That's me, I'm him...

DISCLAIMER: Although I am a car guy this is not solely a car blog. I will talk cars, but this is also a blog about how I view the world. Just ask my mom and she will tell you my first word was "car". I do have a slight fascination with them. Luckily I have a supportive family and a very understanding wife...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pat Foster 1940 - 2008

Man, something has got to give here. I must be getting old when all my childhood heros are leavin' this rock. I first heard news that Pat Foster was not doing so well about 5 months ago. Today, I heard he is no longer with us...

My condolences to Cole and his family.

Here is an article I got off line. I grab these, because people write things like this much better than I can - or maybe much better than I care to:

Drag racing has lost, much to early, yet another of its "family" and this particular loss hit many of us on a deeply personal level. Pat Foster was a man's man and a racers racer. His entire life was was steeped in motorsports and drag racing was his first and last love. His accomplishments are far to numerous to remember, let alone mention. To know Patty was to love him and I was lucky enough to know him for 40 years. His sense of humor and incredible memory made him a joy to be around - or just talk to on the phone. Like a man who only met him once said, "It was such a treat because he's such a nice and intelligent man, like talking to a friendly drag racing encyclopedia - if that makes any sense". He was also opinionated, stubborn, emotional, a perfectionist and loyal to a fault... an incredible package of brains and talent.

"Foster" (yes, he was one of those people who could go by one name) lived life pretty much on his terms and was extremely good at whatever he did. Many times over his 68 years he cheated death on and off the track. In the last few years he underwent four major surgeries, three related to his genetically poor vascular system. And in the end it wasn't anything daring or foolish that took Patty, it was his vascular problems that won the war. In late November his ascending aorta failed causing catastrophic damage to vital organs. He had just finished what would be his last project, a dragster restoration for Billy Lynch. Although his move from Kansas to Moscow, Idaho in 2006 didn't turn out has he'd hoped, he was making the best of it. Pat had a new shop and a heavy back load of work when disaster struck. Like many of us, he had no retirement plan or pension - during a conversation we had after his heart surgery I told him I'd be working 'til the day I die. He laughed and said, "Welcome to my world".

Over the last few months Patty beat the odds (an ascending aorta is nearly always fatal within minutes) and showed signs of improvement. Although he would never walk again there was a chance he could function in a wheelchair. Rehab, therapy - they tried it all and Foster was a willing participant. However when he was told there was nothing more they could do for him and the cold hard facts were his internal organs were not going to rally, he requested to be unhooked from all the support devices and to pull the chute with dignity.

I will miss him dearly. Sit low my friend.
Don Ewald

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