Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Denise McCluggage 1927-2015

I’ve known of Denise McCluggage for years, admiring her ability to do many things very well … racing cars, writing, skiing, editing, publishing, giving presentations, but most of all, being a role model.

When I wrote my first book, I emailed her a PDF of it before publishing it, and her support and encouragement convinced me to go ahead.

A couple of years ago, when I knew it was her birthday, I celebrated it by buying two of her limited edition photos … and she added a 3rd one to thank me!!!

When my friend Peter Bourassa of Motorsport Marketing Resources invited Denise to give her “The Centered Driver” presentation in Lawrence, MA in January 2014, I knew I had to go meet her in person.

As a backdrop to her presentation, I offered to paint a large, 2-panel mural on the second floor of European Motorsports, the venue for her presentation; Peter and European Motorsports owner Michael Ricciardi enthusiastically accepted.

I had just finished the mural on the day of the presentation when Denise showed up. Wow, I couldn’t believe that I was in the same room with her, and she couldn’t believe that I painted a mural for her presentation!

That evening, her sold-out presentation was a hit; she was very dynamic, and had everyone’s ear, listening to her every word of wisdom.

Peter, me, Denise and Michael
Later on, we did get to chat a bit, share a couple of meals, and I showed her one of my most precious collectibles, my 1959 Fuller Brush catalog, which she wrote.

She was surprised to see a copy because they are hard to come by, and she told me the story behind it. Then she kindly autographed it for me!!!

I was very privileged to meet her – she was such a dynamo, bubbling with ideas, that I can’t help thinking that she’s still going strong … somewhere out there …