As you’ll read elsewhere in this issue, we sadly report that the elder statesman of American motorsport, John Fitch, has passed away at the remarkable age of 95. As outlined in his obituary on page 12, Fitch’s life read like some kind of wild adventure novel melding Indiana Jones, Captain America and Speed Racer, with safety crusader, inventor, husband and father. The resulting 95-year life that bubbled out of this heady brew is almost too fantastic to be believed, but for the fact that it was all true!
The one consistent thread that runs continuously through Fitch’s life is what a truly genuine and kind-hearted person Fitch was. Over the last decade, I was very fortunate to have spent time with Fitch in a variety of settings—everything from book signings and track events to my living room sofa! Yet, regardless of the location, the circumstance or the people involved, I never saw Fitch to be anything but gracious and engaged. With such a lifetime of incredible adventures and stories—and such a large number of enthusiasts wanting to hear them—it would be understandable if Fitch became a little detached or disengaged. Yet perhaps the most remarkable part of John Fitch was that when he sat down to talk with you, he actually listened. He was present and engaged in your conversation, regardless of who you were.
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