“V” Verwayne Greenhoe Column

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This particular column will be a bit shorter than I anticipated due to a death in my family. I had to travel about 450 miles to get down to where the funeral was held. I moved to Newberry in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan two years back, and as I look out my backyard window, I can see that we have about eight inches of snow. Some of it is melting some as the daytime temps have risen to the mid 30’s the last couple of days, but the lakes are still frozen over.


The nice thing about being here in ‘God’s Country’ is the quiet and the amazing things that surround me. I’ve seen a lot of bald eagles, some very up close and personal, and more moose that I’d ever seen in my entire life before moving here in the Hiawatha National Forest. Some of these magnificent animals will weigh 1500 to 2000 pounds.  


A lot of tracks are beginning their banquets to honor the racers that spent their summers working to go fast and hopefully finish ahead of the pack. Some did, some came close, but they spent their time on the ‘Great American Race’ with friends and family.


One of the events that I probably will miss this year is the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club 53rd Annual Awards Banquet and Dinner Dance being held in Warren Michigan. As has been the case for many years, the place to be is DeCarlo’s Banquet and Convention Center on 6015 E. Ten Mile Road.


The doors open at about 5 PM and the event will be over about 11 PM. Of course, there is a lot of nothing but socializing with racers, crew, and the employees of the various tracks around the state and some fantastic food! Check out the fine details over at www.marfc.org You’ll see some of the best in racing and have a good time all the way around.


With Thanksgiving come and gone and as Christmas draws closer and closer, keep something in mind that some people never realize until it’s too late. Take a moment to tell those you love that you do indeed love them.


As a paramedic and then an ER nurse, all too often I found family members weeping that the last words between the departed and them had been harsh. I met my wife who was a nurse in the course of my work, and we witnessed the heartbreak of those who remained as they recalled the last interaction they had had with the person who had died.


One woman, in particular, set up the words that changed the course of our married life. She came to me just outside the curtained room that held her lost son and began to cry. “The last thing he said to me was ‘I hate you.’ Worse is what my last words to him were, ‘That’s alright, I hate you too!’ How can I ever forget that? How can I forgive myself?”


Throughout the next forty-four years, there was never a parting, even to go ‘downtown,’ a phone call, or even a walk around the block that did not end with the words, “I love you.” We had learned at a very young age that nothing is promised to us. If one of us were to die unexpectedly, we wanted our last words to each other to be those simple three words – ‘I love you.’


I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2019. May your close finishes all be wins, and your engines remain intact all season!




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