Memories, Are They Worth Keeping?

My wife keeps asking me, “What are you going to do with that old box of videos? It’s been sitting on the shelf for an eternity.” Not only has she been asking me that same question for an eternity, but the truth is, she’s got a point.

What she doesn’t realize is, most of them are in-car racing videos, including not only winning the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, season championships, HPDE classes from years ago, testing various cars, rookie races, and even my son, Will Faules, winning his first NASA National Championship. I’ve asked myself a thousand times, how can I just toss them out? Aren’t memories like these supposed to last us a lifetime?

Oh sure, some will say, you can have them put on a disc. Well, that’s just great. Then the disk can sit on the shelf where the videos used to sit and collect dust. There comes a time when we just have to move on, and in doing so, try to retain as many of those precious moments in our head as possible.

Being retired has its benefits, which allowed me to scatter an entire box full of Sony Handycam camcorder videos and the camcorder itself spread out across my desk, and that eventually led to flipping through and watching for what seemed like hours on end. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as I watched videos I had already watched countless times, sometimes to try to learn something from my mistakes, or possibly just for the thrill.

As I watch them, I constantly catch myself leaning to the right or the left as the car maneuvers through each apex and pushing down with my right foot. Isn’t it funny when we watch in-car tapes how we keep asking ourselves, “Why in the world did I lift that soon!” or, “Why did I brake too soon!” or, “Go! Pass him dammit, pass!” Sometimes I just have to sit back and take a breath and allow the adrenaline to return to normal. After all, it’s just a video, right?

The technology of in-car video recorders has changed greatly, making the quality of what’s recorded even more useful, not to mention lighter and easier to use. I can remember sitting in the pits getting gassed up or making a driver change as quickly and efficiently as possible while a crew member would crawl through the passenger-side window to change a video cassette because they would only hold a short period of time.

Now we have options that can run for hours on end and even the crew can watch from the pits. But when push comes to shove, no matter what technology you’re using, be it a Handycam, petroglyphs, or a caveman sitting in the navigator’s seat chiseling it in stone, it’s all just memories and it’s OK to let go. Besides, there’s always new memories to be made and experienced.

According to renowned psychologists Woodworth and Marquis, “Memory consists in learning, retaining and remembering what has been previously learned.” Naturally this is exactly what any racecar driver needs to make him or her a better driver. After all, could you imagine not remembering what happens when you forget to brake when entering a tight, off-camber corner at high speed? Oh Lordy!

Trying new things can be a great way to make memories and have unique experiences, especially in motorsports. Whether it’s a weekend of HPDE, learning to heel and toe, or allowing the tail end to get a little happy, doing something fun together with a group like NASA will provide you with shared experiences that you’ll remember for years.

Image courtesy of Gary Faules


  1. Do like I do and load them on YT and let them store ’em. I had the opportunity to drive Laguna Seca in 2014 (I’m from Neb). I was barely into my 3rd yr of DEing. When I rewatch those videos, I crave the opportunity to drive there again, knowing I can do it so much better now. But it’s fun to watch them even tho it’s a decade ago.

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