Porsha and I have made a number of trips to Michigan in the last few years, visiting her son and his girlfriend. Last November they moved to Georgia, so the road trip time will thankfully be reduced by a little bit (great for her morale; I couldn’t imagine being an all-day drive from my parents).
The long hauls had their good moments, however. On a Saturday in August of 2019 we were in the car for 12+ hours on what was the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. SiriusXM’s Classic Vinyl channel played the music of artists who played at Woodstock, mixed in with stories of those who were there (including some then-unknown musicians who were there as fans, such as Billy Joel and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry).
Someone else who was at Woodstock was Norm Cote, a Maine native who discovered Late Model Digest in the mid-2000s and began contributing. Norm would take some notes during races and get some quotes afterward, allowing us to put together better stories and look for special pieces. (He also managed to get better English out of Quebec star Patrick Laperle than I usually did.) I only met Norm one weekend (my only trip to the Oxford 250 in 2011), and when he wasn’t talking racing, he was talking Woodstock-era music.
Sadly I won’t get the chance to chat him up about either topic, because Norm passed away in late January. His health had been declining for a few years — I think the last race he attended was the 250 in 2019 — but we didn’t realize it had been this bad.
We wish the best to his longtime partner Jenny Joslyn (who was in quite a few LMD photo credits a decade ago) and the rest of his family. My favorite songs from the Who and CCR weren’t out yet in 1969 and couldn’t be played at Woodstock, so here’s some Jimi Hendrix in Norm’s honor.