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The early 1980s:

The late John J. Galletta - Galletta's Greenhouse founder.

Our karting club is named not just because it is hosted and sponsored by Galletta’s Greenhouse, but because founder John Galletta (retired WWII Navy Veteran who was also an Oswego Policeman and did off-duty Security at Oswego Speedway) wanted to make a karting track in the late 1970s and never got around to finishing it.

The original track was a small one (a fraction of the size and off the fourth turn of where the existing track located past the fourth turn where some newer greenhouses are now located). Originally, only one of his sons and grandsons drove a kart around it and it was more or less forgotten.

Meanwhile, two of his many grandsons, Matt and Chris Stevens–huge fans of the Supermodified and Modified racing at Oswego Speedway–started racing pedal karts in the 1980s in the front yard of their parents house in front of Galletta’s Greenhouse. No videos from this era, unfortunately, but plenty of pictures!

Galletta's Boys racing (early years)Chris & Matt Stevens -- always racing.
“Galletta’s Boys” Matt and Chris got their starts rather early. Almost at embryonic stage here! Peddle-power! Back before they destroyed them… (Notice Matt’s doll went for a ride with him! Bwhahaha! What a girly-boy!)

Matt as his favorite driver back then, Steve Gioia Jr.! Chris as his favorite driver back then, Doug Heveron!

Behold! The early 1980s! Pretending to be Steve Gioia Jr. and Doug Heveron, whom they cheered for at Oswego Speedway back then!

 

“Galletta’s Rules” Matt and Chris got their experiences in racing strategies in the early 1980s by PUSHING their karts to victory! Who needs motors? Only lazy wimps!

Galletta-Boys (as redneck racers call us), duel it out -- BEFORE they had small engines to power their karts! Chris vs. Matt Stevens has been going on since the early 1980s by foot. In the 1990s, they took the battle to small engine go-karts.

They learned early how to race clean. Here, Chris takes out Matt, and then realized the error of his ways. However, now he plans to bring this technique back against all who oppose him!

Matt as Jimmy Shampine Matt as Bentley Warren (I think?)
Here, Chris and Matt practice posing with their karts. Chris was pretending to be Jimmy Shampine and Matt was pretending to be… I forgot? Possibly Bentley Warren? Or Eddie Bellinger Jr. or Warren Coniam? This is how they look so handsome and dignified compared to all other drivers when they pose next to their karts.

Chris & Matt racing as kids Youngling Chris!
Again, the racing here started with fast feet – and they learned very well. They learned so well, that they were expert drivers before some disgruntled felon drivers and their gossip-happy wives learned how to spell! In these early years, Chris won a majority of the time, as he is 1.5 years older and a little taller.

The mid-1980s

As the boys grew, so did their racing skills. They outgrew the plastic pedal carts and went on to BMX Bicycle racing. The brothers would race bikes with school buddies such as Jeremy Ketchum, Nader Majlaton, David Scruton, John Gibson, Rob Reagan, Jim and John Kibbe and many more.

The bros and their group of friends did not let Oswego’s snowy winters stop their learning, as they would then further groom their abilities at sledding the treacherous Galletta’s Sledding Hill.

Galletta's Sledding Hill

The Late 1980s

But in 1989, Matt Stevens saved his allowance money and bought himself a Go-Kart. It went on to be called… the Galletta’s Greenhouse Team Racing Kart #3, which has become legendary as the modified yard kart that has won hundreds of races at Galletta’s Greenhouses’ Backyard Speedway and Oswego Speedway’s Dirt Track (later renamed the Bullring – Oswego Kartway). The rest is history, all over this website. Enjoy!

Read on here!