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12/7/06~**note to my dear readers: While I have been back from our gold mining excursion, my Dale has remained in OR to finish up some work he commited to do for a mining operation. Because of the bad weather and icy road conditions, he has not been able to get himself and our 5th wheel home. There is a break in the weather through the weekend. I am heading back to Oregon to help him get our “other home” home. I will be back next week. While I am gone…explore Dick Ralstin’s writings….you will love him as much as I did. There are plenty of stories there…enough to keep you busy until NASCAR begins it’s 2007 season. I promise you will not be sorry!!
See ya next week!!
There are benefits and disadvantages to being able to travel and spend the majority of your summer away from home. Cell phones, emails and other demands of the world cannot touch you. Simplicity is a wonderful blessing. However, there are a few drawbacks…
I have been sorting through my e-mails and noted one from Aug 1st. It was an e-mail notifying me that my very special friend, Dick Ralstin had passed away July 31st.
I “met” Dick when I had e-mailed him requesting permission to write about him and use some info and pictures from his website for a post I wanted to do about him.
He gave me permission to use anything I wanted and our friendship was “off to the races” from there.
We e-mailed back and forth, sometimes daily, and at least weekly from that day forward. We joked and kidded, talked about racing day from the past, present and future. We talked about life, addiction, his love of New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment. Dick called it “our secret”…”Don’t want too many people coming here you know.”
We talked of Off Road Racing,Robby Gordon, Baja, Eldora, etc. I lived for a short while near Pikes Peak, where he took a very interesting and wild ride. I know that road…It had to be way worse then. He told me about the Novi..WOW!! His Novi saga’s are important preludes to the history of racing. NASCAR today would not be the same without Dick Ralstin.
We talked of our love for photography and nature and animals. We marveled how much his cat Amigo and my 17 year old cat Mouser looked alike.
He told me that yes, he had made a lot of mistakes in his life, but he did not regret how he had lived his life. He lived his life…He lived it. He had crossed paths with many an important and famous personality and participated in some of the most important events in the world. He was also one of the most humble men I have ever met. He stated when I had first approached him about writing about him ,”I don’t know why the Hell anyone would want to write about me.”
He was a real writer…A real journalist. He made those of us that try to write in even semi-decent English look like moron’s.
I learned so much from him…not just about racing, but about life.
He loved his daughter Stormy and her husband so dearly. Bless their hearts….I was told that she read his cards daily to him, right up until the end. I know how hard it is to lose a parent. I have lost both of mine. My prayers are with you and your husband and families, Stormy.
Dale and I had planned to stop and see him when we went South this month or early Jan. I am so sorry I will never have that opportunity. I will miss our e-mails…I will miss my buddy.
Spend some time inside Dick’s website. Spend some time in Dick’s world. He wrote as he was.
I will miss him a whole lot.
Rest in Peace my friend…we will have that Crown and Burrito another time. It will be better then any way…It will be with Perfection.
I am sorry I didn’t answer your last e-mail to me. We had gone already when it arrived. I know tho, you were happy for us and told me to Chase my Dreams so I never created regret. I am…And I will. I will never forget you.
Yes…I am quitting smoking. I promised you and I meant it. I just need you on my shoulder to help me a little ok? I think you are already my guardian angel…The doc said, had that tire not fell off, I would probably be dead or severely brain injured. You were The Tire Man. The rock formation directly above where I wrecked is oddly enough, called Firestone.
Godspeed and Blessed Be…
Merry Meet ya someday.
Read the post I did last winter…spend some time reading the memoir’s, articles and stories on Dick’s website. Look at the many, many historical pictures there. Above all…get to know who Dick was.
He is…was…and Always will be worth it.
Copyright © 2006 The Church of The Great Oval ~ Clance’ McClannahan
All photo’s in this post were used with specific written permission from Dick Ralstin