Thursday, February 24, 2005

Farewell Jack

Picture courtesy of European Coaster Club

Found out today that the oldest member of the coaster club died earlier this week after being diagnosed with cancer. Jack Holmes was well into his 80s and loved travelling to Europe to visit the parks with the club.

He'd emailed us the news himself, earlier in the week, to say he had been given less than a week to live and wasn't downhearted but looking forward to his next big adventure, he was saying his goodbye to us all. That alone showed the strength of his character. I don't believe I could be so bold as to do that, and share that moment with others that weren't in my immediate family.

The subsequent outpouring of emotion, thankyous and farewells from the other members of the club showed me that this is much more than a group of people who share an interest in coasters; it's way beyond that. I'm proud to be around such great people.

Jack was from New York and had some great stories about the Coney Island Cyclone, his favourite coaster and one that he had ridden thousands of times in his lifetime. I think those that were honoured to know him will be sure to remember him whenever they ride it. I for one will think of that ride as Jack's Coaster.

Goodbye Jack, and here's to you enjoying your latest ride, one greater than any built to date, and one we'll one day get to join you on.
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