Thoughts For a Good Friend

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I had, what I thought, was a very good post written up for today. But I learned something yesterday morning that made me shift today’s post until Monday. It wasn’t anything that timely, so it’ll certainly keep until then. I thought it would be appropriate, considering what has happened.

Most longtime followers of this site are familiar with my good friend John McLallen. He and I have been good friends and co-workers for well over fifteen years, and many of you are familiar with him through our One Take Only videos on this site.

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You may also remember that John’s identical twin-brother, Frank from Memphis, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April of 2016. Like John, Frank was a big fan of the Indianapolis 500 while growing up. But Frank had not been to the race since watching Mario Andretti win in 1969. When John found out Frank was sick, he asked me to try to find tickets to the 2016 race – the 100th Running – so that Frank could go while he was still able.

That was a tall order, since tickets to that particular race were in high demand, especially about one month out. I went to Twitter and posted that I needed four tickets to the race and what the situation was. I could only imagine what this was going to cost them.

In less than an hour, Graham Rahal sent me a private message on Twitter, saying that he would like to take care of this request himself. Let me tell you, he provided them with prime seating, behind his pit of course. There will always be a soft spot in my heart for Graham Rahal, for doing this.

I got to meet Frank that weekend. He gave me a giant bear-hug for arranging the tickets, even though all I did was put something out on Twitter. From what John said, he had an unforgettable weekend.

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Frank lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday afternoon, while John was at work. John knew it was imminent, but when the time comes – you find out you aren’t near as ready as you thought you were. I consider John one of my very best friends, and he is hurting right now. Please keep John and his family in your prayers at this time.

George Phillips

12 Responses to “Thoughts For a Good Friend”

  1. Please send my condolences to John and his family.

  2. James T Suel Says:

    Please let John know he’s in our prayers.

  3. Leslie Bissell Says:

    My prayers to the McLallen family.

  4. My condolences to John and his family. Thanks for sharing this with us George. Take care.

  5. You and John are lucky to have each other, I wish I had a work friend with any interests in common. I hope John is comforted by this post and your friendship.

  6. billytheskink Says:

    I’m so very sorry to hear this. We are praying for you and your family, John.

  7. Hate to hear this. Many of us old timers are starting to get up there in years. I hope John is doing well health wise…..prayers and comfort to him and his family. ❤️

  8. I did not know Frank, or really any of you, but we are brothers when it comes to Indianapolis. It hurts as we all speed toward that 🏁. God speed.

  9. Was fortunate enough to meet John, manage a One Take Only with he and you, and then also to meet Frank and John again at Indy. If John doesn’t see these comments here, please forward my most sincere regrets and condolences to John and his family. Thank you for letting the Indycar family know.

  10. Cookie Lady Says:

    Condolences to John, his family, and friends of him and Frank.

  11. George, my most valued Friend. Thank you for the kind words. Frank did have a great time at the 500. Being a Hoosier from Indianapolis, the 500 was in his DNA and he really did enjoy it. We also became a ‘Rahal Family’ and, as I have for the past several years, will be pulling for Graham and he will be one of my favorites to win the race when I make my ‘One Take Only’ prediction. As for being a twin, we were able to share experiences together like meeting AJ Foyt and going to our first race in 1964. We also leaned on each other when we heard that one of our very favorite drivers, Jim Clark, lost his life in Germany. Back then we had just moved to Memphis, Tennessee and nobody kept up with racing there and there was no cable, no ESPN and no internet to share our grief, but we had each other to talk it through. We cherished the highs of life and leaned on each other throughout the lows. Life with Frank as my twin has been spectacular and he will always be in my heart.

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