Friday, February 18, 2011

~ TEN YEARS ~

Ten years ago today was one of the worst days in my life. On February 18, 2001 my hero, Dale Earnhardt died. Your hero? a race car driver? you may wonder. Yes but he was so much more.
He was a kind man, a strong man, a tall man, a handsome man, he was a good man. He gave generously to charity, not only monetarily, but of himself as well, and most of the time we never heard about it because that's how he wanted it, that's just the kind of person he was. He never forgot from where he came and his heart was made of gold. He lended a helping hand to so many.
The Intimidator was his persona and yes, he was just that on the race track. Oh what fun he was to watch on the race track! He was The Man! But off the track he was a respected and beloved father, husband, son, and brother.
The sport will never be the same for me but I do still enjoy NASCAR and watch all of the races. I haven't attended a Cup race though since before he died. I've attended a few Nationwide (the secondary series) races but no Cup because that is where he raced and I guess I just haven't wanted to attend the race and not see that black number 3.
I'll never forget the first time he caught my attention when I was really getting into NASCAR back in the 80's. He was holding his little daughter in his arms before a race and she kissed him on the cheek and hugged his neck...the television announcer commented on the sweet picture saying, to that little girl he's no Intimidator, he's just Daddy. That just melted my heart right then and there and at that moment is when I became a fan...I will always be a Dale Earnhardt fan.

8 comments:

Rabbit Hill Primitives said...

That was such a tragedy and he is still truly missed today. I don't watch NASCAR (Formula 1 is my secret addiction) but we have many friends that do and still have the same passion you do for this legend. Can't believe it's been 10 years already...one of the saddest days in sports ever.

Hugs ~ Jenn

SANDI said...

Wow! I didn't realize it has been 10 yrs. already! My kids are nascar fans. I watch it when I can. Oh, I remember that day when friends called to tell us. My boys were deveststed! Thanks for sharing!
sandraallen260@centurytel.net

Deppen homestead 1862 said...

Just came across your post!
Oh, yes~ Dale~ I know where you are coming from~
I loved his driving~ interesting man~ a real story behind his life~a simple man~ that was amazing!
I watched the race that day, as I usually did~ oh, it was terrible~ something you never forget~
I own a Monte Carlo SS, it is a 2000 black/with the gray trim~ I store it most of the year~ my plate reads 3TAZSS
people ask me what it stands for & I am seriously~
Beautiful post!
Teresa

ctlogcabin said...

Janet ~~ Beautiful Post & Tribute to your Hero. Paul & I just watched the Special on Dale and his last race Sunday on the Speed channel. I was crying so hard by the end of the show. Such a tragic accident and lose to his family, friends & the sport.
Thanks for sharing ... sending love & hugs ~~ xox

Dana~HomespunTreasures said...

Janet this was a wonderful post I could just feel your emotion!! I can't believe it's been 10 years already. I remember the day he died and I agree racing will never be the same. Hope you have a great weekend!!:)

Blessings,
Dana

LeeHillPrimitives said...

Beautiful post!You are completely right, the sport will never be the same.

Rhonda Perry Maynor said...

Janet, just became a follower of your blog. Another Dale fan! My family has always been Nascar fans and my dad and I both were big #3 fans..Dale finally won his first Daytona, I watched this race with my dad while he was in the hospital..my dad passed away 3 days later on Feb. 18th. Three years later on Feb. 18th Dale was killed...You're right, Nascar is just not the same.............

ohiofarmgirl said...

Where are you...miss your posts...hope all is well!!! Dianntha