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Joe Starr 05-06-2009 03:51 PM

Mearl Holbrook
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Article by Gerry (GT) Miller

While we were on the subject of things and people that have been overlooked over the years an old friend came to mind. Not all those that made the BCRA what it was were drivers. There were a lot of people behind the scenes that didn’t get their share of the Glory sometimes…and we think Mearl Holbrook was one of those.

Mearl got his start in racing as a driver after WW II but soon found his niche in the Public Relations and Officiating ranks. He was an early member of the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb Association and did much of their PR work. The “Climb to the Clouds” was, in fact, his great love and he was involved in one way or another with the Peak for the rest of his life.

He became active in the BCRA at the beginning and in 1963 became assistant Pit Steward, rising to the post of Chief Steward in 1967. During the 1970’s he moved to Oklahoma City where he became active in the old NCRA group until he moved back to Pueblo, Colorado. And, as if he wasn’t busy enough he was also an active writer for National Speed Sport News for many years, and was still covering the Hill Climb at the time of his death.

Mearl was a large friendly man, with a voice to match; if he was in the room you knew it, but he knew his racing and the one thing that infuriated him more than any other was someone who pretended to be a racer. One of his lines we will never forget was when he encountered one of those “wannabes”. “That dumb SOB,” said Mearl,” Don’t know a Jacob’s ladder from a step-ladder!”

A truck driver by trade he retired at the age of 50…and spent the rest of his life chasing race cars. Literally! In his later years his legs gave out on him so he obtained one of those little tiny motor scooters…and we mean tiny! As we said Mearl was a big man…and he got bigger. At times, when he would race through the pits on that mini-scooter it looked as if he were floating in the air…in a sitting position!

He died of heart failure at the age of 71, in Pueblo, Colorado on July 10, 1996 and his ashes were scattered, at his request, to the four winds from the top of Pikes Peak.

Mearl Holbrook 1925-1996 R.I.P

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