The thrill of sitting behind the wheel of a race car is a feeling you probably won’t forget.
“It’s an adrenaline rush,” Andy Jossy of Siskiyou Sports Car Club says.
Bruce Larson knows it well. The longtime owner of Larson’s furniture store in Medford was an avid racing enthusiast, logging a lot of laps, around a lot of race tracks, and accumulating a lot of trophies.
“He had so many, many, many trophies,” Faye Larson says, “and most of them were first place, or occasionally second.”
Now battling Alzheimer’s, it’s been decades since Larson was back on a racetrack, that is, until today.
With a Siskiyou Sports Car Club member in the driver’s seat, and Larson alongside, the 80-year old is getting a chance to re-experience the sport he loved for so long. The opportunity is made possible by the Rogue Valley Manor’s dream catcher program, which provides residents with a life experience they likely wouldn’t be able to participate in on their own.
“We have taken a lady to the coast to put her feet in the ocean,” Melissa Preston says, “and we helped a lady sew a pair of pants.”
When they learned of Larson’s passion for racing, they knew this was a dream they could catch.
“It’s really about the individual and what they enjoy and what they still enjoy and doing what we can do to make that happen,” Preston adds.
And though the illness has robbed Larson of many memories, the joy visible on his face, and in his laughter, is proof the thrill of sitting behind the wheel of a race car, is a feeling that can never be taken away.
Larson used to drive a Fiat Zagato which cost him about $5,100 at the time, that same car now goes for $74,000.
Executive Producer Kristin Hosfelt anchors NBC5 News weeknights at 5 and 6. Originally from the Bay Area, Kristin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from San Jose State University.
She came to KOBI-TV/NBC5 from Bangor, Maine where she was the evening news anchor. Kristin has won multiple journalism awards including Best Feature Reporting in the State of Maine. In 2017, her investigation on lead pipes in Medford’s water system was named Best News Series by the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.
When Kristin is not sharing the news, she’s traveling, hunting down the best burrito, or buried in a Jodi Picoult novel. She’s also a Green Bay Packers shareholder; if you see her out and about she’d be happy to tell you the story of how a California girl became a cheesehead.