I remember the time I drove a Spec Racer at Willow Springs in one of Cal Club’s driver’s schools, courtesy of Earl and the Spec Racer Driver’s Association.
Willow Springs is a big track, 2.5 miles around, and wicked fast.
I was a little bit lost on the track at first, enough so that my friend Rags stood out at the edge of the track up at Turn 4 where he was flagging and pointed to the apex while I circulated on the cool-off lap, waving madly to all my friends.
I had a sense of where the track went, and the general direction, but the details, the nuances, were a bit of a challenge to me, and Rags was helpful.
When it comes to my life, I received a solid foundation from my parents John and WIllie. Thanks to them I was heading in the right direction, making the right choices, understanding over time the things that matter and the stuff that can and should be ignored.
Patrick, on the other hand, while absent from my early years, augmented my life education in the nuances, the details that were important, just as Rags had done that winter day at the race track.
I miss those learning moments: the laughter, the insights, even the teasing play on words, the sound of his praise crackling over a Spanish phone, and the encouragement to go further, faster, better.
I miss Patrick, just as I miss John and Willie. Just as I miss Rags.