Growing up in the country in Oregon was very memorable. When I was a teenager I was really feeling good about things when I finished building my 1937 Ford pickup hot rod and got it running like a top. After taking it for a trial run I drove up to the house where I saw my mother standing so over the loud exhaust I yelled at her to climb in and go for a ride. She really didn't want to go but finally she gave in. As she was getting in she was laughing as she looked my pickup up and down. A little insulted that my own Mother would laugh at my truck knowing I had worked so hard on it I asked, "What's so funny?" She said the reason she was laughing so hard was because she couldn't even remember the last time she had stepped on a running board.
This all took place on a day when it had been raining a little and my vacuum wiper motor was broken and would only work in one direction so I had temporarily run a piece of string around through the passenger's side window and back across to the driver side. This way when it rained I could pull the string one way and the wiper would return the other way so I could see clearly which suited me just fine for the trial run. When she got into the truck she asked what the string was for so I told her I would show he later and took off for town to show off my truck. As soon as we got to town and drove around for a bit it began to rain really hard. That's when I began telling Mom about the string and how to pull it to make the wiper work so I could see to drive. No sooner than I handed her the string and a split second before I could tell her to be gentle while she began cracking up, she gave it a big yank. By now she was laughing so hard at my custom wiper set that she tugged a little too hard causing the entire wiper blade and arm assembly to go flying off and landed on the side of the road. It was just my luck that Sydney, the local cop saw the whole thing and pulled me over and wrote me up for no wipers.
My Mom was not very comforting as she sat there laughing uncontrollably the entire time Sydney was writing the ticket until even he couldn't hold back the chuckling.
Finally the two of them found a way to restrain themselves long enough that Sydney the cop offered to give mom a ride home and recommended that I go to the local wrecking yard to find a new wiper motor.
If the day wasn't already black enough while I was walking around the wrecking yard looking for a wiper motor it began to pour like cats and dogs adding even more insult to injury. By the time I got home and walked into the kitchen where mom was enjoying a warm cup of coffee there I stood soaking wet, standing there with a ticket in one hand and a receipt for a fifteen dollar wiper motor in the other. As if my mother hadn't already been helpful enough she told me that while riding along with Sydney she had mentioned to him that she thought my exhaust was too loud and Syndey told her he would discuss it with the next time he saw me driving around. All I could think to say was, "Thanks a lot Mom. You're a big help. If you ever need a ride to town call Sydney."
It's a story I remember well and one mother and I have laughed at many times over the years. In retrospect my mother helped me many times to see the road clearly and helped show me the way including those times when I was blind or simply being an adolescent that needed guidance. On Sunday evening November 15th 2009 my mother closed her eyes for the last time and now God shows her the way. I am blessed to have had such a loving mother that taught me how to see so many things and how to love and cherish all that I have seen. She shared my passion for racing and life and family and for that I am also a blessed man.