We've now noted the passing of Cameron, Sam, Mike, Jean and Pete...
Cruelly, this is how life is. Each of them had their own attributes and each had their own way to affect people.
Mike, of course, posted here for a time. But he found he had to give it up when the friendliness started to disappear. It was not for Mike to be unfriendly. It was he who noted the passing of his dad on this forum.
Sam, not being a motor sport personality (if you like), was not so known and the record of his passing was merely that. Yet Sam I had found to be intensely interesting in the short time I spent with him at the family farm on the opposite side of Lake Seneca.
Mike somehow became my friend. He was a party to long phone discussions with me, he made it clear that I'd be most welcome should I make it to America to spend time with him. When I did get there he put Janet and I into a lovely motel room overlooking the lake because the weather was turning cold and, as he put it, "...neither your wife or mine would cope with the cold at the cottage." He referred to the family holiday cottage North of Watkins Glen on the same side of the lake as the circuit.
My second trip saw me alone, he and Lee took me into their Chicago home and Mike had to show me around Chicago, explain all the sights, make sure that I learned a lot about the place. And then a couple of weeks later I did get to stay at the cottage with Mike and came to admire his qualities even more as he showed me around his domain. And he took me to the farm and so I met Sam and Jean and I think it was Louise, who all made me feel most welcome.
Mike was no longer around when I made my third trip, but I felt a need to drop in and say 'hello' to Jean at the farm. Even though she was long past freely having guests, another one of the boys (Duke?) asked her if she would see me. I was happy to be able to express my condolences to her on the loss of the two boys who'd gone since my previous visit.
She really was a lovely lady and she was a part of the force behind the IMRRC in Watkins Glen. But, well into her nineties, she was not with us much longer after my visit.
Such a great family of people who'd been a big part in racing at the Glen. To hear that Pete's died is saddening to me. Not yet 70 makes it even more of a tragic loss.
But I'm guessing that their example will be motivating those left behind to ensure that the work they've put in will not be left unattended.
And to Louise, J.C., Rob, Duke and the other girls, my personal condolences join the very many I'm sure are flowing in right now. And especially to Shelkia, who will forever feel what Jean and Lee have felt, as have I.