Black and White

A black-and-white eastern fox squirrel perches in a tree in South Carolina

Eastern fox squirrels have several color variations in addition to the most common one, including this black-and-white variation in the southeast. My stepfather told me to be on the lookout for them when I visited after he and my mom moved to South Carolina. It was bittersweet when I got to spend some time with this one on a sunny winter day in 2006, as it was a week after my stepfather’s funeral after we lost him too young to cancer.

Mauricio Gugelmin

Mauricio Gugelmin, driving for PacWest Racing, waits in the pits during Friday practice at the 2001 CART race in Portland

Mauricio Gugelmin, driving for PacWest Racing, waits in the pits during Friday practice at the 2001 CART race in Portland. This was his last year in not just IndyCars but in racing, I think big crashes of his own and others, combined with the death of a son with health issues, led to his retirement. I’m nostalgic for this era of racing in many ways but one thing I’m glad to see after being away from the sport for years, is how much safer the cars continue to get, and that improvement needs to continue.

You’re Number One! (But Please Reset Your Meter)

The sign that would be held out for Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran as he pulled into the pits at the 2001 CART race in Portland

The sign that would be held out for Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran as he pulled into the pits at the 2001 CART race in Portland. He earned the number 1 by winning the championship the year prior, and for good measure would win it that year too. I could use signs like this to help me get ready in the morning. “Pants first, then shoes!”

Knock Knock

Jimmy Vasser, driving for Patrick Racing, gives an interview at the end of Friday practice for the 2001 CART race at Portland International Raceway

Jimmy Vasser, driving for Patrick Racing, gives an interview at the end of Friday practice for the 2001 CART race at Portland International Raceway. I couldn’t hear what they were saying but I like to think she opened her interview, like all great interviews, by asking his favorite Knock Knock joke. To which the proper answer is, of course, banana/banana/orange. Did you give the right answer Jimmy?