(photography by Kristina Handy)
Uttering that phrase out loud…That is how one closes the Marauder’s Map filched by the Weasley twins George and Fred in the world of Hogwarts and Harry Potter. Ah…but do you remember what you have to say to OPEN the Marauder’s Map?
Long before the prolific Ms. Rowling offered up that phrase as an official spell, it was the default emotional intent of all school aged children everywhere, sweaty prom-night drives home, long late-night study sessions in the autopsy lab, and remains immortal as the motto of every girls night out. Prediction: WinterKnits will be the only one with the phrase tripping effortlessly from her lips. The rest of us–read on.
So, to pick up from before the track telemetry data storm emerged to ruin our sweet mojo…
We left our heroine, FDM, clamoring to get her act together on Thursday night: emergency calls, walk-in patients and clinic all day. Then the case meeting, assorted school meetings, laundry, car-line trips, and of course the washing/waxing/taping of the beloved BDeW all on tap for Friday.
But……I was excited! I had last seen Kivinski in July, and at that time the weather was too warm altogether to enjoy pretty much anything…despite that we managed to get into trouble. There is something special about childhood friendships, and how they deepen into stronger, mature complex flavors over time. Yet still retain the effervescence of more innocent times. How miraculous is that??? And then there is the miracle of the great K herself: a force of nature…a zephyr…gentle, beautiful, vulnerable, yet powerful.
On Friday I go blasting off, burning rubber OFF track…Fast forward through all day: zip-zip-zip-zip! Mom’s can do it all right? Priority order of things: kids, work, household, THEN Bianca and Mom.
Bottom line: I never made it to getting Bianca sorted out, and barely packed enough unmentionables to last all weekend. But I had the essentials: toothbrush, engine oil, torque wrench, new driving shoes. Being a responsible adult, I ensured I had post-track-libations available for those in need (Glenmorangie single-malt, sorry KCMF, no bourbon this time). Leaving the driveway, I remembered and ran back inside to pick up my task list from MikeJim. Yes, ladies and gents, the legendary MJ from 12 hours at Sebring in 1964 (which I had not known at the time, all I knew was that MJ shared my motto, and drove a hot car fast…), had asked me to check in on his buddy DGoodBoy, and another celeb, VBD (aka VeryBestDriver).
When I arrived at track that night for registration, the paddock was a ghost town with teardrop silhouetted super-cars shrouded in covers, guarded by the strong silent tow vehicles who think women like me never notice them. I had missed the cutoff by 5 minutes. Nonplussed, I drove up to the hotel in Danville to meet my partner-in-crime, Krisss-er-um-vinski. Greenfrog and Tex were having dinner at OakTree, so after saying our hellos, we headed back to Connie’s Pub. As always, the staff greeted us warmly, and introductions were made.
Just for the record: I do notice you Mr. F350 and you too Miss Excursion…even in the dark. And I like what I see.
Tex and Greenfrog have twin cars–Peridot green cayman R’s that are ridiculously hot looking: do you remember the effect that the insipid looking Olsen twins had visually? OK, now imagine if they were bombshells with mid-engines, colored black and green, with slick tires. Yeah. That’s what I’m talkin ’bout. Greenfrog’s is numbered 42: “The meaning of the life, the universe, and everything!” and runs in the white group (oh yeah, my buddy’s maiden voyage going solo baby!!). Tex’s has a black center racing stripe, is number 63 and runs in green, with the smooth falsetto of a PDK, and the swagger of a boss.
Dinner ended with that delightful feeling of anticipation, camaraderie, and the early jitters of the pre-adrenaline rush. Little did I know what was to come next…
That night: I confess that (after downing 2.5 liters of water between 9pm and midnight, in a well-intentioned-but-misguided effort to be hydrated for track the next day) my insomnia was not the quiet kind…The intrepid and incredibly polite Kivinski did not admit that I kept her awake even though I was using the facilites in our shared suite TWICE an hour from 2:45 am to 6am. Sorry VADER, yeah TMI man. Just telling it like it is. This is a PG-rated post okay?
I got to track Saturday monring for registration, minus traditional track day yoga, under that sickly-sleep-deprived feeling from my nocturnal activities, and guilt ridden about harming my dear friend’s sleep.
It was 19 Fahrenheit the next morning as I got ready for tech inspection. Nevertheless, I arrived prepared for my first irrelevant task with dialogue in hand.
I said to the nice lady: “I’m looking for DGoodBoy”. A mustached wiry gentleman enters the back door right on cue…all heads turn toward him. “That’s DGoodBoy”, she says, gesturing. I look at my script and begin reading off: “Are you DGoodBoy?” and so on…People are now piling in to the registration desk. I am the second person and am holding up the line but I keep at it, sweating bullets the whole time…DGoodBoy takes in the humor at first cautiously, with narrowed eyes and a confused, but pointedly polite visage. But, upon hearing name MikeJim, DGBoy gets a merry beam in his eye and lets out a chuckle. Confidentially, in guy speak, he shared that he’s miffed MikeJim picked NNJR over him (I think so, but I’m not entirely fluent in guy-speak.) I resume breathing again. I quietly hand over my drivers license, thankful I’m not kicked out of the DE for insubordination.
I shuffle along to instructor intro, classroom instruction, tire pressures measuring and lug nut torquing. Yes, that IS a VERB.
(torquing nuts, not as bad as it sounds really)
And finally, began my very first day in blue run group. Motto: I solemnly swear that I am up to no good
Bill Withers captures it for me.