- Published on Friday, 15 March 2013 17:58
- Written by Jacques Dresang
A photo from the UMW archives...
In life there are friends that come and go, leaving a small sample of their persona behind to remember them by. Our eldest crew member left us in 2010 with much more than a sample of his lifetime. He embodied what it meant to live on his own terms; valued camaraderie, attention to detail and a good ice cream.
To say that Loyd Haslee was a valued member of our racing team is an overwhelming understatement. From the days in the mid-1970s in which Rick Dresang owned and managed Riverside Service in downtown Plymouth, Wisconsin, Loyd would always pop in and see what exotic sports cars would be in for maintenance and tell a great story or two, generally ribbing Rick about something relating to the Lucas Components he was installing in a British car.
Thirty years later, Loyd joined us in our Spec Miata struggles and would always be up for a laugh and a share a story of the golden age of sports car racing in America. He knew first-hand, as he was one of the program vendors at the first street race in Elkhart Lake in 1950, and attended every major race at the venue until his untimely passing in 2010.
In the days before his death, we all visited him in Elkhart Lake at the hospital where he was looked after. Loyd was in such a medicated state to take away the pain of his cancer that he was unresponsive. Regardless, we told him we'd be leaving Saturday morning for the Fall Sprints at Blackhawk Farms, and that if he wanted to join us, we'd be leaving at 5 a.m. Saturday morning.
Loyd passed away twenty minutes before we left for the race that morning, but he was there in spirit to see to it that we were able to beat 10 other Formula Fords for the Fall Sprints title with our 33-year old AAR Eagle DGF.
His ashes were spread over two of his favorite landmarks in Sheboygan County: the Sheboygan County Airport via a 1940s Stearman, and at Road America, via the same bi-wing airplane and a certain Eagle DGF.
We recently uncovered this great photo of Loyd from some time around 1954 where he is shown on his Schwinn Whizzer motorbike on the outskirts of Plymouth. We thought it was a great image of a man who we affectionately knew as 'Uncle Loyd.'
To the man who preempted James Dean in looking cool, we raise a waffle cone to you...