Photos from the collection of
Here is a guy who loves racing!
While a serviceman stationed in New Mexico, Ron began driving and became acquainted with the Unser family. These were the years of the Korean war, and Ron had a "sensitive" job, so he raced using an alias. "Okie Cahill"!
Someone put this good-natured article in the speedway program. They were poking a little fun, but Ron truly disagreed with the part about the "unattached girls". The truth was, Ron and his wife Mae were a hot item for 50+ years and four kids.
Mae Paquin greets her man in victory circle, and causes Ron to forget where the brake handle was.
Race Time! Ron leads the way in front of Billy Hughes, Gene Lanham and Rich Benn on the outside.
Ron was involved with the SFRA before there was a track in Florida City. He raced with the club at Hialeah, and at events on dirt at the Homestead Rodeo arena.
Ron and his brother Warren put in many hard days helping to build the track. He worked for Southern Bell, so the brothers ended up doing much of the "pole" work like hanging lights, connecting the loudspeakers, and even sunk the posts that supported the wall.
The Paquin brothers were among the first to test out the new surface. Here they were practicing a few weeks before the grand opening. Warren's #8 was powered by a Harley Davidson engine.
Lining up on the pole in front of Bill Hughes, Eddie Washburn and Gene Lanham.
Ron Criswell (at the left) is passing out the "Good Sportsman" awards to Jessie Young and Ron (at the right). The trophy babe this evening was Linda Rose
July 10, 1968
Ron broke his shoulder in a hard flip at the track. He was off racing to recover, so he served as the starter for 6 months. The assistant starter was Bob Schuler.
Lawrence Westbury loops in as Ron takes evasive action.
Another good night for Ron.
His # 4 was built by "Injun Joe", and sold to Rich Benn who raced it at the Homestead Rodeo Arena. Ron bought it in the early '60's.
Warren and his son Warren Jr. try out uncle Ron's car.
That is Ron standing with his hand on the cage. Oren Fields is strapped in for this shot taken around 1971 or 1972.
Two of Ron's sons, Jerry and MIke, caught the racing bug! They raced for years in vintage meets across Florida. I saw Jerry racing as recently as 2017.
The boys didn't just parade around either; they ran hard. I had the good fortune to run a heat race against Jerry in a TQ at Zephryhills, and I can assure you: it was real.
The white #4 is actually the #46 that Oren Fields drove in the photo above. It is still powered by Crosleys that Ron builds and maintains.
#6 is a little more modern. It uses a Honda 750.
Ron joined in the celebration as part of the winning crew at Anderson Speedway in Indiana. The Paquins helped out the car driven by Florida's Jim Childers in the very prestigious "Little 500".
Ron left us in August, 2005 at the age of 73. He remained active up until the end racing vintage midgets with his sons. Clearly his love of the sport, and for his family, lasted a lifetime.
R.I.P. to a fine husband, a great dad, a United States veteran, and a friend to so many in our racing world.