[In continuing with "Positively Wednesdays," I cannot think of anyone more
deserving of this exaggerated honor than the man in whose memory the race
I've just run, the Mississippi Trails 50/50/20, yet endures. Although my
good friend departed this life in the year 2000, there is nothing that says
my subjects for this series need to be living. And so it is that I would
now like to pay tribute to The Man, my friend and hero, who actually did
once say to me, after I'd given him my PowerBar somewhere out on the trail
of the Ice Age 50M race in Wisconsin, "Rich, you just saved my life."
Sadly, however, I didn't.
He is the late Dr. Carl Touchstone, DDS, and THIS is Positively Wednesday!]
When he would invent a race, he'd expect EVERYONE to attend his race. And
when he'd gets calls from the Jackson International Airport that one of his
attendees can't make the race because his driver's license had expired and
they won't rent him a car, this race director would fly his own airplane
from Laurel to Jackson, pick up the stranded attendee, bring him to the
race, and then return him to Jackson afterwards.
When he was a racer himself, he could finish 50 miles in seven hours.
Later, in his largesse as an RD, he would give folks (nearly double that
time) twelve hours to do the same.
Instead of making peeps buy tix on Northwest Orient to run Western States,
he would buy the airline himself, and fly all his friends out there for
He was known to set his plane "down just over yonder" and run Wisconsin's
IAT practically every single year of its existence. Afterwards, if you
needed a ride, he would take you back "over yonder" on a magic carpet, and
then fly you to wherever you needed to be. Even if you lived in a totally
foreign country, like Canada!
If you showed up at his race on your birthday, he'd have a birthday cake at
the finish line, and direct the choir of finishers and volunteers in a
rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday To You!"
After you got home, he'd give you a couple days to let the mud cake and the
dust settle, then call you on the phone to ask how you liked it and what you
might suggest to improve it. If he interrupted your workday, he would mail
a check to your boss to reimburse the company for lost productivity. If you
were self-employed, he'd send it to you.
If you showed up on raceday and wondered where to put the parking sticker
that the National Forest Service had just issued to you, he would take it
and wing it directly into the nearest trash barrel, saying, "That's where
you put that, right THERE."
He'd be the ONE man in the cosmos who actually *could* get nOrm and Helen
Klein to show up, volunteer, and guest-speak at his pre-race banquet. Then
the next day, during the monsoons, he'd also be the ONE man that could
actually GET nOrm to do any work! nOrm and he would then push all the
rental cars out of the mud so his runners could get out of the woods.
If anyone throughout the whole South ever had impossibly crooked teeth, he'd
be the ONE orthodontist who could straighten them.
In heaven right now, there is a forest, and he is the ONE new race director
enlisting all the angels to start running 50 miles, and all the archangels
to volunteer, and all the devils (from down below) to issue the permits,
sell the parking stickers, and serve as rangers to close down the race
whenever the monsoons get too heavy, the Good Lord ISN'T willing, and the
creek DOES rise---to a level somewhere over your head.
He's been The Most Interesting Man in the World.
"I don't always need dentistry; but when I do, I prefer the Touchstone
Touch. Stay smiling, my friends."
( 00 )
See (and hear) some originals:
[aka Rich Limacher,
The TroubleDoer at sbcglobal-dot-net]
Yankee Folly of the Day:
Ain't no folly, but here is their current website: http://www.MS50.com.
The "folly" part follows IF y'all bother to check my damn time this past