Hi Pat,

I see some of your new articles are out – and now I know that you’re in Europe, perhaps in France by now. Je ne parle pas français bien. Mais je l’ai étudié pendant dix années.

Cessez de rire!

Well that was fun. I can use your time in France as an excuse to practice my sorry French!

Hey, thanks for explaining how it works with all the team-swapping, at Le Mans and otherwise. It makes sense, of course. And I can see how that element would keep things fun and interesting for you all. You are a wonderful ambassador to represent the USA on a quintessentially French team. They love you! And you love them. That’s good for us all, especially with that other element out there that seeks to foment strain between the US and France by focusing on the worst things about each country in relation to the other.

Me on a bridge in Brugges, Belgium, c. 1985

Me on a bridge in Brugges, Belgium, c. 1985

Most of the time, I feel like I’m about twenty years old. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone. In my early twenties, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe as part of a big musical group made up of my college’s music students and staff. It was our big European tour, and it was awesome! We spent two weeks traveling through France, Belgium, and Holland, playing concerts in beautiful churches and concert halls in different small and large towns and cities each day. When I was your age…hahaha!

It was great. It was on this trip that I met some of my cousins for the first and only time, the children of my father’s sister, who left Beirut to live in Paris with her French husband. I have fond memories of my cousin, about 25 himself, in his ancient Citroen, driving me in mad circles around le Place d’Etoile with the sunroof open and Genesis blaring on the stereo.

Wow was that a great trip. I’ve been to England a couple of times since then, but never back to France. I have another cousin who’s just moved to a new horse farm way out in the French countryside…somewhere. He just friended me on Facebook so now I can figure out where he is and stay in touch. It’s good to have family all over the world!

In your PCA Raceblog, you talked about winning:

Winning is what drives me to crave being at the track week in and week out. As soon as the quest and the high of victory are gone, I think it’ll be time to start golfing!

Yeah, I don’t see that ever happening either! Now, having never won a thing in my car, there’s a way in which I can’t relate to you on this point at all. But in another way, it depends how you define “winning.” I’m such a beginner that I’m not even qualified to enter a race, you know? So what is winning for me? At this point, I think it’s showing up and getting out there in my car, and just not quitting. I confess, there have been times when I’ve thought I should just go back to working and leave the driving to the “professionals.” I am so far from really getting it that it’s hard to imagine kicking some serious ass in a race, or even just getting competitive lap times in, say, time trials.

But I trust myself, I trust my car, I trust those encouraging me, and I trust the process. If I want it, and if I stay in it, I will get it. I trust that.

So yeah, listen, I do get you about winning. And it’s people like me who crave it and yet are miles from even being able to think about winning something like Le Mans, it’s people like me who become whack-job fans to people like YOU. Ha! I’m going to be devouring everything I can find about the race, the Porsches in particular, and I’m going to enjoy the hell out of your performance, and if we are lucky, your antics. Man, I think they should put a video camera in your hands and set you loose for a “Behind the Scenes” feature every year! I hope you have something like that planned, along with your Blackberrying.

We’re still on pins and needles waiting for a closing date on the new house. With any luck, we’ll be in there this time next week. In the meantime, I’m planning to drive my club’s autocross this Sunday. Woo! I haven’t seen these folks in months. It’ll be a good time. Hot, but good.

I finally found a photo of your #45 Lizardmobile to morph into a title graphic. I liked the other photo infinitely more, but it wasn’t your car. So I like this one better for a header. I have the other photo as the wallpaper on my computer screen. Geek! Interestingly, visits to this site seem to have flatlined. I have no clue who the five people are who’ve been checking in here somewhat regularly, but for the past six days, not a single visit from anybody, anywhere. Not that I pay attention to such things. Hee!

Au revoir!


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