Probably should have added it to the post above, but here's how I met the folks I mentioned:
Al Michalchuk - 1972 or 1973... In the pits at Flemington - After the races, my dad and I would walk over and stand "near' the #292 and I'd just stand there kind of in the background. Was too shy I guess to say anything. I think Al's wife Peggy probably first said hello to my dad and I, and then introduced us to Al. (By the way, Peggy is a saint!)
George Curtis - 1971 at Flemington. My dad and I liked sitting in turn one, but we sold beagles (rabbit dogs), and Saturday was a very busy day at the Kennel, and sometimes we couldn't leave for Flemington as early as we'd like. On those nights, we'd get stuck sitting pretty low in turn one. George, who drove from Staten Island, and was probably the first one through the gate every Saturday, at some point struck up a conversation with us, and from then on, he seemed to always have room for two, even on the nights we got there after warmups.
Russ Dodge - Either the winter of 2002 or of 2003 at the Fillimon Bros Off Season Movie Party in Milltown. Russ was there, and had a few items and pictures on display. The first time I met him, he kind of had that look like, "who in the hell is this guy".... Kinda like the same greeting you get from a shop's guard dog... gives you that look... maybe growls a little the first few time he meets you, but at some point, just kinda puts up with you! What I didn't know at the time was that Russ was "guarding" the true integrity of the history of the sport, and that would later become the reason why he's on this list.
Paul Irving - Ironically, I met Paul at that same Fillimon Movie event that I mentioned above (2002 or 2003.) Paul was there, and had his photos on display. I liked that many of them were taken from him standing on the spectator side of the track. I liked the variety - candid pit shots... cars/drivers that maybe weren't on the front page of AARN... As soon as I met him, I could tell how important the sport was/is to him.
Bob Caramella - Met Bob and his brother Rich at a GSVSCC event probably at New Egypt(?) where they had their #301 Craig McCaughey replica on diplay. Stayed in touch ever since.
Kevin Eyres - Met him when I sold shop equipment back in the early 90's. Saw him with friends in line at Go Kart City in Port Orange FL not long after that. Didn't see him for probably 10 years or so. At some point (2004?) Kevin put a whole bunch of images, and our site logo on the back of his racecar which I thought was really cool, so technically, I had met Kevin before racing, but I really didn't get to know him until the racing connection.