Several months earlier, while some of us MG enthusiasts were discussing long trips in ltttle British cars and what constitutes an enthusiast, Dick Criswell posted this message to the MGs email list:
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996
Subject: Re: Measure of enthusiasism?
There's been a certain amount of talk on this list recently about what constitutes an enthusiast. Now, I've had one or more MGs continously since 1960 (I currently have 7); been active in club activities for most of that time; been newsletter editor for more than one MG club; Showed MGs, Rallyed MGs, Autocrossed MGs and been a regular at GoFs and other mini-meets.
I guess that qualifies me as an enthusiast in at least some peoples eyes. So let me share with you what the poet W. H. Charnock thought was an Enthusiast.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
by W. H. Charnock
One man I knew put all of us to shame,
He drove the last decrepitude of cars
And vilely drove, his head among the stars,
Bemused with wistful dreams he could not name,
For just one year the too-devoted flame
Against all sense and nature in him burned,
Then, penniless with riddled lungs, returned
Him to the sanatorium whence he came.
To him it all was paradise come true;
Down empty roads he knew the vestal light
Of daybreak after driving through the night,
And slumbrous crimson winter dusk he knew,
Small pubs on moorland heights, the patient queue
For Silverstone, the wilderness of rain:
All this he tasted once and not again,
For whom life smiled awhile and then withdrew.
But we, who shared with him that halcyon year
And pulled his leg because he drove so badly,
Remember how he took to laughter gladly
And gave no sign at all and showed no fear.
If he is wakeful yet, then may the dear
And tuneless music of that engine note,
Which charmed him so, into his silence float,
And all his happy miles again be near.
And if he sleeps, then somewhere may he wake
And find a wheel to hold, a road to take.
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