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On The Threes

Welcome to 2023!

Someone posted on social media about "The Threes". You know, 1953, 1963, 1973 and so forth. I think the context was "what were you doing during...?" kinda stuff. I ignored it. But then I started thinking...what was I doing?

I was kinda surprised at the casual thought. Primarily, I noticed that "The Threes" seemed to see years of significant transition. For example...

January 1, 1953 I didn't exist. My mom was 11 years old and dad was 14? I'm pretty sure they had absolutely no idea what their life was going to be like 10 years from there... 

January 1, 1963 I wasn't yet around yet (born March '64) but life events were shaping up for launch. Though I'd be born in Irving TX while mom and dad were there temporally for work, the 1960s ended with our family living in my parents' hometown of Opelousas LA.

January 1, 1973 We had just moved from Opelousas to New Orleans (Algiers on the West Bank). I attended third and fourth grade at a school I barely remember (Alice Harte; I've passed by and it and the old home address on Plymouth Place is still there). The school was literally around the corner from us so the walk was easy...I don't recall much about the timeframe except paper drives and having classes in trailers while they improved the school (or was this due to the new bussing requirements?) and getting my first record and player at Christmas (Three Dog Nights' Golden Biscuit, the beginning of a long love of good music). We only lived there two years, a consistent existence for the next decade as we moved from place to place for dad's work. The 1970s ended with the family in Wichita Falls TX via Houma, Lafayette, Carencro, and Breaux Bridge LA.

January 1, 1983 I had just returned home from my Fall semester at Texas A&M after having realized that the big university life was just not for me. That first university semester out of high school, a good distance from home, was unproductive, expensive, and honestly while sorta fun was more traumatic and a waste of time and money (I was too distracted with quarter-slot video games). That Winter/Spring '83 I decided to go to work at a local VW/Porsche/Audi/Mazda dealership in the parts department and learned about auto mechanics (thanks Ron), and SCCA and motorsports (thanks Bill). I later pursued my engineering degree in the 80s at the local state university, but only because one of the line techs and his wife talked me into it (thanks Pat). The 80s ended with the focus of my life as serious racing while still being based out of in Wichita Falls.

January 1, 1993 was another absolutely incredible transition year. I had moved from Texas to Connecticut the prior year to race the Nissan NX2000 with JJ Gertler, Bill Wittstein, and Matt Kessler, and we had really good result at the '92 Road Atlanta Runoffs. But by this date in time both the job and the race seat were gone (truly deserved on both). I had nothing in CT to attach to and was on the edge of moving "back" to either Texas or maybe to my dad's in Louisiana. But April of that year I met Thea Moritz (thanks Bob and NMA!) and my life changed. By the end of the 90s I was married to Thea, firmly established in Connecticut, I had moved from mechanical engineering into supporting computers and networking services, and I was an instruments-rated and -competent private pilot and aircraft owner.

January 1, 2003 was yet another transition year. I was about to lose my role as a nationwide-traveling consultant for Novell Networks (remember them?) and in that same year would become an employee of one of Novell's customers, Hartford Hospital, a job that would last for a decade (still my personal world record). But even more interesting, 2003 would be the year that I found myself transitioning back to motorsports, this time in the exact same Nissan NX2000 that we raced the decade before (and again with Matt Kessler). The '00s would end after an ARRC championship in the NX with Matt, a fun racing partnership with Jeremy in a couple of Integras (and a Suzuki Swift!) and back to attending to the SCCA Runoffs, this time at Road America. The 00s would also witness declining activities in private aviation as a result of the diversion to motorsports priorities.

January 1, 2013 was a milestone/transition year of more than a few sorts. The Runoffs had their final stand at Road America that next fall, the one where we swapped engines in the car and ran from something like 31st to 7th and made some really good friends in the process. January 1 was also the date that we drove home from Louisiana after having disassembled and trailered Grumman Tiger N81140 to the Gadsden AL airport to our dear friend Bob Steward, who was to rebuild the airplane back to specs after it was flooded by Tropical Storm Sandy. Sadly, I would never fly Tiger 140 again, and even more sadly we would never see Bob again. And I'd have no significant airplane stick time again after that.

2013 also saw my leaving Hartford Hospital after 10 years and, a job or two later, landing a run of seven years with UTC/RTX.

The teens also began my new relationship with best bud Ed Werry. Our racing and friendship continues today. And some Porsche 914s (street and race) snuck in there, too...

And, of course, 2020 COVID and my big 2022 race car crash.

Nope, I didn't break that HH world career record as 2023 also found me jobless again due to corporate RIFs. Though I have to note they tolerated me a lot longer than I expected they would (remote work helped a lot there). It is time to actually retire?

And as I update this in October 2023, it seems that, yeah, the threes turned out to be pretty interesting. 

So what will January 1, 2033 bring? I'm not any kind of numerology guy, but I do look back at these six specific dates and realize that if I were to give thought I can't think of any other six years that have been as significant and as dramatic (or traumatic) as these. So I'm kind nervous...career, racing, relationships?

I'm interested to see where the ride takes me...let's hope it's as good as the last ones. 

See ya in 10 years.

GA

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