Friendships That Last Forever

 

Today started out as usual.  Bowl of oatmeal and watching the squirrels play. Sit and read a little social media and wish some friends a happy birthday. – Then, it is right onto the racing rags. I love my morning routine. Music in the background and some typing to be done. Not a bad start to the day. – Then the phone rang.

Friends made at church, school, on sports teams last. – Friends made at the track last forever. – Last night John McDulin was called home by our Lord. – Upon my first meeting, I learned how he fell in love with racing. – “Steady Eddie, I used to go to the races with my grandpa. He was a butcher and Monday was his off day. – As we were walking in I heard this booming voice announcing live races. It was at this time I asked, do they get paid for doing that? – After finding out they do, I wanted to work at the races ever since.” – That started my friendship with Mac.

I’ve known Mac for quite some time. – He had a laugh to make your heart smile, and a square jaw handsome that must’ve gotten him plenty of dates in high school. Quiet for the most part and generous to a fault. That was Mac.

He worked for Equibase for years and would call races into a little recorder. – After the race, he would work with his longtime partner and input the info into the computer.  These guys made easy work of charting a race and were damn good at it. – John also filled in to call the races, and only a few years ago he went to Hazel Park to fill-in. Mac was a “jack-of-all-trades” and loved working in racing.

More than racing, he loved his family. Especially his grandkids. – If he had $100, he would spend $300 on all of them. Mac always put others first, but the grandbabies were always the tops. – My son and I went to WWE wrestling with him and his family, and he and I loved to have a beer (s) and bet a few races at the end of the workday. Johnny Mac was always a good time. Wings and beers some days, and others we would pull together a couple bucks and squeeze in a bet. Yeah, it was fair to say Mac loved the horses.

When I heard his longtime friend/partner/buddy call me asking if I had heard anything. I had a bad feeling. – It was about two minutes later a text came through bringing the worst news. John had passed away the night prior. – These past years he had some tough health issues but still kept his chin up. – When he would call he would always ask if you needed anything or if he could help you. That was Mac.

As I stated earlier, friends met at the track last forever. – John McDulin will always remain in my heart. – If Heaven has a race track, I’m sure John is there. I’ll bet dollars to donuts he’ll be working at Pearly Gates Downs watching the all-time greats. Or, that’s what I would like to think. – We’ll meet again someday, my friend. – Until then, know there are many lives you’ve touched and countless who will never forget you. – Mac, thanks for stopping our way. Rest in peace, my friend. – Your friend, Steady Eddie.

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