HE IS FOREVER GONE – BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN
Call it a premonition or whatever word that works, but years ago, as I sat in that grandstand in Richmond, Virginia and watched Dale pick his way around the competitors, I knew in my heart that Dale Earnhardt was going to become a great legend! Competition just seemed to be second nature to him. I followed his career from the beginning, and I have been following him ever since. And great, he became. Not only to his loyal racefans, but first and foremost to his family, his close friends and most certainly to his Creator. Dale was a God fearing man. Maybe this alone, helped make him what he became over the years. I was lucky enough to receive a letter from Dale many years ago, in response to a letter that I had written him. I was overjoyed, and will cherish it forever! Here I was, just one of the “little guys” in the world, so I thought, but soon came to realize that in Dales mind, no one was little, or unimportant. He truly had a love for his fellow man, and he freely showed it over the years. The last line of the letter was Bob,"Trust In God”. Those three little words, made a lasting impression on me, and does to this day. Dale became my “Hero” over the years, and we all need one of those kind of people in our lives! Dale loved to joke around, but if he needed to be serious, he was serious. Watching him week in and week out over the years, you could detect a sense of pride in him, and rightfully so. I remember one of those first stockcars he drove, a 1956 Ford, owned by a David Oliver. They hauled it to the racetrack on an open 4 wheeled trailer. A far cry from the way they do it today. It was a bright pink in color, if you can believe that, with a “K-2” painted on the side in black letters. Even back then, he proudly displayed that “Good Year” symbol as he has throughout his entire racing career. That old saying, “if its not broke – don’t fix it”, didn’t carry a lot of weight with Dale, as he was always trying to improve on something, whether it be first, with his family, himself, or with his racing business. A model of that pink car, along with countless other items, including models, and pictures, have found a home either in my display cases or hung on my walls. I will never part with them. My wife Mary Kay gave me a metal painted, autographed picture of Dale with that famous #3 car in the background, just shortly after he finally won the Daytonna 500. It took some doing, for her to get it! It was a “milestone” in his career! She hung it on the wall, with the wording above it, in gold colored metal letters, saying “I’m A Promise”! Dale was “A Promise", not only to me, but to the countless thousands he came in contact with. He left an “unfillable hole” in the racing world. We will all miss him. I do already. But we can do something. We can pray and remember him in our hearts. We can remember his family, Theresa his wife, their children Kerry, Kelly, Taylor Nicole, and Dale Jr. They need our prayers also. There is one other thing we can do, and that is to remember that when something devastating like this happens, there is a power much higher than ourselves, that will carry us on!
Rest in peace “Mr. Intimidator”
We will meet again, when the time comes.