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Best at Last

“Our best successes often come after our greatest disappointments.”

—Henry Ward Beecher

Today’s story is contributed by William Homeier.

May 31, 1954
Lap 74 — The Indianapolis 500

wrong way

Homeier “swimming upstream” at Indy 500, 1954.

Dad pulled into the pit. The clutch had been giving him trouble all day.

Before his crew could finish, the clutch engaged.

The car spun around, slammed into the sidewall, and careened down the track in the opposite direction!

Not a good day for my dad.

My father still holds an Indy world record — the most laps ever completed by a last place finisher. Not the notoriety he was hoping for.

Did that set him back? Not MY dad! He was Texas-born and raised. When you got bucked off the bull, you got up, dusted off, and did it again.

midget car race

Midget car racing

After breaking his arm midget car racing in ’56, Dad bounced back to qualify for Indy again in ’58. However, like in ’54, it didn’t work out. Mechanical issues kept him out of the race.

Finally, in 1960, Dad’s luck changed — he finished 13th in the Indianapolis 500! While he didn’t win the race, it was more of a victory for Dad than it was for the guy who finished first.

Years later, in 1990, my father was interviewed in a special “Where Are They Now” article for The Star newspaper.

The headline?
“Homeier was best at being last.”

He laughed it off. That was my dad. Resilient. Loaded with get up and try again grit.

The lesson I learned from my Best at Last dad?

Winners don’t always cross the line first… but they never stop running the race.

Bill Homeier — my dad — A winner in every sense of the word.

Best at last

As Father & Son. As One.

“I am strong, when I am on your shoulders; You raise me up… to more than I can be.”

— “You Raise Me Up” lyrics by Brendan Graham

Today’s story is about Dick and Rick Hoyt — Team Hoyt.

A despicable pair ruined the Boston Marathon this year. They took lives. They grabbed headlines.

father & son

Dick and Rick, aka Team Hoyt

A father son pair ran the Boston Marathon this year. They inspired lives. They deserved headlines.

Since 1977, Dick and Rick Hoyt have competed in over 1000 endurance events. This was their 31st Boston Marathon together. The duo has also completed six Ironman competitions, perhaps the toughest of all athletic challenges.

As father & son. As one.

Dick, the dad, is 73. Rick is 51. Impressive enough. But that’s not all. Rick is a quadriplegic. He’s had cerebral palsy since birth. He lives in a wheelchair. He speaks with the help of a computer.

He “runs” with Dad’s legs. Dad pushes, pulls, pedals and carries Rick all the way.    READ MORE