Jon and I met at a small, family owned forklift business in Racine, WI. I had already been working in the office there for about 2 years before he showed up, but I knew the Trudeau name well because Jon's Dad was best friends with the owner Rick Schmidt. Both the Schmidt family and the Trudeau family raced sprint cars on dirt - the Dad's were now supporting their sons doing it. Young Jon was off at college in Illinois, and after deciding to take a semester off he came to work at Schmidt's. And we lived happily ever after. No, really, it was much more complicated than that! But it was once we started dating that I attended my very first dirt race track experience.
Jon looked up to Rick a lot - considered him a mentor and second father figure. The above picture was taken at the track almost 15 years ago. I love the candid quality of it and how they are both deep in thought about some strategy on the track. This was before digital cameras were getting big so I had to scan this copy in. It's the only picture I have of the two of them together.
Rick suddenly contracted a brain tumor and after fighting it for several months, he passed away. Jon was heartbroken. Still dating at the time, he told me if we ever had a boy he wanted to name him after Rick. And so here were are, 10 years later. Our little baby's name is going to be Richard Alan Trudeau (Rick's full name was Richard Alan Schmidt). It is an honor and so meaningful to us!