There are many sayings about the value of volunteers in SCCA. They’re all true, and we know that nothing would get done without the energy and commitment of our active SCCA members. Yet for all that, it’s easy to take for granted the fact that we arrive at the track and people are already there. Things are already set up and ready to go.
Mary Thompson was one of the people who made sure that our racing events happened. You might have encountered Mary at registration, or driver services, or at the Rose Cup Room, but it’s a fair certainty that if you came to an event at PIR, Mary was there quietly doing some necessary job. If you hung out where she was, she’d have a friendly word for you and if she knew you at all, a big warm hug.
I knew Mary because in addition to everything else, she was the secretary of the Oregon Region Board of Directors. I’ve been going to board meetings pretty regularly for 20 years, and Mary had been there longer than that. The board secretary takes the minutes of board meetings and transcribes them. She records the motions and votes and reports them. She also tallied the election results each year. That’s the official job description, anyway. But Mary did so much more than that.
Mary was the club’s memory. She could (and did) tell you if something had been discussed or attempted years or even decades earlier. She could calm a tense situation, or just offer some good advice. I’m pretty sure she was never elected by the membership, but she was the leader who helped guide this club through good times and hard times alike – and always with love for the people she was working with.
I don’t know how Mary came to Oregon Region. She may have driven a race car for all I know, or been a corner worker. But I do know she was the heart of our club, and she made a profound difference for the good of our sport.
I honestly don’t know what we’ll do without her.