This is the Statt Mann Baby!!  Time to Scatt a little bit.

I learned about Shaun Carlson maybe ten years ago in the midst of the sport compact drag racing explosion.  I'd met many brilliant people in racing garages through the years so I didn't think much about his reputation.  I learned, though, in our first conversation in the back of a hauler at a drag strip that this was a different person.  It didn't hurt that this drag racer knew about my passion, rallying.  We had common ground.  That was Shaun.

So many times through the years we talked without a microphone.  In another motor home, I think it was in Dallas or Las Vegas – it's not important! – we talked for maybe a half hour on the mic then turned it off and had a conversation.  He told me about his passion for photography, his photographic arts education, and how it led him into the sport compact revolution.  I shared my passion for photography and how it supported my journalism.  We laughed about rallying.  We laughed about drag racing.  We laughed about life and girlfriends and dogs.  We laughed. And that was Shaun.

He was younger than my son and daughter but we built a friendship like brothers. Shaun and I grew so close that a relationship started between his father and me. 

Shaun died this week from a rare heart disease.  He’ll be buried tomorrow.  You may not ever remember the name but know he was a person who worked hard, cared deeply, and changed the world around him with ideas. 

So many could learn from that formula.  So many.  Maybe even you.