.
you, Ken, for all the great giggles over the past few years and also
for being such a gentleman when you would sneak up and pass me on the
outside in the corners!
Until the next time I see
you at the
starting line. Your friend,
Mickey Alzola 49x
I am deeply saddened with
the news of
Ken's death. We were
all touched with goodness
as a friend. He was
genuine with the
qualities of a true
friend. We are all so
lucky to have known him.
Look at the
awesome memories he's
left with us. That upbeat
his big and constant
smile, his humor. Look at
feeling we all share when
we say he was our good
I will be back to
soon. Because of Ken
I will put my efforts not
only into my
racing but also my
character. Ken has been
by the Almighty in Heaven.
Thank you Ken for your
presence in my life. To
his family and friends my
and thank you for the memories.
Sal Peluso #6R
God speed Ken, Our hearts
go out to
all who had the pleasure of knowing
The Bergren Family
Ken had that rare aura of
instantly likeable combined with a
feeling that you had known him forever.
It was a pleasure knowing
you Ken. You
will be missed but not forgotten.
thank you for Kenny Barrow’s picture on your “old vft
pics”. I raced against him many times and even finished 2nd
behind him just once.
Our friendship developed during Eddie’s earlier races. After
kenny’s last race I was lost and confused and decided it was my last
May he rest in peace. Cliff (209)