If you’ve been around Oregon Region for any length of time, you probably met Monte Shelton, and it was probably memorable.
I have two memories of Monte that, for me, perfectly illustrate who he was. The first happened some time after he survived a heart attack. He was telling me how he went to the gym six days a week, working out and running for a couple hours each morning. I said, “Gee Monte, I wouldn’t want to run a hundred-yard dash against you, and I’m half your age!”
Monte looked at me, smiled, and said, “I’d kick your ass.”
The second happened in the same era. I had a pretty hard day on the annual Monte Shelton Northwest Classic rally. Two of my old cars had broken down on the rally that day, and I finally rolled into the hotel in my daily driver during the “beer wash” car washing party.
I went into the hotel to check in, and when I came back out, there was Monte washing my car for me. I said, “Monte, you don’t have to do that.” He replied, “You know, my first job was washing cars at a lot on Sandy Boulevard, and I still love to do it.”
Those memories are pure Monte - equal parts competitive and gracious. He had a big heart and a genuine affection for people. That’s how I plan to remember him, and I hope the memory helps me become more like Monte Shelton.