Goodbye My Friend

These are the subjects that are hard to start an article with. In August, a week after the Club Race we lost a valued member of the Track Team. Graham Jardine lost his battle with cancer and passed away at home. Graham was a stable force on the team as our Track Treasurer. He assisted me every year with the DE Budget, he was the friendly reminder that your credit card had expired, he made sure that all our expenses were posted properly right through the tenure of several Club Treasurers and Graham could always be counted on to lend an ear and offer sound advice. He spent a great deal of time working in the tower with John Adam and took on that role whenever he was needed. Graham gave us 19 years of support and Graham was a friend to all who knew him.

After having rain at every event so far this season the weather was a great relief at the August DE. With only a couple of quick showers, enough to keep everyone on their toes, the weather was fantastic. Clear, bright, and warm with a nice cooling breeze allowed everyone to have a great time and not get dehydrated. The track was grippy and it appeared that everyone was taking advantage of it. We also had our second IDE of the season and brought nineteen new drivers into the fold. We are all grateful for all the hard work that Peter Carroll does to pull everything together, for a safe and informative event. I’d also like to thank Abe Reinhartz for his classroom contributions, as well as all of the Instructors who patiently assisted the novice drivers. In fact, the entire weekend was incident free, other than a couple of minor delays. Let’s keep that up!

We had a large number of Instructors at the event to assist us with the IDE as well as the Green and Yellow run groups, so we asked for some volunteers to run in the Black run group. There is a car limit for DE events and we have the luxury of moving a few around so no one gets left out. A strange thing happened when we placed 8 Instructors in the Black group. Everyone instantly became less aggressive and far more courteous. I think they had a more enjoyable experience by not pushing hard and bunching up on the track. You drive better when you are relaxed and leave yourselves lots of room. That also increases everyone’s margin of safety.

With the Michelin tire draws over, we have a give-a-way planned for our Fall Colours event in September and a big surprise in store for Sunday. I hope you can all come out and see what that is. Meanwhile I’ll try not to tell anyone and ruin the surprise. It will be fun…trust me on that. We had wanted to make an October dinner this season, but due to the incredible increase in the price of food service, we decided to revert to something we did years ago. After 5pm on Saturday October 14th we will offer you an old-style Munchie Buffet Social. We will bring trays of snacks, meat, cheeses, fruits, veggies and copious amounts of beverages to the classroom so we can all share some time together and lie about how fast we are…lol. It’s not really dinner or pot luck but if you want to bring something with you to share, by all means don’t let us discourage you.

Anyone who knows me is aware that I have disdain for electric vehicles. They are expensive, they do more to destroy the environment than a 1966 Buick and they have a propensity to burn down anything next to them. However, I don’t glue myself to a valuable painting or block a provincial highway to make my point. So, I have to admit that I don’t understand the Just Stop Oil protesters. I believe everyone has the right to protest, however if they want to have any effect they would need to protest to those responsible. Like a major Oil Company headquarters, or perhaps an oil refinery. Why would they anger the very people that they are trying to reach with their message?

Recently the Stop Oil crazies set up a roadblock on a Nevada state highway to block the access of a quarter million people who attend the Burning Man Festival. The people who attend Burning Man are some of the most liberal people in the world and the Stop Oil people thought it would be helpful to trap them all on a hot desert highway. That’s not how to make friends and influence people! Perhaps they think the best way to “stop oil” is to cause 1,000 cars to sit there idling for hours. Maybe Rembrandt should have been ashamed because he used oil paints. Forgive me but I just don’t understand their message even if it is in their name. Long after electric car ownership is mandated, the world will still need lubricants, polymers, solvents and other by-products of oil. If they were protesting ethanol, which uses food to make fuel, they might find some commonsense support, however they are just making a nuisance out of themselves.

Happily, the Rangers in Nevada have little tolerance for those who block State highways and disrupt traffic. For those of you who haven’t seen the video, the first Ranger on site gave them a very brief warning on his truck’s loudspeaker system. The second Ranger on site put his push bumper to good use and drove through their barricade. Then as other Rangers arrived, they put the protesters on the ground, cuffed and arrested the whole lot of them. I hope they were charged with being stupid, which should be a felony…lol.

I agree that we need to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, but it needs to be done in a commonsense way. I don’t think those governments mandating electric everything have given it more careful thought than those idiots blocking the highway. </>

Graham was that special brother, admired by so many, a stoic who shared many golf links with determination and grace, who continued to improve his game when the rest of us foundered. Graham was arguably the greatest Porsche Club enthusiast in Upper Canada Region, an amicable roommate on several Watkins Glen weekends, a man with a multitude of diverse interests, and a valued personal friend.  His specialty was service; service he graciously gave to all:  as UCR treasurer, as a skilled photographer and volunteer timer at so many Club Races over the years, and as Tower Chief who kept us all safe.  

Perhaps most of all, he was a kind person; kind to everyone, and whose memory will be cherished by all who were blessed to know Graham.  His first priority was his family, which we all felt and respected. Most recently, Graham faced health challenges with unusual dignity and calm. One of the bravest men I have ever met.”

– Patrick Michaud

Graham was a 19-year Porsche Club of America (UCR) member and a dedicated volunteer for a long time. He was our track treasurer and came to all our track events every year. He helped with the tower duties at our track events since a few years ago. He volunteered at our annual club race for many years and took stunning on-track pictures. He always came to UCR monthly socials and annual banquet together with Margaret. Graham was a very thoughtful person and planned everything well in advance, and it was always a pleasure working with him. He spent his last weekend at our annual club race at Mosport on Aug 4-6 together with Margaret, and he was surrounded by many good friends at his favourite home track. We will all miss Graham and cherish all the great memories we had with him.

– Kathleen Wong

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