A Letter to Adrianne

Dear Adrianne:

Miss Amy

Your recent queries and concerns about your upcoming first DE gave me recent flashbacks to my first. Your thought process mirrored mine and even though it was all of last summer ago it feels like it was only yesterday. But first let me tell you how this whole idea for me reached its genesis. It began a couple of years ago when I decided to take a Skip Barber driving course out at Lime Rock. There we were at the top of the hill sliding around the skid pad when I couldn’t help but notice almost 100 Porsches zooming around the larger track at the bottom of the hill. It was the intense sound of all those engines that mesmerized me. I couldn’t stop watching and I felt like I must have a look on my face akin to a little child with her fingers glued to the outside of a candy store window. Due to my curious nature I asked my instructor what was going on down there. He, being a Formula man, said ‘oh that; those are just the Porsche people having fun’. Hey how am I supposed to know about rivalries? I ignored his condescending tone and persisted with my line of questioning. I needed to know HOW do I get myself down there? What do I have to do? He just shrugged his shoulders and said ‘well I guess if you get a Porsche and join their club you can do it; it is only a few hundred dollars’.  Here I had imagined thousands of dollars so the deal was sealed from that moment on. Just had to figure out the how when and where. 

All excited about the prospect of a brand new hobby back at the hotel I phoned a guy I had been planning to see that weekend. I was simply giddy and expected him to share in my ecstasy. He was silent for a moment and it dawned on me that he was upset about something – what, I couldn’t tell. When I said isn’t this the greatest idea he responded with well no I don’t want to date anyone who would own a Porsche and driving on the track sounds dangerous and stupid.  To this day I am still not quite sure of my exact words in response to that inanity. But I am sure I told him not to bother coming to visit that weekend before I hung up the phone midsentence on him. Well that helped seal the deal for me also. Moving right along I got myself busy researching used Porsches and then I joined the northeast region of the PCA.

It was now time for my first drivers education. I generally don’t relish being caught by surprise (personally or businesswise) so I tend to read everything I can possibly get my hands on to be informed. I recall reading something another member had written about what to expect on your first day. Reading the whole list I was nodding my head. Helmet… check. Proper clothes… check. Car tech’d by approved mechanic… check. Bring a buddy…whoa! I can’t do that. All my friends think I am totally nuts. I don’t have any friend who wants to attend with me. Suddenly I was filled with dread. All the newbies will have a buddy with them….except me! I will be all alone. Then I started thinking why exactly am I doing this? Doubt crept in. Are all my friends correct in their diagnosis of my insanity? Well as I am wont to do I went ahead with it anyways; all systems go. I figured I would do all I could to prepare and then just concentrate on enjoying myself…that has seemed to work well in the past.

DAY ONE. I arrived at the track about the same time the track workers arrived; I was first in line.  The night before when I drove up I wanted to be prepared with my numbers. Since I had no readymade numbers I took it upon myself to fashion my own. I have plenty of shipping labels from my business so I cut the numbers from the labels and affixed them to hood and both doors. I swear I read somewhere they were supposed to be on the front hood. So yes I was the only one all day with numbers on my hood. Anyways, the next person who arrived was Brian from North Country. Since he arrived with his car on a trailer it was a dead giveaway that he was a regular. I walked up to him, introduced myself, said this was my first time and please tell me what to do. He just laughed and said don’t you worry about a thing; just enjoy yourself and I will show you how to check in. My first angel.

Then after we all checked in and parked our cars I just started asking everyone where is Peter Tracey. He was the only name I knew as he was my instructor. We had exchanged emails previously (recommend highly) and I suspected the tone of my day would be set by my time spent with him. He seemed very serious and he definitely knows how to handle a Porsche. My second angel. Once out on the track it seemed like every single car was passing me…probably because every single car WAS passing me. He was calm and collected and told me not to worry. The A type part of my personality was having serious issues though.  I just tried focusing on getting the car under my control and understanding his (my cars have all been male) limits. Exciting and sweaty and a long hot day. Now I am thinking I still only know my instructor and Brian and all I want is a nice looooong hot shower. Well Matthew Wallis (angel number 3) walked up to me and asked if I wanted to join everyone for dinner. Did I ever! He said the former president and his wife would also be there so I knew I would be in very good company. So I raced back to my hotel room for now a quick hot shower. In the shower I noticed something intriguing. My left hand and part of my arm had all these little black pindots kind of melted into my flesh. I scrubbed and scrubbed and finally they relented. That was the only part of my body I could find this weirdness. Then it hit me. My left arm had been outside the window at the track so many times in order to give the passing signal that the passing cars had spit up tire rubber onto my arm! I couldn’t stop laughing. So I arrived to dinner with a bright red freshly exfoliated left hand and forearm (long sleeves saved the rest of my arm). Everyone wanted to know about my first day and all I kept thinking was I didn’t need to bring a buddy…I found them here!

DAY TWO. It happened. Maybe Peter wasn’t happy about the amount of decibels my screaming into his intercom measured…but it happened and I was compelled to scream. I passed a car. Did you see that Peter? I passed a car. Yes, he replied in his calm way, Amy, you did pass a car. And they say it isn’t the little things. Day two was the day I met the Rossinator (well I don’t call him that to his face…it is a fond appellation). But Steve Ross was angel number 4. Now that guy knows his car facts. I have never met such a font of automobile information. And if he doesn’t know the answer he knows where to get it. I am sure I still possessed that lost look so he zeroed in on me and offered any and all help I needed. I joke that I only joined the club to learn how to drive.  I refer to what happened later as an unexpected bonus with purchase. The purchase was buying the Porsche and buying a membership and buying Drivers ED training. But the bonus was a whole round of newfound friends.

So Adrianne enjoy the ride. You don’t need to bring a buddy; they are already here waiting for you. And enjoy all your bonuses with purchase.

Fast forward to present time. Here I am on the board of directors. Now if that isn’t the fast track to making even more friends and becoming dialed in I don’t know what is. I am still not sure how I got here. The last thing I remember saying was gee that sounds like fun to be on the board.

Warm regards,

PS. Oh and if anyone was wondering what happened to that ginormous number on my hood….yes it did, in fact, melt onto the hood, given the sultry NH July heat. It took a whole bottle of Goo Gone but you can still see a faint outline of 63… only in certain lighting though.