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Hi everyone and welcome back! Things have been busy as usual and I have gotten work done on Muscrate.
But first, I want to take a minute to discuss something non car related. I would bet that nearly everyone reading this has been in some form impacted by cancer. My own family has been twice. Recently, I found out that a friend of mine and fellow engine builder, Jeff Stealy, had suffered some complications apparently due to the medications he was taking to fight off the cancer in his body that he has been valiantly and so far successfully fighting for a number of years. Jeff and I are about the same age and I have always had the utmost respect for him and his abilities. Jeff has been and continues to be an “engine builder for the stars” of Sportsman racing and he and his father Jerry have been mainstays in the Stock and Super Stock wars for literally decades.
Jeff is known for going the extra mile for his customers and, in a perhaps odd twist of fate, even built a car with the support of many of the racing community for a young man in his city that was also fighting cancer a few years ago. The plan was to get the car done so that the young man could drive it but, unfortunately, he passed away shortly before completion. Jeff finished the Mustang and sold raffle tickets to sell the car and the proceeds went to the family. I thought that was just awesome.
Selfless acts like that are what we are missing in society today and it is also the true measure of a man. Be strong, my friend, and know that you have a lot of people pulling for you. Cards may be sent to Jerry and Judy Stealy, 4530 9th St. Ct., East Moline IL 61244.
In another unfortunately related story I received an email from 12-year-old Jeff Gilley of Smyrna, Georgia, the other day. At first I thought it was a bad prank from someone I know but after a little research I think it is real and I don’t know what I have ever done to deserve the honor of having a fan such as Jeff. The letter reads as follows in its unedited form.
“DEAR JAY ROEDER, i am 12yrs old and i think youre great. about a month ago i had a tumor removed from my brain and now im going threw radiation treatments. i told my parents that if jay roeder wouldnt ever give up, i wont give up either. thank you for all your inspiration! i was just wondering if i could get an autographed picture from you? if not, i will totally understand you are very busy. thanks again and take care of yourself. good bye. JEFF GILLEY”
Every time I think I have it rough I get slapped back into reality and realize how bad it could be. Thank you Jeff, and may God be with you. Now, on to the ’taters…