My first trip to Westwood (remember Westwood?) in B.C. with my freshly reconstructed Lotus Eleven was a heady time – my first racecar, and run on a beautiful mountain course – and I proudly set up this still life on Sunday evening – my new gloves and helmet were looking weather-stained, I proudly displayed a pass declaring “Driver,” and the VRC added three medallions and an artificial flower to acknowledge that I’d gotten through the weekend – I was part of the winning relay team, and hadn’t set myself or anything else on fire.
There were tears in my eyes as I listened to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” on the drive back to the motel, had a few beers, and listened to it again. Over the years, regulations required that I retire that helmet, the gloves fell apart, as did the goggles. But for 15 years, Beethoven continued to play for me at the end of every race weekend. Life is good.