Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mike Allen

Mike Allen (L) and Jeff Mao (R), Flagging a Miata Race, Turn 1, Summit Point

Mike Allen (Center), Saturday Morning Flag Meeting, Summit Point Raceway

Mike Allen, one of my friends who I spend so much time with at various race tracks around the Northeast during spring, summer, and fall, passed away on February 2 after suffering a massive heart attack at the age of 55. Though he had only been doing it for a few years, Mike was a top-notch corner worker who could always be counted on to "have your back" when you were working in a hot area of the race track. And he also did a first rate job as my partner in last Labor Day's drunken, blindfolded golf cart race for charity. As sad as Mike's passing is, I was also sad and disturbed that none of his fellow track workers found out about it until three weeks after the fact. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that if it had been me, the same thing probably would have occurred. Like Mike, I have always gone to the track alone, and none of my family has ever met any of my track friends, nor would they know how to contact them. Same with all my birding friends in Florida. Bottom line is that my family would not have any idea who or how to contact the vast majority of the peoiple that I have become friends with over the last 20 years - including those that I count amongst my best friends. Not wishing bad things upon myself, but I think I need to start a contact list with representative points of contact for my friends in Gainesville, my SCCA friends, etc.

Rest in peace, Mike. You will not be forgotten.

1 comment:

sea said...

As much as Mike waxed on about his SCCA races, there was nary a mention of a name or other contact info. After his death, I tried piecing together SCCA addresses from entries in his race logs, in order to notify different groups in case Mike had signed up for upcoming races. I cross referenced the log entries with googled info from several websites, until I obtained a few names and email addresses that struck me as the most logical choices for notification.
Mike's involvement with the SCCA provided him with some of his happiest moments and he looked forward to each race. The week before Mike died, he was at the Daytona race, which was a big thrill for him. We all miss Mike and take great comfort that he enjoyed this aspect of his life; especially with all the memorabilia he collected and displayed from his race involvement. The boys have gathered his patches, badges, race logs, programs, etc..and are planning to create a montage of his involvement with the F & C group.
We are all tearful that Mike did not live to personally receive the Flagger of the Year honor for his dedication to the sport. His two boys will receive the honor on his behalf at the month end meeting at Summit Point.

Thank you for the warm thoughts and kind words. Mike meant the world to us and it is reassuring to hear friends share stories of his life.
( As you mentioned, we have all recently created a “just in case contact sheet”)