Twelve years ago today, Father's Day, was the last time I spoke to my Dad. Each year this day rolls around it holds something near and dear to me. My father, Les Wheeler, was one of those people who simply did what was necessary to make things happen, and to make people happy. He had no fear of anyone, he had no fear of authority, was extremely talented, artistic and funny. Many folks knew my Dad as he went out of the way to help anyone who would be willing to share a smile. Oddly, people would always quiz me as to why I would always address him him as "Les" and not "Dad". He didn't care, he would tell people, well, that was his name. He taught me how to be self sufficient. How not to be afraid and to not follow the crowd. For that advice I'm greatful. I think he'd be super happy knowing that I work in motorsports as this was something he loved deeply. Being a person who lived in the now, Les never worried about dying. Living each day as it was his last. Even on the morning he died, when my Mother asked him why he was folding his clothes in their bedroom, he said, "well if something happens to me you can take these new jumpers (sweaters to those in the US) back to Marks and Spencers and get a refund". 3 hours later he died, on June 19, 1996.
Nothing was too much trouble for him. It was Les who got me into motorcycling. Funny, because he met my Mother when they bothed worked (or volunteered) in Civil Defense in the UK. They were both dispatch riders and I this was how they came together. In fact, my Mother (Sheila) went into labour and my Dad took her on the back of our old BSA to the Royal United Hospital where I would be born.
Thanks for being my Dad, Les, and thanks for giving me the words, "Fear Is The Enemy Of Creativity" to live by. On a happier note, words and pictures from World Superbike at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, and Road America will be here for your review in due course.