I can think of many. I’ve been a fan of auto racing since my early teens, autocrossed for several years (but not since 2011), and have been an SCCA member since 1998. My primary activity with SCCA is working F&C.

But I’d say my best memory is going through driver’s school in 2011. And the way that happened was this: SCCA San Francisco Region used to have a “Meet the Team” event during the Saturday evening social. During one of those in 2010, the team we were meeting (well, I actually knew one of them prior to that!) was raffling off a whole bunch of goodies - team T-shirts, hats, and the grand prize was a car for driver’s school the following year.

Early in the raffle, I won a hat - which I still have somewhere. God, I’ve accumulated a lot of hats in fifteen years of working corners! But I digress.

Toward the end, they finally started drawing for the big prize. But they started by drawing the second and first alternates, just in case the winner didn’t pass their physical. After those had been chosen, I hear the announcer calling my name. It didn’t really register until the third time I heard it. I look at the announcer, point at my chest.... “Me?”

“Yes, you!”

I can still remember calling my wife to tell her I’d won. Her actual words were something like “Well, congratulations. I know this is something you’ve always wanted to do.” What she wasn’t saying, but I could almost hear her thinking, was “Oh, shit. Now he’ll want to go racing!”

Fast forward to early 2011, I did pass my physical - just barely. I was pretty overweight at that time, and my blood pressure was just low enough to clear me. (Not a bad thing that I found out about that - eventually I lost almost forty pounds and have been off BP meds for about four years now.)

Driver’s school itself was lots of fun, but also pretty exhausting - SFR does driver’s school in a single three-day weekend, into which they cram about SIX HOURS of seat time! Most of what I remember was strapping in, running a session, grabbing a little something to eat and a bottle of water before hustling off to a classroom session, back into the car, more snacks and water, another classroom session, lather, rinse, repeat. By the end of Friday I was exhausted. Back at the hotel, I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, and I slept a solid nine hours (most nights I get in about six).

Overall it was a great experience, and one that gave me additional perspective as a corner marshal. And to this day it’s probably the best gift I’ve ever received.