There are certain people in my beloved world of NASCAR who have impacted me on a personal level, without ever meeting one on one. David Poole, Charlotte Observer beat writer and Sirius The Morning Drive co-host, is one such person.
I listened, stunned and in shock, when I tuned into Sirius Speedway, and heard a grieving Mike Bagley discussing the sudden passing of his partner and good friend, David Poole. Mr. Poole died today from a massive heart attack shortly after the conclusion of his morning radio show. Becoming very emotional myself, I listened to the memories and tributes to Mr. Poole for the rest of the afternoon, quietly wiping away tears in the midst of my spreadsheets and reports for work.
David Poole was a media man who was known for being a grumpy ole curmudgeon. Once you got past his gruff exterior, and really studied his arguments, you realized that not only could he turn a pretty phrase, he came to work armed with the research to back up his arguments. Quite frequently, I would disagree with what he wrote, and would go and do my own research, only to find that Poole's points were logical and well made. Indeed, he frequently changed my mind on individual subjects, but even more importantly, I changed the way I viewed NASCAR because of his influence.
That same curmudgeon had a heart of gold. He adored his grandson Eli, and he went out of his way to create the Pennies for Wesa charity. Today, we heard stories from fans who told David of their own challenges, and how David went out of his way to help them. And those who knew David best, his peers, would claim that David would be mortified to know that he was being revealed to be a soft touch.
Mr. Gruff also had a subtle yet devilish sense of humor. It came out the most during his weekly 'Dramatic Reads' where David would take pop music and read the lyrics with the attempted flair of a Shakespearean actor. His attempts would be enhanced by the outbursts of laughter and wheezing from his co-host, Mike Bagley. Listeners knew with certainty that he was planning his reads with Mr. Bagley's reaction in mind.
David will be missed, not only for his holding NASCAR accountable for their decisions, but for providing so many thought-provoking subjects, and for making me laugh. It will be sad tomorrow, to listen to his show, and to the many members of NASCAR who will be giving tribute to a great writer, a great critic, and a great man.
Service information, charity information, and family information.
The Best of David's articles.
David's blog, Life in the Turnlane
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(photo and links courtesy of ThatsRacin.com)