A Sad Day...


6/6/2005 - 5/15/2015

I suppose that with all that's going on in the world these days, the passing of a dog who enjoyed a particularly long, happy and well-loved life probably doesn't amount to much. But he was part of our family and went so many places with us: to race events and book signings and even, over the last few years, to the health club. We were allowed to bring him with us on Saturday mornings when I was in town, and he'd dutifully curl up behind the admission desk on the mat we brought with us and wait there, pleasantly, peacefully and patiently, until Carol and I were done with our classes and ready to go...sometimes, if we did Bike, Sculpt and Zumba, it was three full hours. But Buddy would always rather go with and be a part of whatever it was than be left behind. Even towards the end, when he had to struggle to get up and drag his back legs behind him, he'd come to the top of the back stairs and bark at me--"HEY! I WANNA GO, TOO!"--if I dared even think of going anywhere without him. And when I did take him, even out to our walks in the park or forest preserve where, again, towards the end, he could barely manage ten or fifteen feet without help and steadying. But he still wanted to go--he was still eager for it!--and as soon as we got in the car, he wanted to struggle and scramble his way over to his usual Command Position on my lap, careful to keep clear of the wheel, and rest his chin on the windowsill to watch--or at least feel and listen--as the world he knew and loved wheeled by.

So many of you knew him, and I suppose I'll sound like every other dog owner and lover when I say he was a really special guy. When we got him from the mom-and-pop breeder all those years ago, the lady, who seemed to know, told us: "That's the one you want. He's the lover of the bunch." And indeed he was. Buddy got along with everyone, and everyone got along with Buddy. From poking-and-probing little kids to crusty and cantankerous old farts, he let everybody know he was glad to see them and made them feel special. Really he did. And I've never know a dog whop seemed to understand--and relish--his position as pet, pal and partner like Buddy.

I remember when he was in his prime and full of the irrepressible energy, speed, good-natured mischief and hair-trigger reflexes Fox Terriers are famous for, he loved to play his version of "fetch." Which quickly degenerated into "watch the fat, clumsy human try to get my stick!" And when we'd return home from a long race or book-signing weekend (or if Carol and I had gone away someplace where dogs weren't welcome and we had to leave him at the boarding place), he'd leap out of the car and, as soon as the back gate was open, he'd begin running joyous hot laps around our back yard like he was qualifying at North Wilkesboro.

Here he is showing our grand-dog Hank how it's done!

And here, a little game of Keep Away...

We said our last good-bye to Buddy a week ago Friday--we were there with him--and there was actually a sense of release and relief as well as sadness, ache and emptiness when I felt the life blossom up out of him. But it's been tough for both of us, because Buddy was, quite deservedly, such a huge part of our lives...
I went on at some considerable length about the radical, supercharged, 16-cylinder, mid-engined, all-independent, Ferdinand Porsche-designed/Hitler Reich supported-and-encouraged Auto Union grand prix car shown below: 

And now, do yourself a favor. Just  CLICK HERE to see a fascinating documentary about it on YouTube. Or at the very least, watch the first 30 seconds. It will blow you away...


Fendered Forensics (or, can you tell from these wee slivers what sort of whole car we're looking at)?

a) ARNOLT BRISTOL BOLIDE (and if you don't know what that is, you're missing both a great car AND a great story!)

b) 1958 Oldsmobile 98, from the period when, as one responder noted, "GM was applying chrome with a trowel..."

c) Singular and unique dashboard of a 1963 or '64 Corvair Monza Spyder. As my high school chum David Miller knows, the Spyder was TURBOCHARGED (it and the Olds Jetfire were the first two out of Detroit) and they were wonderful cars. I somehow goaded my dad into getting one (a '63) and that car taught me all about oversteer. It'd carry a double-date, too!


Who dis?

Renowned Confederate General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, who might have made a big difference in the outcome of The Civil War had he not been shot by his own sentries at Chancellorsville.

INSIDER RACER SHIT (a whole alphabet's-worth):


Turns out there are a few "other" corners with the same name, but below are the ones I intended

a) "The Uphill" LIME ROCK PARK, CT.
b) "Deer's Leap" DUNDROD (Northern Ireland) but also WESTWOOD in BC, Canada 
c) "The Kink" (bonus points if, like me, you've wrecked there. Points deducted (double) if you did it in somebody else's car...) ROAD AMERICA, of course
d) "Moss Corner" MOSPORT, Canada
e) "Hog Pen"  VIR (Virginia International Raceway)
f) "Puke Hollow" LANGHORNE (Famous and Harrowing Dirt Oval in Pennsylvania)
g) "The Dip" The "old" ROAD ATLANTA (before they cut its nuts off...) 
h) "The Festival Curves" PIR (Portland International Raceway, Oregon)
i) "The Keyhole" MID OHIO
j) "Dingle Dell" BRANDS HATCH, UK
k) "The Corkscrew" LAGUNA SECA, CA.
l) "Toe of The Boot" WATKINS GLEN, NY
m) "Namerow" MOUNT TREMBLANT, CDN (aka San Jovite)
n) "Eau Rouge" SPA, BELGIUM
o) "Tetre Rouge" LE MANS, FRANCE (sorry for the misspelling, but I don't write French)
p) "Madness" MID OHIO esses (corners 6-7-8)
q) "Maggots" (not the bug larva, BTW) SILVERSTONE, UK (and here I actually LEARNED something...I always thought, in typical British fashion, that this corner was named after some "Lord Maggot" or "The Earl of Maggot" or somesuch. But NO! There actually is a maggot farm out there in the distance that raises maggots for fishermen. I think my notion has a lot more class, don't you? 
r) "Sunset Bend" SEBRING, FLA (famous for having a hump like Richard III--which you simply CANNOT miss!--and you'll understand the name anytime you try to see your way in as sunset approaches...) 
s) "Clearways" BRANDS HATCH, UK
t) "Barbeque Bend" KYALAMI, SOUTH AFRICA
u) "The Monza Wall" The late, lamented MEADOWDALE circuit in Carpentersville, IL, not far from Chicago (saw my first-ever sportycar race there)
v) "White House" LE MANS, FRANCE (translation: "Maison Blanche")
w) "Oak Tree" VIR, Virginia (and, yeah, the Oak Tree is gone now...sniff!)
x) "St. Mary's" GOODWOOD, UK
y) "Thunder Valley" ROAD AMERICA, WI (but there's also one at Mid Ohio)
z) "Cappy's Corner" The old MARLBORO track in Maryland.

OK, what am I driving here? Tougher question: Where?

ESSAY QUESTION: What's wrong with this here photo:

Catch the latest poop & pictures, the Jay Leno interview, Last Open Road swag & highly inappropriate attire from Finzio's Store and the lurid & occasionally embarrassing "ride with Burt" in-car racing videos on the hopefully now fully operational website at: