Repost From 4/29/2009
So many times in my life I wish I had done this, or done that differently. Or if I had only made the time to do something that was important, but never made the time. There are people in my life that mean a lot to me. Several times I have lamented that I should have taken the time to say how I felt to them. About how they have made my life better just knowing them, being around them, having them be part of my life. I’m not talking about family, family is very important to all of us. But family should know how you feel, and how important they were, in whom you have become. What I am speaking of is, those people in your life whom you admire, respect, or emulate. People who are part of your everyday life, people you work with or socialize with. There is a person in particular in my life that I admire, respect, and would like to emulate, Chuck ‘feets” Minert. I have known Chuck for about 20 years now, and known of him for many more. The first time I saw him was at the movie theater on Miramar Naval Air Station sometime around 1970 or so. In case you didn’t know he was in the greatest movie ever made, ON ANY SUNDAY. The movie showed him racing a Trans USA motocross race at Saddleback, I’m pretty sure he was in his late 30’s or early 40’s at the time. As I began racing motocross in the early 70’s I would see him at a CMC race occasionally. He was still racing his beloved BSA’s then and wearing Levi’s. Once at CMC race at Carlsbad many years before I started REM I was parked next to him in the pits. I had problems getting my Husqvarna started that day. Chuck who was racing his BSA helped to get it going so I didn’t miss my moto. Motocross is one of the weirdest endeavors ever created, you actually hear racers say, “I can’t wait until I turn 30 so I can race the Vet class”, or 40, or 50, I heard someone tell me the other day they could not wait to turn 60 to race that class. Motocrossers lie about their age to race in the age classes. No where else that I have seen, do people act that way. Can you imagine the average person saying yeah, I can’t wait to turn 50. My wife has been 39 for over a decade. Anyway, back to Chuck, he predates the age classes. When he was 30 there was no vet class, when he was 40 there was no senior class. Now he approaches his late 70’s there aren’t many in that class. Chuck still races REM, he raced this past Saturday April 11th. He still rides very well, obviously he has lost a couple of seconds a lap, I only hope I am still walking much less racing motocross when I am 77. He was telling me a couple of months ago how long it had been since he retired from the fire dept. Let’s just say he is getting his moneys worth out of his pension plan. He still flies his airplane frequently, and is still married to his lovely wife. One of his biggest accomplishments is raising his grandson John. I have watched John turn into a man over the years, and his grandfather is and should be very proud of him. Over the years he has garnered plenty of awards, trophies, and accolades. He is in the AMA Hall of Fame. He won races that are legendary today, the likes of which we probably will never see again. He has been involved in the history of Motocross, and motorcycle racing in general. Chuck is one of the most genteel, kind, and generous people I have ever had the privilege of calling my friend. So the next time you see some old guy racing REM wearing Levi’s, and wearing an MXA orange test rider helmet know that you are in the company of a true legend. If you pass him on the track give him the respect he deserves, but just know not that many years ago he would have made you work very hard for that pass.
“Finer than frog hair”Chuck "Feets" Minert 1931-2016