Three Great Racers Depart
It’s been a rough winter. Since last month’s tribute to our longstanding board secretary Mary Thompson, three more great members of Oregon Region SCCA have passed away. Each one brought a unique combination of passion and dedication to the sport.
Gary Bockman’s contributions to the sport have been
well-documented, but that doesn’t describe the experience of being around him when he was winning, or when things went badly. In each case, you got a deeper look at the character of the man. In victory, Gary was exultant - he’d stop and climb the catch fence, or simply be jumping around for the sheer joy of the moment. His enthusiasm was contagious. I also saw Gary just after he missed winning an SCCA national championship because of a failed $10 part. He was down, but far from finished. He came back to compete again at Sonoma. Above all, Gary loved racing and the racing community.
Marshall Atherton was a mainstay of Oregon racing for well over 50 years. He competed in the very first Rose Cup back in 1961, and remained active as a driver well into this century. Marshall always had a smile for everyone, and he was generous with praise and assistance. He founded 99West Trailers, and that business has helped out countless racers. Marshall was a true gentleman of the sport.
Dave Franks introduced himself to me in 1997, saying he was planning to build a Sprite to go vintage racing. We went together to look over the project car he purchased, and began racing together soon after. Dave put together a leading racing program in just a few years, bringing his immaculately prepped Sprite to every Oregon Region event. It wasn’t long before Dave was drafted into the steward’s corps, and he served on the region board of directors as well.
There will be a memorial for Dave held at Stickmen Brewery in Tualatin on Sunday, February 9 from 1-4 pm. Everyone is welcome.
Oregon Region SCCA survives and thrives entirely on the basis of its members. This is especially true of those who step up and help organize and manage racing programs. These three racers have left a legacy of friendship and service, as well as a great example of how to have fun in racing. I think the best way to honor them is to contine to race, to be a friend, and to work for the good of the sport.
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By Jeff Zurschmeide
Area 13 Director,