Moraine donor Carl Hussong still dresses all in black, even though he is retired from racing jet-black muscle cars nicknamed “Black Beauty” at Kil-Kare Raceway. He had been retired from donating, but was inspired to make a comeback. On Thursday, March 23 he made his milestone 100th lifetime donation in memory of former Moraine Mayor Bob Rosencrans.
“I gave every eight weeks for 12-and-a-half years,” said Carl. “But I quit giving because the scar tissue had gotten so bad. My right arm got to where they couldn’t get any blood and my left arm too.”
Carl reluctantly stopped donating in 2008. He said he didn’t realize he was just one shy of his 100th donation. But he was inspired to try again when he learned that the seventh annual Bob Rosencrans Memorial Blood Drive was coming up March 25 to again honor the former Moraine mayor who died in a car accident in 2010.
“When I saw that I jumped on it!” he said. “I couldn’t make it Saturday so I came in today hoping I could donate for him.”
Carl is a life-long resident of Moraine and remembers well Bob Rosencrans’ 30-year history of serving the community. Carl and his wife Sherry have been married for 31 years. Carl retired in 1995 after 30 years of working for GM at the Delphi radiator plant which became the Harrison Radiator Company.
For decades he spent his time helping build cars during the work week and racing them on weekends.
“I had a Pontiac Grand Am and a Trans Am Pro Stock,” Carl said. “My cars were always all black. Men wouldn’t talk about it, but women would say, ‘That’s beautiful.’ So I would always call my cars ‘Black Beauty.’ I’d race them around the quarter-mile track at Kil-Kare and I loved it! I did it for a long time.”
Carl decided to give up his muscle cars when it became too difficult to work on the engines or keep the black panels waxed and shining. At least it meant no more hassles from Moraine police.
“My cars were always jacked up with the nose pointing down at the ground. One had those big air vents on the hood,” he said. “The cops would pull me over all the time and give me tickets because I had black windows. They said they were too dark.”
Carl is still the man in black, dark hair and mustache, dark wire frames, black shirt and pants, and a gold cross around his neck. He flies a white flag with a cross from the window of his car – a new Chevy Cruze that he swears is faster off the line than his old pro stock race cars. He doesn’t call it Black Beauty though. The color of his Cruze is maroon.
It was a thrill for Carl to learn that after nine years since his last donation, a surprise was waiting as he crossed the finish line to complete his 100th. He proudly tried on his new – black – “Donor for Life – 100 LTD” jacket.
“Everything I have is black leather and heavy, like for winter,” he said. “I will definitely wear this today!”