Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on May 26, 1974 · Page 29
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 29

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 26, 1974
Page 29
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By Hit Mother, In A letter Remembered (Peter Revson was a relative newcomer to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with a large part of his racing reputation based on his successes on the road circuits. But the popular driver won the pole position for the 1971 race and his crash during practice in South Africa earlier this year stunned this racing-crazy city. In a column in the Indianapolis Star, Sports Editor Bob Collins printed a letter he had received from Revson's mother. Collins' column was made available U the As- ·ociated Press.) By BOB COLLINS · The many facets of auto racing--the personalities, the machines, the winners, the losers, the crashes, the imbroglios ·*-are reported in depth and in headlines. But yesterday 1 received a letter which reaches deeply into still another. The letter is poignant, sad ·nd powerful, ft needs neither Introduction nor epilogue. Dear Bob Collins: "I guess All-Southwest Baseball Team Is Announced DALLAS (AP) -- Here is The Associated Press 1974 All-South west Conference baseball team Outfield--John Sagehorn SMU, Jr., Long Beach, Calif. .333; Mark Stevens. Houstcn Houston, Tex., Jr., .359, Pau Miller Texas AM, Houston Sr., .395. Utility--Mike Maddox Houston Houston, Tex., Jr. .320. Infield -- B - Tommy Crain TCU. Houston, Soph., .474; 2B- Mike Schraeder, Texas AM Houstcn. Jr. .408; SS--Blai StouITer, T e x a s - S a n Anlonk Soph., .333; 3B--Jim Hacker Texas AM, Temple, Tex.. Sr .477. Utility--Keith Moreland Texas, Carrollton, Soph., .333. Catcher -- Rick Bradlc; Texas.. Lufkin Soph., .424. Pitchers--Jim Gideon, Texa Soph.. Houston, 11-0; Rick Bu ley, Texas, Dallas, Sr.. 5-0 Mike Pcttit. Rice, Galen Park.. Sr. 6-2. Designated Hitlers--Micke Reichenbach, Texas t'resf man. Taylor. .386 and Stc\ Reeves. Houston, Houstoi Tex., .426. Player of th» Year--Hacke Texas AM. Newcomer of the Year Crain, TCU. Coach of the Year--To Chandler, Texas AM. ou'll remember that I wrote u a letter last summer--after arning at 2 a.m. of the tragic ath of Swede Savage, an termath of the 1973 In- anapolis '500* fiasco. It was ritten in anguish and tears at e utter senselessness, the implete lack of vision in al- wing no 'rain day'--and sUrt- g that race amidst the utter infusion caused by the driv- s' anxiety over the whole essy handling of the final art. Yes, and the cheating." "As you know, there will be ne less familiar (ace in the '74 ndy '500.' For my eldest son, etpr, will not be racing any- lore--anyplace. "Why was there not the prop- r fencing at a turn of almost 50 degrees (Kyalami in South f r i c a ) , acknowledged opelessly dangerous that i1 as named 'Barbecue Bend/ ou hit a solid barrier at 16( ph and there isn't much left-1 the beautiful dreams mashed into nothingness.' JUST PRACTICING "Just practicing, that's all he r as doing. Why does a young van have to pay with his life ir the triple steel mesh fenc g that should have been there i the first place! That was in ailed two days later! God vhat a price to pay for a lousy ence. Jackie Stewart had ery miraculous escape l ear at Kyalami, due I think to K fact that where he hit the exible steel fencing alreadj ad been installed (I think tha tad the greatest bearing on is decision to retire at the eix f the '73 season)." "And, suddenly, the whole perspective of his racing lifi hanged for Mark Donohue, oo. I like Mark very much anc was overjoyed when he real zed t h a t the time had come t quit." "The sports media has, fo many years, reminded every me not to get too close to driv ?rs. It hurts too much whe hey are killed so suddenly. Bu what about mothers--the close ness is a built-in commodit rom tlie moment they born? What can a mother do 'Peler was my first born--spe cial in itself. And when I hear he news, the word 'killed' ju: didn't seem to make any sensi No sense at all. 1 headed fo he beach and began my Ion walk." "Wasn't I, after all., used I it'? After Douglas died in De mark, I promised mysel knowing that the chances of a other such happening were n exactly remote, that I wou steel myself and never aga feel the terrible wound I e perienced when Douglas die (Again so senselessly. It hi been raining for 40 hours Aarhus, in Jutland. There si ply was no traction and he, toi was gone on impact.)" ' "You tell yourself a lot 'Flash Final' May Be Gone ngs--that you are pretty Dod «t self-discipline. But it s happened! And (or relief the long, long walks in the nd p[ this island the boys ed so very much. The water reaming down your face in ch streams. You go by the ge of the ocean for direction the only way to reject the ter- Le truth, to lessen the pain of e violence of hts passing, and ie pitiful senselessness." "But what does one do? For ·en though you reject it -- a tie time and then you must ccept it. It happened." MORE WILL DIE "You know perfectly well at this form of sudden death II go on. And more fine lung men will die. 'Men must ace,' I'm told. The only thing I an think of is to make racing s safe as humanly possible, ·fore men are burned Athlete Fights Paraplegia Northw** Arkanwi TIMES, Sun., May 26, 1974 · SC BMW»UII i · *e»MAM«lA«. -crunched into nothingness. illed so ingloriously. Before or God's sake--before!" "When I recall the Indy '500' '73. I feel such anger. It's een raining for as long as man emcmbers--but Indy didn't al- w for it. You can't hope rain way!' "And INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Tht "Flash" won't make it to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the May 26 500-mile race and may never show up again. Many race fans and the stafl at the Indianapolis News, who put out Ine special race-day "flash final" edition, are having to give up the 30-year tradition because the 1974 race falls Sunday when the afternoon newspaper doesn't publish. "It's only the second time in the 28 year's that I've been here hat the special won't be sold," said News Sports Editor Wayne E. Fuson. "We used to send it to the track 'by helicopter, truck, automobile and motorcycle," he added. "It was show business-a great promotion." The four-to-eight page extra, which came to be known as the "helicopter edition" as well as " ' TARBORO. N.C. (AP) -Richard Hudson lettered in four sports at Tarboro High School. He went on to become a member of the track and Football teams at North Carolina State University. Now he has turned his enthusiasm to weight-lifting, and he works out every day--in his wheelchair or lying on the floor. He can bench press more than 300 pounds into the air lying on his back. Hudson's paraplegia began 10 months ago when he suffered a 'rat-lured spine in an automo- Qile accident near his hometown of Tarboro. Instead of entering his junior year at State last September, he spent three months at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville. Then he went to the Rehabilitation Hospital in Winston-Salem. His legs are paralyzed, "Richard is a Vocational Re habitation worker's dream,' his VR counselor, Horace Law- renc ons the "flash final." had been after the shameful cheating .portsmen,' if you'll expression, entitle planned for distribution the 1973 race. But, when rain postponed the event three days in a row, it became impossible to keep carrier boys at the track' to sell he 10-cent ' " ' capped the day. excuse it, 'im roving your position' I ex- rcssed the hope that in the fu- ure those so involved would be lap. That's can under- To fine the and tax-free et back a full omethiiig they land--relate to. rivers a token ittance is a piece of classic, tupid irony. 'And now I would remind all hose responsible for the safety f the drivers of today and lose to come; the worthwhile right young men who musi ace--don't omit one fine or liminate one safety factor be 'ause of cost or lack of vision f you do, it is going to be the souvenir that highlights of ame old senselessness. And when a boy dies because of hat -a mother doesn't forget." "Evi school world there is nothing so formidable. Maybe my 'vigil' is not jver after all. "Peter Jeffrey Revson be came 35 on Feb. 27 last, the HELICOPTER DROP For 10 years, the News made arrangements with a helicopter service to pick up the papers near their downtown plant and 'ly them to the track where ;hey were dropped at the first :urn. The fly-in became impossible in 1973 because of F.AA restrictions and rain that held up the big race for three days. "We would pre-cast the headlines so we could pick out the right one (which named the appropriate winner) and then go with it," Fuson said."I would sit in the press box with a special headset so I could listen to our people around the track with one ear er see a mother guarding :ool crossing? In all the age at which he always said he would quit racing for good. He was, among other things, a man of his word And he quiet- y was planning to leave it all Behind him at the close of the 74 season. No announcements. He would just quietly do it-and on to the next challenge. Racing will not see his likes, exactly, again." "Surely it is not too much to ask to finally make the rules-and the safety--solidly firm. And meaningful." "If it is any consolation to his friends. Peter wanted his life to be something more than long-and I have faith that it was." and the people at the office with the other," he added. "During the last 25 miles, I would talk with the managing editor and when there was about one lap left I would give him the leader and boom, he bit the button and away the presses went." The "flash" sold about 20,000 copies on an average race day, and fans often paid the carrier boys from SO-cents to $1 per copy. "It was a tradition,' 1 Fuson explained. Managing Editor Wendell C. Phillippi says if the 500 continues to be · - · on Sundays, "the flash is dead." 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