It was with a great deal of regret that I read today of the recent passing of Walt "Doc" Smith.
Back in the "dark ages" of auto racing in northwest Pennsylvania this man was most instrumental for laying the groundwork for many young mechanics and auto racers to continue their careers.
Walt labored for many years in his garage, or in the mud and dirt, to make those last final adjustments so the drivers could have a successful run.
Walt was always praised by Gerry Littlefield. He felt if not for this man, his career in auto racing might not have gotten "off the line."
In addition to his interest in competitive racing, perhaps his first love was helping young people develop their mechanical skills to their full potential from passing on his knowledge. That is why Walt set aside his own career and became a fine instructor at Warren Career Center at it's opening.
It is because of unsung heroes like Walt Smith that his students are what they are. He quietly stayed in the background, but I'm sure he derived much satisfaction from the knowledge he helped in such a large way to form the basis of many Warrenites' successful careers.
As often happens, it is not until someone passes on that we are reminded of how much we owe them. Walt "Doc" Smith may be gone, but his memory will linger on with many of us.