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Hagerty Employee

Smithology: VOCs, and voices, from distant outposts.

Last year, some friends gave me a helmet.


At least, it felt like they gave me a helmet. What they really gave me was new paint on a helmet I already owned. My six-month-old Impact full-face, made new with shape and gloss, the gift not just pigment but labor and thought.


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Intermediate Driver

NIce piece.  Well written, and moving, too.  Thank you!


Stashed deep in a closet my father has a 45 year old sparkly metalflake blue dune buggy helmet. It has ignited dreams since I was a child.


This article made me remind him about it.


Sam, Welcome to a new world. We still miss you at Windy City BMW events. Barbara & Larry


Sam, keep that helmet near and dear to your heart. Back in the early '70s I owned a bargain basement white get the job done lid for riding on two powered wheels. My Dad, a great artist in my very biased opinion, looked at that expanse of white as an unfinished canvas. He painted a country scene as if it was a 180 degree view of road. I loved it, but later I also found someone I loved. Now there was another basic white skull-bucket hanging from my handle bars. Of course my Dad grabbed that raw plastic canvas and finished it of 1,2,3. When put front to front, those two helmets made a complete 360 view of the Western New York countryside. Great writing on your part and, as the song goes, "Thanks for the memories..."


I got into SCCA racing back in the 80s. A younger brother, a talented artist who loves old school hot rods, turned it into my racing spirit. I haven't needed it in 30 years. It still lives in my closet.


Throw out a helmet? I still have the one they gave us many years ago at the Dunlop Challenge--never could figure out the brand and no Snell number to be seen. I suspect it'll be up to my son to discard when I take the final checker.


New Driver

Sam, I still don't really understand what Hagerty does (other than sell insurance) or why you're here, but you should point out to them I only found their site because I was looking for you.  Well, technically your writing

Pit Crew

THANKS!  I also have a handful of old, expired helmets sitting around.  First couple stark white, newer ones painted as I felt I was Worthy (still cringe at the price of new tires, though!).  New workshop is nearly done (I'm still putting stuff away) but I now know that I need a shelf out there for the HELMETS, and maybe a few photos and old Trophies!  THANKS for the inspiration...


Sam, sorry to hear you've left R&T. But glad to know you're here and writing.

Intermediate Driver

I was thoroughly disappointed when I read that you had left R&T. Your column was the #1 thing I looked forward to every month, and your articles were equally brilliant. 


I am going to miss your articles in R&T, but it looks like your talents in the Smithology column live on. This was yet another piece that was incredibly moving and reflective, as your writing often is. Thank you.