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Lowell
07-27-2012, 05:46 PM
Hi gang,

I have not been a very active poster here in the last several months. This is Lowell Thompson from up in Kellogg, Idaho. Two months ago I was diagnosed with a widely spread and metastasized stage 4 Salivary Gland Cancer and basically given just a few months (MAYBE till September) to enjoy family, put things in order, and possibly cross a few last experiences off the bucket list as they say nowadays.

My two sons (25 & 20) and I had made big plans for our annual Reno trip back in December. That was unusual for us as we usually secure the vacation time early, but save the details for late summer (lodging, transportation, etc.). In December we got our room reserved (actually rooms as my wife thought she would make the trip with us this year for the first time since 1999).

My first in-person Reno races trip was in 1972 at age 17 driving down from Boise on a Thursday evening (with only about a $35.00 budget above my gas money) in a 1962 Chevy, sleeping in the car, eating sandwiches and apples, and sneaking into the pits via back doors to hangars.

Since 1972 I have seldom missed a year unless overseas in the military, in college, or just flat broke. I also managed to go to both Phoenix races, one Denver race, Hamilton (1988), and a few others over the years. The boys have been going with since each was 4 years old.

This year was going to be a big deal for us. The cancer has now put the whole plan (for me) in a tailspin as I have only been able to work very limited hours, and the early hospital bills are now rolling in.

I have a son-in-law now (4 years as of Wednesday) who has never attended Reno or any other significant sized airshow. He is a gearhead type, however, and makes his current living as a car dealership mechanic.
His dad was a Navy A-6 Intruder pilot.

We have decided this last week, that outside of a miracle and at least a wheelchair, that I will have to miss this year's event. I knew the son-in-law has wanted to go to the Reno races for several years. I went ahead and bought his airline ticket, and have now switched my budget savings envelope for tickets, motel, and rental car share to his name as well.

I may still make the races in a last minute miracle sense but as of right now I must just pass the torch to the son-in-law.

If you are still reading my little sob story here, I am posting tonight not asking for pity or contribution or ANYTHING of that nature. What I would like to ask is you look at some items I will be putting up in the Swap Meet - Air Racing Trading Post section for sale to help fund the son-in-laws trip in my place.

I have quite a large air racing library and photo collection including race programs, magazines, books, 35 mm slides (all classes), 35 mm prints/negatives, Reno Gazette newspaper clippings, team hats, tee shirts, etc., etc. going back mostly to 1976, with some stuff back to 1972. Believe it or not, there are even undeveloped rolls of film from the races in the cool basement in a box that date back to probably 1977. LOTs of stuff!

I will be sorting, scanning sample images, and making lists of this stuff over the next few days as able. I am limited physically in how long I can sit at the computer but will be doing my best on this project. If you have the chance over the next couple of weeks to make requests for specific images, magazine issues, programs, etc., please PM me with an E-mail address. Otherwise check out my lists on the swap meet forum. I will try to be very fair on pricing so look for some good deals. I don't want to go the eBay route unless September1st draws near and there is a bunch of stuff leftover. The effort will be to at least get my son-in-law joined up with my other two outlaws so his main expenses are covered. Above that, if I liquidate enough of the collection and am feeling stable enough I may just make it down one last time as well. I have about zero experience in wheelchairs outside of recent hospitalization so I don't know how that would work for me (has anybody reading this been there/done that?).

Again if it weren't for all the bills, a very reduced and soon-to-end income, and the desire to leave the son-in-law a gift he won't forget I wouldn't be posting here.

I have made some terrific friendships over all these years going to Reno, and if I don't see many of you again please drop me a PM just to say hello.

Thank you for the time kind of pouring out my heart here. I do hope and pray things will somehow turn around and that the 2012 races won't be the "last hurrah".

Most Sincerely,

Lowell Thompson

Mystical Power
07-27-2012, 06:43 PM
Lowell; Keep the faith and pass the torch at Reno this year in person. My prayer is for you to do so.
Semper Fidalis!

Lockheed Bob
07-27-2012, 09:15 PM
Prayers are with you & your family Lowell. Be there in person.At 80 this might be my last time.I know we would do the same thing the same way again. Air racing is in our blood & they can't take that away from us.:thumbsup:

shorebird
07-27-2012, 09:40 PM
Lowell,

I did Reno in a wheel chair in 1984, the pits and everything else. It's no problem as long as you have a good helper/pusher. If your have a 1983 racing program for sale, I'll buy it.

My very best to you sir.

Dennis Vest

Lowell
07-27-2012, 09:47 PM
I have the 1984 and 1985 programs but no 1983.

Thanks for the advice on the helper/pusher. I hadn't thought about just how important that would be.

Lowell

Jack McFall
07-28-2012, 06:27 AM
Lowell,

You will be in my daily thoughts and prayers. Stay strong!!!!!!!

Jack
airrace2@aol.com

W J Pearce
07-28-2012, 10:30 AM
If you are still reading my little sob story here, I am posting tonight not asking for pity or contribution or ANYTHING of that nature. What I would like to ask is you look at some items I will be putting up in the Swap Meet - Air Racing Trading Post section for sale to help fund the son-in-laws trip in my place.

Lowell Thompson

Hello Lowell,

I will be keeping an eager eye on the "Swap Meet" section. While you are not asking for contributions, why don't you toss up an email address for paypal or a physical mailing address. I'd imagine there are many of us that would like to make the Thompson Family Reno 2012 happen. I'll pray for you to be there this year and next.

Sincerely,

xmh53wrench
07-28-2012, 11:57 AM
Hello Lowell,
While you are not asking for contributions, why don't you toss up an email address for paypal or a physical mailing address. I'd imagine there are many of us that would like to make the Thompson Family Reno 2012 happen. I'll pray for you to be there this year and next.
Sincerely,

I SECOND THIS....PLEASE

....You have a PM

AirDOGGe
07-28-2012, 05:10 PM
As a cancer survivor I can personally say that miracles do happen, and I'm praying for one tonight for you.

Have faith, and God bless.


.


.

Air Boss
07-29-2012, 07:24 AM
Fight the good fight, Lowell. Will keep you in my thoughts and best wishes.

Miracles happen every day all around us. And sometimes it's not always enough to pray for one...sometimes you have to expect it!

Stay strong...keep on keepin' on.

Here's to crossing paths in September.

bkmeo
07-30-2012, 05:35 PM
I SECOND THIS....PLEASE

....You have a PM

Keep the faith Lowell. You and your family will be in our prayers. Definitely get Joseph and Benjamin to set up a paypal link and post the address. EVERYBODY here wants to see the 3 of you together on the ramp.

@BRADFIRE77

AAFO_WSagar
07-31-2012, 02:10 PM
Lowell, I know there are no words to help your situation, I can only say that you will be in my prayers. Fare well my friend!