Back in December, I got a call from two 21-year olds from Minnesota who wanted to participate in the Great Race in a 1959 MGA. It warms your heart when you hear of two guys that age who are into old cars and want to have the ultimate car-guy experience by competing in the Great Race. So I was really looking forward to meeting this pair of outstanding individuals – driver Alex Ethier and navigator Henry Mackaman, who are both from our start city of St. Paul.
However, last weekend Alex’s mother Sara informed me of the untimely death of Henry, who was a senior at the University of Wisconsin studying Economics and English. Needless to say, Alex and his family are still in shock and the Mackaman family is devastated. The cause of death was bacterial meningitis, an infection of the brain, according to Sara.
But even through their pain, Alex and his mother made contact with the Great Race office and with Alex and Henry’s veteran mentor John Hudson to let us know that Alex would not be able to participant in this year’s race.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Mackaman family. And we feel a sense of loss because we will never get to know Henry like we do when rookies join the Great Race family. We hope we will see Alex in St. Paul this summer so we can get to know him and make him part of the greatest family in the world.