It was a good life, a long life, a revered life, and even though he was 91, many proclaimed “gone too soon” this morning when the word quickly spread that legendary motorsports journalist Chris Economaki had passed on.
I met him once, briefly, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was my first time. My first time at that track. My first time in that media centre. I was immediately amused by the presence of his typewriter. (so much so that I had actually snapped a shot of it earlier in the day and captioned it “Chris Economaki still rolls old school!”)
That was what sparked my brief conversation with him actually. As I headed back to my seat, he had just arrived at his, right on the aisle, so I shyly made a comment about how much I missed my old typewriter, and how I loved that he still used his. Then we talked a little about the race, and the weekend, and my heady experience so far as a first timer. He told me what to expect on race day, and that no matter how much I had built it up in my head, that that wouldn’t even come close to what I was really going to experience on race day.
He was right.
On a weekend when I’m sure he had more pressing things to do, he took a few moments out of his busy day to share some thoughts with a wide eyed and somewhat overwhelmed Canadian girl.
He was a legend; a trailblazer who inspired and opened doors for many of the people I am humbled, and mostly unworthy, to refer to as “colleagues”.
As both a race fan and a writer, I thank you Chris.