Stirling Moss Falls Down An Elevator Shaft, Then Sends Fans & Friends An Email From His Hospital Bed

March 9, 2010

Stirling Moss is the mold from which all other sports heros should be made. A racing legend from F1, rallying and sports cars, he has spent the better part of the last half-century doing it for fun on the vintage circuit. All along, he’s been a warm, approachable, interesting person, all while still driving cars in anger like he did in the glory days.

A couple days ago he fell down the lift shaft at his home. As another example of his understanding of what it means to be a hero, he wasted no time in writing an email to friends and fans, which was just published by Keith Martin’s Sports Car Market.

Greetings!

DEAR ALL OF YOU,

THE LAST FEW DAYS HAVE BEEN QUITE FANTASTIC AND I’D LIKE TO THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR YOUR KIND THOUGHTS, MESSAGES AND OTHER PARAPHERNALIA.

ON SATURDAY EVENING, I WAS AT HOME WITH SUSIE, ELLIOT AND HELEN AND ABOUT TO LEAVE FOR A CURRY, FOR WHICH WE WERE RUNNING LATE. I ASKED HELEN TO JOIN ME IN THE LIFT TO GO DOWNSTAIRS, BECAUSE SUSIE AND ELLIOT WERE SMART ENOUGH NOT TO RIDE IN MY LIFT. I OPENED THE DOOR AND STEPPED INTO THE LIFT, WITH HELEN READY TO FOLLOW ME, WHICH SHE NEVER DID. THAT IS BECAUSE THE LIFT HAD STOPPED ON THE FLOOR ABOVE AND INCORRECTLY ALLOWED THE DOOR BENEATH IT TO OPEN.

STILL CHATTING TO HELEN, I STEPPED INTO THE OPEN DOORWAY–AND FELL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE LIFT SHAFT.

THE AMBULANCE WAS CALLED AND ARRIVED AT RACING SPEED, WHEREUPON THEY PUT ME ONTO A SERIES OF ABOUT 10 STRETCHERS! HAVING FINALLY SETTLED ON WHAT MUST HAVE SEEMED A GOOD ONE, I WAS TAKEN, ALONG WITH MY FAMILY TO THE ROYAL LONDON HOSPITAL IN WHITECHAPEL, WHERE THEY USED ANOTHER BATCH OF SIMILAR STRETCHERS!

THEY DID A GOOD JOB OF HELPING ME, BUT WERE UNABLE TO DO THE REQUISITE SURGERY. SO, ON THE SUNDAY, I WAS MOVED TO THE PRINCESS GRACE, WHERE A FANTASTICALLY EFFICIENT, KIND AND AMUSING STAFF DID ALL THE JOBS.

I AM NOW IN A LOVELY ROOM, NUMBER 222, AND WITH THE HELP OF ELLIOT AND THE PORTER, AM FINALLY ON THE EMAIL. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT I WILL BE ABLE TO ACTUALLY SEND THIS TO YOU, BUT I WILL TRY!

NOW FOR THE FUTURE… WHICH I CAN SEE WITH SUSIE, HELEN AND ELLIOT AROUND ME, IS GOING TO BE A BLOODY STRUGGLE!

AS SOME OF YOU MAY KNOW, SUSIE AND I ARE BOOKED ON A SEABOURN CRUISE FOR OUR 30TH ANNIVERSARY, NEXT MONTH. I HAVE TO CROSS THE HURDLE OF GETTING THE DOCORS, AND FAMLY HANGERS-ON, TO ALLOW ME TO THIN MY BLOOD, IN ORDER TO AVOID ANY ISSUES INVOLVING DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS.

IT WILL BE SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS FROM SUNDAY BEFORE I WILL ABLE TO PUT ANY LOAD ON MY FEET. THEREFORE I’M FACING MY SIXTH OR SEVENTH REDUCTION TO A WHEELCHAIR (SUSIE SAYS SHE’S STOPPED COUNTING) WHICH I MUST ADMIT, IS RATHER BORING. THE GOOD NEWS IS; THAT I DIDN’T SELL THE WHEELCHAIR AFTER THE LAST SHUNT!

THE WHOLE THING IS A REAL PAIN IN THE ARSE, IF I HAD LOOKED WHERE I WAS GOING, I WOULDN’T BE HERE AT ALL, SO IT’S MY OWN DAMN FAULT.

I HAVE BEEN ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMED BY YOUR COLLECTIVE CONCERN AND KINDNESS.

I CAN TELL YOU THAT CURRENTLY I’M LYING IN HOSPITAL, TAKING DEEP BREATHS, LIFTING ONE ARM WITH THE OTHER, RAISING MY LEGS (WITH PLASTERS ON THE END) AND DOING ALL I CAN DO TO KEEP MYSELF AS MOBILE AS POSSIBLE, BUT, HAVING SAID THAT, I’M NOT YET WINNING THE BATTLE.

I’M NOT SURE WHEN I’LL BE ABLE TO GO HOME BUT THE LIFT HAS TO WORK, OTHERWISE I’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO GET UPSTAIRS IN MY WHEELCHAIR, MAYBE I’LL GO AND STAY WITH HELEN AND ELLIOT FOR A WHILE…

THIS REALLY HAS OPENED MY EYES TO HOW KIND ALL MY FRIENDS ARE, OVER AN OLD EX-RACING DRIVER, FLOGGING A FADING IMAGE!

I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU SOON,

MANY THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR THOUGHTS,

CIAO

Stirling, we can’t wait to see you back out at the races! It’s because of legends like you that we still believe in heros.

Advertisements

Barack Obama: The Lewis Hamilton Of Politics

November 6, 2008

While all the talk around the world has been about Tuesday’s election of America’s first black President, Barack Obama, mainstream media outlets have failed to tie in that, just days before, Formula One crowned its first black Champion. On Sunday, Lewis Hamilton of McLaren-Mercedes squeaked back into fifth place just seconds before crossing the finish line at the Brazilian Grand Prix to win the Formula One Season Driver’s Championship.

To add icing to the cake, Lewis Hamliton was also the youngest to ever win it, as well.

Obviously, there is little comparison in terms of relevance on the world stage between Obama being voted President and Hamilton winning in F1, but Hamilton’s accomplishments should not be dismissed. We’re not talking history back to 1776 here, but 107 years ain’t too shabby, either.

Okay, in actuality the modern era of Formula One started in 1950. The first “Grand Prix” race, however, was in 1901 at Le Mans. During this time not a single man (or woman) of color has captured a season championship. With European, Australian, New Zealander, South American, and North American (including one American and a lone Canadian) Champions, the faces aren’t quite as homogeneous as those of the US Presidents, but every Formula One champions’ has still been some shade of white.

The United States’ reputation for racism is legendary, but thousands of Formula One fans would fit in well in the deepest, darkest parts of the ugliest parts of America. During the last two years, fans have openly taunted Lewis Hamilton. Ugly racist comments from the stands…and even fans painted in mocking black face paint showed that there are plenty of classless David Duke types in Europe.

Unfortunately, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone still is asleep at the wheel when it comes to denouncing the abhorrent actions of F1 fans. Just this week, Ecclestone commented that he felt some of the worst treatment – fans in blackface wearing “Hamilton’s family” t-shirts in the crowd at the Spanish Grand Prix, was just a “bit of a joke”. If the fans had dressed up in Chasidic diamond merchant outfits with signs saying “Ecclestone Only Cares About the Money”, we’re guessing that the Jewish Ecclestone wouldn’t have seen the humor. (And we wouldn’t have, either!)

But sadly, that’s in fact all Ecclestone cares about – and it has nothing to do with his religion or homeland. He has just proven time and time again to care about nothing other than control and receipts. If he cared about F1’s image, he would have squashed the nasty behavior of the fans and celebrated the groundbreaking achievements of a spectacularly talented driver.

So from The Four Wheel Drift: Congratulations to both Barack Obama and Lewis Hamilton for showing children with all skin colors that hard work and talent can translate to the highest honors in the toughest competitions.