¡ VIVA McQUEEN ! ~ “I Live for Myself & I Answer to Nobody” • 1930 -1980
A MotorSport Icon 30 Years On Today,
Steve McQueen was a Racer First
& an Actor Second ~
His Early Life & Career Closely Resembled that of His Contemporary, James Dean. Both were from Indiana, Steve McQueen born in 1930 and Dean one year later. They both had unstable childhoods, no doubt shaping their Early Formative Rebel Tendencies. McQueen & Dean like him would both Migrate to New York, Restlessly Searching for a Creative Freedom that would ultimately propel them Both to Iconic Timeless Stardom. And Both of Them would Embrace a Need for Speed ~ However that is Where the Parallels End, as Time would prove McQueen the Far More Gifted in MotorSport ~
What Defines True Style ?
The Thing was….he Really didn’t Care. I would see him from Time to Time. At Saddleback Park, with his Husqvarna 400, and his son Chad, my age. Pretty much just another couple guys out to Traverse the same Trails & Track just like Me & My Dad 10 feet away in the Same Dirt Parking Lot. At the Now Gone Forever Ascot Park in Gardena, racing with a bunch of other Guys in some immediately to be Forgotten Dune Buggy Heat Race. The Same Guy who was STEVE McQUEEN on the BIG SCREEN was just another guy Shooting the Shit in the Pit, relaxed and Laid-Back California Style in his Personal Life…
He had a Great Lady in his Life as well, his wife Neile. She had been a Successful New York Stage and minor Screen Actor when they met in the ‘Fifties, and as they say,
Behind Every Great Man is a Woman ~
She Nurtured him, Smoothed his Bruised Bank Account & Ego when he was Starting out, bought him Bikes, Paid his Rent, didn’t Hassle Him for Being Steve. Looked the Other Way for a Long Time. And it Paid Off for Many Years, at least until his Star got So Bright it Eclipsed them Together ~ a Lesson in there, Somewhere…
In so Many Ways what often makes an Icon is not the Star Machine, The Media, the Hype. Certain People just Know How to Live ~ to Get the Most Out of Life, to Go Balls Out as they say and Keep it in their Minds that
You Only Go Around Once ~
& Work to Live, not Live to Work ~
And So he Lived his Life ~
Working to Live rather than the Other Way ‘Round, which in The End perhaps is Really All that Matters. I was Lucky Enough to have Grown Up in a California Lifestyle in an Epic Era Exposed to MotorSport, Riding that Same Husqvarna ~ with an Endless Thanks to & having Lost My Own Main Man & Mentor for whom these Stories are Dedicated, to the same Mesthelioma that killed McQueen. His Legacy and Today have a Special Personal Meaning to me. There are men and there are Men.
You Only Get One Shot ~
Keep the Hammer Down.
This entry was posted on November 8, 2010 by federicodecalifornia. It was filed under BadAss California HotRodders ~, California Icons ~, California Legends and Historia ~ and was tagged with Bullitt, Elsinore Grand Prix, Husqvarna, Steve McQueen.