Along with many of my colleagues, I attended the funeral on Thursday for the Star’s Randy Starkman, one of the finest journalists I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and working with.
As well as hearing during the service about what a wonderful newspaper reporter he was — his specialty was amateur athletics and he won two National Newspaper Awards for stories he wrote — it was also delightful to hear about a wonderful and caring husband, father and uncle that his family will always remember.
“He’s nuts about NASCAR and Jeff Gordon, in particular,” Randy said. “He’s coming into the office with me next week. Do you mind if I introduce him?”
And that’s how I met Bryce, who talked so enthusiastically about NASCAR and Gordon, as well as about Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the rest, that I asked him to write an article for Wheels.
Last Sept. 17, Bryce wrote a preview of the Chase for the Championship that was published under his byline on the motorsport page of the Wheels section. Randy, a proud uncle, was pleased as punch for his young relative. And, as a result of that contribution, Bryce was asked to contribute articles on occasion to a Canadian auto racing website and Randy told me just a few weeks ago that Bryce still did, from time to time.
On Thursday, Randy’s brother and daughter spoke and then Bryce got up to talk about his uncle. With poise and confidence, he told of the fun he’d had with his uncle and about the many things they did together. He vowed to continue one tradition, in particular — the delivering of gift packages every December on behalf of the Star’s Santa Claus fund.
Randy Starkman was a lovely man who leaves a lovely family. I hope Bryce follows through on his promise — and also that he keeps writing about NASCAR.