First, before anything else that needs to be said, Mike Hollander was my friend.
He was a lot of things to a lot of people, but, to me, he was the personification of intelligence and decency, wrapped up in a pleasant personality.
And he had his own parking spot.
Mike was fond of telling people that his father always seemed to be able to find a parking spot, no matter how big or crowded an event. He would drive into the overflowing parking lot, head for the front and - viola - there would be an open space.
According to Mike, when his father died, the parking spot passed on to him.
And I came to believe him after I saw it myself. We were in San Diego in the early 80s, covering an IMSA sports car race at the Del Mar horse track. I offered to give Mike a ride to the track and, when we got there, the attendant at the media lot said there were no more spaces. Mike leaned over and asked if he would let us ``try to find one.'' The guy shrugged and said, `Sure. But you won't find any.''
Needless to say, I drove to the front of the lot and somebody was pulling out of a prime spot as we approached. Mike just grinned and said, ``See.''
I never doubted him again.
Other people have written about his pioneering in the use of computers at the racetrack and his abilities as a writer and public relations person, so I won't bother to get into all of that. I just want people to know that Michael Hollander was a very special person and he will be missed.
Mike Harris, AP
(Mike Harris is an award-winning writer for Associated Press)
Friday, September 26, 2008
Guest Blogger Mike Harris - more on Mike Hollander
Posted by Racingjourno at 2:34 PM