Last Saturday, August 31st, I asked Anneliese, if we could go to Sears Point to watch the AFM practices and races. She looked at me and said, are you sure you want to go? I said, ” yes I think I”m ready”. On our drive out there I was very emotional, I wasn’t aware that I would be.
Lucky for me, the Bay Bridge was closed – the traffic was pretty backed up. This gave Anneliese and myself time to reflect on what was in front of us. Anneliese wasn’t sure it was a good idea to go so soon after the accident- but, I insisted that I could handle it – besides…. Kenny, Lisa and Kyle were there with their trailer. If I needed a refuge away from everything I could go in and lay down and take it all in if need be. We were very emotional on the drive over worried about the unexpected. When we arrived, we drove around the back of the parking lot to Kenny’s trailer and unloaded our few things. Two of the first people I saw (other than Kenny, Lisa and Kyle – who treat us like family always) were Tom Montano and Greg Mcullough
– who acted as though I’ve never been gone – which made me feel so good. Thanks guys.
Unfortunately, that would be short lived. I really wanted to see the turn workers and say hello before they went back on track after lunch. I pointed my chair down hill and away I went, Kenny followed behind me to make sure I was ok. As I was heading down I noticed people in the pits staring at me and pointing, a few waved to me but, the majority, looked at me as though I was an alien. I continued on… I got to the turn workers as they were loading up in their trucks to head back on the track – they were all fantastic and greeted me with open arms. From there, I headed to the garages, one of the first people I saw was Race Director, Barbara Smith, who gave both Anneliese and I a huge hug – making us finally feel comfortable in an environment that I wasn’t sure if I was comfortable with anymore.
We moved down the garages where I was greeted by many of my close friends, and many of my AFM race competitors. The next practice group was rolling out and I went down to start/finish to say hello and watch some practice. While I was down there Group 5 was lining up. – Number “1” AFM plate holder, Ricky Corey, pulled out of line, to shake my hand, followed by Tim Scarrott – which really made my day… Thank you guys.
By this time, I was getting tired so I headed to Kenny’s trailer to take a rest. After a little down time it was time for afternoon races. Earlier, Barb had said that I should try my hand at announcing, and they should unlock the handicap elevator to get up to the announcers booth. We headed up there, we met Vik Anderson, who was calling the races. He encouraged me to grab the mic…. I wanted to watch him announce before I took that on. Turns out their was a long red flag that required medical assistance which delayed things. Anneliese and I looked at each other and knew it was time to go. On the way back more greetings and blank stares. I couldn’t help but wonder, was the place I was so comfortable for so many years – now making me feel like an outsider?.
It’s a bizarre feeling, unless your in my shoes, you would not understand the feeling I felt. I’ve raced for half my life, and to feel uneasy was tough.
The only real thing to talk about in the next week is my AMAZING new bathroom, which was successfully completed- after a month, I could finally move out of the hotel and into our house! On Sunday after the races, our contractor, and friends- Dom and Doreen came over. Dom spent all day, until 9pm, installing my sink, toilet etc. In the meantime, Doreen was helping my wife – organizing our bedroom. Thanks for the help both of you.
Our roommates, my brother and sister in law, Jon and Molly, have been so understanding with our situation and realized the best place for me was in Walnut Creek by family.
They have found a house about 3 miles from us and are currently packing up all their things to move out next weekend. Thanks for the continued support and understanding Jon & Molls- going to miss your cooking for sure!
My health continues to be a challenge. I’m heading to GI doc tomorrow- I’ve seen a Vascular Surgeon last week that gave me some discouraging news about my blood clots and blood thinners. I’m looking to get an appointment with a world renown Stanford Doc for an important appointment regarding an upcoming surgery and my filter. I’ll keep you up to date in the next few weeks.
I want to thank everyone who continuously checks in on us and comes over to see us, not to mention those that invite us over to their homes for dinner. We can’t thank you enough for continuing to include our unconventional lives into your conventional ones. Thanks Mike and Laura for building a ramp so I could go outside to enjoy dinner with you at your house.
Also, A Big THANK YOU from Anneliese and I for those that continuously take the time to read our blog and continue to help support us on this new life long journey.
P.S. Here is the link for info on the Track Day