with a heavy heart…

I was going to post a lengthy, stream of consciousness blog about all sorts of topics tonight, that at this moment seem trivial and unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

I learned tonight, as I was winding down for bed, that friend, colleague & fellow racing enthusiast Steve Snoddy had passed. Steve was one of the hard working, longtime IndyCar series staff photographers.

*side note* how odd this world is now that you learn of the death of a friend via someone’s Facebook status…

I guess it’s stretching it to call him a friend, but aquaintance just seems so distant & impersonal, and we were anything but.

Steve was the first of the IndyCar staff to embrace me (literally & figuratively) as I made the transition into “their” world last year.

I was the new kid on the block, and an even newer kid on the block when it came to photography.

Steve took me under his wing right off the bat and is the one who came to my rescue when my CF card spazzed out and my raceday photos disappeared.

While everyone else just shrugged their shoulders with a “you’re screwed” attitude, Steve took the time and set aside what he was doing to calm me down and “find” my files for me, burning them to a disc on the spot. Months later, at another race, he double-checked that the disc had worked before deleting the folder from his computer.

Steve was usually the first of the series photogs I would see, and he would always greet me with kind words, a big grin & a bigger bear hug. Always gracious & a gentleman, but with that devilish glint in his eye. We shared many a story and belly laugh in our journeys.

It’s somehow fitting that the last event I worked with him at was the same one where we first met a year earlier. So brief a time to know someone, and yet I am deeply saddened by his passing.

I’m sad that we never got to have that dinner I owed him. That he never got to show me his home track and that I wasn’t able to welcome him to mine.

I guess they needed someone to capture those photo finishes at the ultimate racetrack in the great beyond. (Oh how richly overcrowded with talent the field is up there…)

Goodbye my friend… You will be missed.

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15 responses to “with a heavy heart…

  1. I had the honor to work closely with Steve at Indy for over 25 years. He was a unique and very special person always willing to offer a helping hand. We have lost a talented individual that I am proud to have called my friend. Trackside will not be the same.

  2. Photography may be writing with light but if Steve did not have a camera he could write with the light in his heart. Many frustrations were solved for me by him also. He taught me alot, especially little things. even getting an email signed with” God bless” was a lesson. God is a race fan and has a plan, adding to his “staffers” , those who can see the light. We will miss him but he is still with us having mentored and leaving his mark with us.

  3. Condolences to you and Steve’s family. Never met Steve but he sounds like a great guy. May he R.I.P.

    • The mark of the true character of someone is how many wonderful stories are shared after they’re gone.

      I’ve read so many today about Steve.

      I’m sure he is grinning with that devilish glint in his eye somewhere today with all of us remembering him so fondly.

  4. Steve was my boyfriend … the love of my life. He spoke of the incident you mentioned and I doubt he was referring to a different one. He touched many people in a similar way … but remembered each for how they touched HIS life. His passion was racing and basketball … and loved each and every one of the people he shared those worlds with. I thank you for all the kind words for such an incredible man … they help me to deal with losing the brightest light in my life. Thank you … lisa k

    • Lisa, I know we spoke privately last night, but I just wanted to reitorate how touched I was that Steve had told you of our little adventure. Thank you for filling in the details and giving me some insight into his away from the track life. *hug*

    • Maureen Sullivan

      Lisa,

      I am so sorry to hear of the pain you’re going thru upon losing Steve. I knew him socially about 20 years ago just a short time after his divorce. Unfortunately, because I live in a Chicago suburb and he lived so far, nothing came of our friendship.

      I spoke with him maybe 10 years ago or so just after he had a heart attack. I’m assuming that is what took him.

      I wish you peace and will offer prayers not only for Steve but for you also. I wish I was closer to help you.

      Maureen

  5. Thank you all for the kind words. I’m sure my father would appreciate them as I do. He loved his work and every aspect of photographing races. Which means that many of the fond recollections you had of him were mutual. He thought the world of you all. From the time the that he was a young man until the very day he died he was never far from a camera. It was his passion. As his son it pleases me to know that this community (you all) helped make his world that much brighter and gave him so much happiness.

    • Stuart, thank you for taking the time to drop by.

      I know when I lost my father I took great pride & comfort in the many anecdotes shared by his friends & co-workers. It further solidified my notion that he was a great man.

      I hope for you too that the pride & love you must be feeling outweighs the grief for a few brief moments.

      I discovered through Lisa that your dad and I shared not only a passion for racing & photography, but also a birthday. I will blow out an extra candle in his honour on Sunday.

      Take care Stuart.
      *big Steve Snoddy hug*

  6. So sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. He was a trackside acquaintance back to the ON TRACK magazine days. I always appreciated him showing me the ropes when I was on Ron McQueeney’s photo crew one year. He was one of the good guys!

  7. I have known Steve since Little League. He graduated with me at Manual High School and we played together on the Manual basketball team. I haven’t seen him for several years. My thoughts and prayers go his family.

  8. I dated Steve a few years ago, and I know how much he loved photography and racing. You described him perfectly as being willing to help when others wouldn’t. He had a kind soul. I just learned of his passing and was so sorry not to have been able to attend his memorial service. It does my heart good to know that he had a girlfriend. He was a special guy.

  9. Maureen Sullivan

    I too dated Steve (many, many years ago). I concur that he was one of the nicest, most compassionate and considerate men I have ever known. Distance kept us apart but I never stopped thinking about him.

    Hopefully, he remembers our trip to pick out orthopedic shoes for my daughter. SHE was allowed to sit in front with Steve while I was in the back seat. We always had a great time with him!

    It’s hard to elieve he’s gone.

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