Right there, front and center in the crowd scene, was a guy straight out of central casting for 1963.
Liberty coveralls; boots with heels worn down on the sides, covered in red clay; battered fedora, sour face shaking back and forth, side to side; a wordless "No!" watching a black man get a trophy for winning a car race.
All for show.
True for the most part, unfortunately, in 1963, but filmed these past few days at I-77 Speedway in Richburg in Chester County.
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It is the movies.
The disdain is fake. Hollywood is the only place for hate, anymore.
The head shaker is a white guy named Ray Stillwell from Lowrys, on the other side of Chester, in his first movie role ever. When the take was over, Stillwell and Charles F. Porter, the actor portraying legendary black race car driver Wendell Scott, chatted and laughed like old buddies.
NASCAR Media Group, Max Siegel and ESPN are teaming up on this racing movie about cars on the hard-charging, fender-scraping, knuckle-busting hard red clay dirt tracks of 1963 and before.
The movie is about another race, too - the race of the driver. That driver back then was Scott, the first black NASCAR driver and race winner.
Chester County's speedway, owned by Ronnie Moseley and Chad Adams, who doubled as an extra, was turned into Jacksonville's Speedway Park in Florida, where Scott won his first race - but only after it was given to another driver first.
That is all true, and part of the movie that will air on ESPN in February 2011 as part of Black History Month.
Extra Carl Simpson of Bedford, Va., formerly of Rock Hill, knows it to be true because he lived it. He was a friend and fellow driver with Scott in the 1950s and 1960s, so close to Scott that he was a pallbearer at Scott's funeral in 1990. Wendell Scott fixed Simpson's cars.
"He put his own carburetor on my car and I won my first race with it," Simpson said. "75 dollars. I still have the envelope it came in."
They were not racing friends. They were just plain friends. The white driver and the black driver.
"I came all the way here to be a part of this, because I knew Wendell and what he went through," said Simpson. "It wasn't easy for him. This is how it was."
"How it was," means all the fans, the dozens of extras, were white, and the actor portraying the promoter not wanting to give the black man the trophy. And the black racer accepting it silently to little applause.
But the racial acrimony for these great people from this area who portrayed extras either belonged to the long-gone past or never existed at all.
And what characters came out in their period clothes.
There was Gina Bratton, receptionist at Rock Hill's Serenity Spa and Salon, where longtime hairdresser Lynne Carrouth fixed up Bratton's hair just like 1963. She wore pearls and period clothes and for a few minutes, was a star.
She stood near Kip Carter of Lancaster County, who saw Wendell Scott race in the 1950s and whose daddy once gave Scott $500 to buy parts.
Nearby was the "Dirt Doctor," Eddie Hyatt of Fort Lawn, who also saw Scott race more than 50 years ago and during the summer is the track watering man at the I-77 Speedway.
"Got an extra part as flag man, too," said Hyatt. "My daughter was an extra, and my grandsons. All of us, in the movies. And me at age 67."
David McCain was an extra, a guy who has spent 45 years as a volunteer firefighter in Richburg helping people of all colors. He beamed like he won the lottery - when he wasn't sneering as a new movie star actor.
There was a guy from Mount Pleasant named Rick Earnhardt, no relation to Dale, who had to fake a scowl because he was so happy to be an extra.
And Andy Blackwood, who paints cars for a living, an extra who drives this same Chester track summers on weekend nights, dreaming of glory just like Wendell Scott did.
"Number 57," said Blackwood. "My car."
All just wanted a chance to be in a movie. Filming went on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, late through dusk into the dark. The takes took minutes, minutes stretched to hours, and still these extras had a great time.
Even one guy who wasn't an extra and had a teen with him who couldn't be a crowd extra had a blast, and the kid did, too. Rock Hill's Richard Given, white, who brought his grandson, black.
"That was the way in those days, separate," Given said. "No more."
The scowls were all fake. The laughter between takes was real. It was magic. All this was just a movie.
That old way of worrying about a black driver winning a race on red clay in the South, that existed in Chester at a racetrack only in the movies.
Those days for these wonderful people are long gone.