above : age 13 in 1976

Magazine At school one of the teachers had a magazine on his desk. On the cover there was a sexy & slippery body - the December 1970 Issue of Road & Track Magazine - with a custom Ferrari Hot Rod sitting out on an air field.

I asked the teacher if I could borrow it - or maybe buy it. The cover price was a dollar - so I brought a dollar the next day and went home with it. I thumbed through, back and forth, absorbing the lines and curves - and the power that was practically dripping off the page.

Indeed, for a kid with a collection of well worn Matchbox cars, this was a doorway opening - the glamorous world of magazines. Even though they were flat on the page they were every bit as lush as the illustrations of the frogs when I was a child. I brought a dollar each day and took home a new magazine, until the teacher just gave me the whole box. It was a bonanza~! Ninety two magazines - and what treasures~! brilliant red Ferraris, pale blue Jaguars, and the orange McLaren.

The singular image that sticks in my mind was a dark green shark-looking machine with a huge fin sticking up behind the driver's helmet. It was coming down through a series of twisting corners. I pored over that page

- and before I knew it I was reading about a race called Le Mans . . . .


Engaged It was the moment you might describe later when you saw your future wife for the first time - and the marriage and indeed collision course of my love of imagery & color, my fascination with speed, was set.

The story of Le Mans itself is for someone else to tell. What I was struck by was that they raced into the darkness, and then all night - without stopping.

So it wasn't just a race. It was a War - a struggle carried on at top speed - in the dark of night - past the eerie flicker of the pit straight lights, and the distant glimmer of a carnival - and then flat out into the dark country - in smooth & muscular machines - determined goggle wearing men gripping the wheel, throttle wide open. The passion that the story, the shapes of the machines and the spectacle of Le Mans now ignited in me was a romance I had felt before- but never had the fire burned so high.

My boyhood dream was that Jaguar would return from the doldrums of the 70s and claim victory at the Le Sarthe Circuit. Don't ask me where that came from. There was absolutely nothing like that happening. I would ask my friends at the cafeteria lunch table wouldn't it be great if..... and I regaled them with one Le Mans story after another. They may well have been bored to death, but greatly to their credit they listened.


the magazine in question




Run In fact in my high school years I was terrible student - I was known in school as an "artist". An exasperated biology teacher was overheard saying "the kid just draws all over everything~!" It was true- I was dreamy, disorganized, but passionate for words, art & music, I was constantly in trouble with grades. And mystified with a sharply difficult social scene, I was increasingly desperate to prove myself as a person.

And so, even though I disliked it, I competed in Track & Cross Country. Running was the one sport I was good at, and I found that I was a natural at it - eventually winning the 1980 Metro Championship .





left : tenth grade - here I am dragging my friend Allen through various books of Racing Car pictures - even as I write this caption I can see the car on his open page is a Formula One Lotus with it's distinctive yellow wheels.

We lost Allen to Leukemia in 2007.






above : 1980 - now a senior


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