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Rocky Russo, 1948-2012


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#51 stumbley

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:53 PM

"Remember no man is a failure who has friends." - George the Angel, in "It's A Wonderful Life"

Rocky was a great success, in that he had many, many friends. If there is an afterlife, he and Catherine should be very happy, together again.
Stan Smith
------------------------------------------------------------------------
"No one is completely useless - you can always serve as a bad example." -PartiStan

Democracies endure until the citizens care more for what the state can give them than for its ability to defend rich and poor alike; until they care more for their privileges than their responsibilities; until they learn they can vote largess from the public treasury and use the state as an instrument for plundering, first those who have wealth, then those who create it -- Jerry Pournelle.

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. - George Washington

Things that are Too Big To Fail sooner or later become like Queen Bees, the Alpha and Omega of all activity, resulting in among other things, the inability to think of anything else but servicing them. - Richard Fernandez, The Belmont Club




#52 Charlie Nelson

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:37 PM

We raced slot cars together almost every Saturday for the past 18 months. Wish I had met him sooner. That might have been 18 with a zero.

ALL the local racers will miss him greatly.

#53 lcvaldetaro

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 12:59 PM

I cannot add anything to what Alan has said. Except that my experience with Rocky was very similar to his. I feel a little guilty that, the very first time I met Rocky (same day Alan met him), him, I, and Daniel Murai met in my hotel bedroom to talk slot cars. At around 4 AM, and two bottles of wine later (and Daniel does not drink) we finally called a day. I didn't know then that he was Diabetic, I only found it the next day.

Not only I lost a great slot car buddy, but we lost a friend that was a great human being. A truly generous person. To say that he will be missed is a great euphemism. I think one of us that can write (I suggest Alan) should write something that Robert S. would publish in MCR.

He always let us drive his cars as hard as we could because, as he said, "They are all doomed". I managed to save one from doom: the Lotus 19 he built for the first Proxy race he gave me as a gift. I will forever treasure it, Professor Fate.

Luiz
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#54 lcvaldetaro

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:11 PM

Here is my treasure:

1963 Lotus 19 C8

car765.jpg
Luiz Claudio Valdetaro

#55 stumbley

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:53 PM

Luiz,

It's the one "Professor Fate" phrase I'll always remember: "They're all doomed."

As many have noted here before, Rocky was nothing if not generous with his handiwork. He helped me build a chassis at one of the RadTrax conventions in Las Vegas, never belittling my horrendous soldering skill.

And he was always ready to hand out a car to share for those who didn't have anything to race... and he had something for EVERY class and EVERY kind of car. Alan was not kidding when he said Rocky brought literally HUNDREDS of cars in his van to each convention.

There are not many I shed tears for when they're gone, but Rocky's passing had me sobbing.
Stan Smith
------------------------------------------------------------------------
"No one is completely useless - you can always serve as a bad example." -PartiStan

Democracies endure until the citizens care more for what the state can give them than for its ability to defend rich and poor alike; until they care more for their privileges than their responsibilities; until they learn they can vote largess from the public treasury and use the state as an instrument for plundering, first those who have wealth, then those who create it -- Jerry Pournelle.

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. - George Washington

Things that are Too Big To Fail sooner or later become like Queen Bees, the Alpha and Omega of all activity, resulting in among other things, the inability to think of anything else but servicing them. - Richard Fernandez, The Belmont Club

#56 Horsepower

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 07:57 PM

I am sickened by this news. I feel nauseated. I had hopes he would overcome like he did before on many other of life's setbacks. He must have had enough grief for five people.

I corresponded with him on and off and felt privileged to be able to do that. He once hinted that he was looking for a Russkit Lotus 25 body, so I sent the one I had to him. He was amazed and his response was, "You mean you can't use this?" I told him about how I used to read his letters to Car Model in the magazine and told him, "What are the chances two kids playing with model cars could still get in touch with one another after 40 years? This was my honor!"

A great hobbyist and an amazing guy is gone.

"The world is getting to be such a dangerous place, a man is lucky to get out of it alive." - W.C. Fields
Gary Stelter

#57 Jeff Easterly

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:56 PM

I agree with Mill...

Heaven had an open lane, next to Pete...

Question is... Who gets the first nerf?? ^_^

RIP, Rocky... Enjoyed our chats at Buena Park...

Tell St. Peter at the gate...

I'm afraid he'll have to wait...

I need more time, to get it straight...

And I might be a little late... :)

Jeff Easterly :dash2:
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Asst. Mechanic, Team Zombie...
Power is coming on... NOW!!!

#58 BigDog

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 04:00 PM

Hy Guys,

It's been a century since I last came here and this is the news that greets me at my return... :frown:

Don't have much to say, really, except that I also enjoyed his posts very much and sensed that he was a very cool guy. I too live by the "run/race'em all" rule, so I pretty much understood his view of our hobby.

I envy those of you who had the privilege of meeting him in person...

RIP Doc Fate!!!

Fernao
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"Sometimes slow is fast..."

#59 Alchemist

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 06:00 PM

I am saddened to hear of his passing. I have said a prayer for him.

Ernie
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#60 Horsepower

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 06:33 PM

Here is my treasure...


A nice keepsake of a great guy. You are lucky.
Gary Stelter

#61 lcvaldetaro

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:48 PM

Stan (and ALL),

It is very sad that we finally cyber-meet each other again on such sad circumstances. However, as sad as we are (I sobbed too when I heard it), it is fair to say that Rocky touch all of us. As Fernão said, some of us were priviledged to have met him in person. But ALL of us are priviledged to have met what was the most important part of him: his brain.

Rocky was one of the most brilliant minds I ever met. And he was also a mighty wise person. Even his trade mark "they are all doomed" showed a wisdom that is very rare.

Other point is that we owe to his memory to get on with our lifes, and keep his message going:

1-They are all doomed, for sure. Let's race them. remove them from the shelves.

2-Let's be generous with our posessions, our knowledge and our time.

3-Let's always stay positive.

Finally, since I moved to Texas, I don't have any nearby buddies that like to play slot cars. In California, I lived in a tiny house and had a tiny 2-lane track and tons of slot friends. Here in Texas, I live in a large house, have a nice 4-lane track and nobody to share it with. That longing lead me to stay away from friends like Alan, Stan and others. But even in death, Rocky brought us together again, at least from my vantage point.

I will miss Professor Fate. But Mr. Rocky Russo left a hole in my heart that only you guys can help fill a little. And his positive atitude towards life will help me do it.

Luiz
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#62 Big Durl

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 08:13 PM

Like many here, I only knew Rocky by his online persona, but I, too, am sorry to see him go. I'm sure he is resting in peace next to the love of his life.

Darryl Vance


#63 stumbley

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 03:16 AM

Well said, Luiz. I miss you, too!
Stan Smith
------------------------------------------------------------------------
"No one is completely useless - you can always serve as a bad example." -PartiStan

Democracies endure until the citizens care more for what the state can give them than for its ability to defend rich and poor alike; until they care more for their privileges than their responsibilities; until they learn they can vote largess from the public treasury and use the state as an instrument for plundering, first those who have wealth, then those who create it -- Jerry Pournelle.

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. - George Washington

Things that are Too Big To Fail sooner or later become like Queen Bees, the Alpha and Omega of all activity, resulting in among other things, the inability to think of anything else but servicing them. - Richard Fernandez, The Belmont Club

#64 MrWeiler

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 04:44 AM

Bye, Rocky! I'll miss our talks. If I had an airplane question I couldn't find the answer - just ask Rocky.

Blue skies, man.
"TANSTAAFL" (There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.)
Robert Anson Heinlein

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#65 Rusty Pinion

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:57 PM

Sad news indeed... RIP, my friend.
"Waddaya mean, it won't pass tech?"
Hugh Dudley

#66 ratrod

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:32 AM

So I walked in the Slot Shop for another day of racing. I proudly showed Rocky my newly-painted and detailed McLaren M8C which took me hours to complete. I told him I hate to race it knowing how much time it took me to get it done - we all know the eventual outcome of slot car bodies.

His reply? "Just race it! Isn't that what its for?" In a nutshell, that was his response for any car he had, whether it was brand new or a collectible from the '60s. He would almost make me feel obligated to testdrive his very old and very valuable cars, to which he would always say, "If it breaks, I'll fix it."

I would always pit next to Rocky and end up peeking into his box to see which goodies he brought to play with that particular day. I swear his box had to have been three feet deep to house all of his cool old cars. We would then test each other as to what a particular body, motor, or chassis was.

He was always quick to loan anyone a car that didn't have one in any particular class. It was not unusual to see him race three or four different cars during a single race. When I asked why, he would reply that he just wanted to drive a certain car because he likes it whether is was because of the motor, body, or chassis.

In one of his last races, he finished third and was very happy to have finished that high since his main objective was to have fun no matter where he finished.

I'm very fortunate to have had him as a friend and I will forever treasure the brass chassis F1 car he built for me back in 1998.

RIP, Rocky!
Rick Mizuta

#67 Bill from NH

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:13 PM

Rick,

Any chance you can post photos of that brass F1 chassis on here? I know I'd like to see it and probably so would others. Rocky had some of his cars on an old GeoCities web page that got dumped a couple years ago. :)

Bill Fernald
 

Some people burn rubber. I burn oil.  :roflmao: 


#68 ratrod

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:19 PM

This is the awesome chassis Rocky had built for me. Back when he built it we were running a Super 16d in it. It now has a Falcon 4 which we are currently running.

Sorry the pics didn't turn out so well.

rocky2a.jpg

rocky1a.jpg
Rick Mizuta

#69 CruzinBob

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:25 PM

RIP, Rocky, mi amigo. :(

This is a bit too much for me as I just came on here to see what has been said about Gary Cleverley. I just learned that he died from Morgan's email.

Rocky was so special and I will cherish the memories of his candor at several "Slot Car Conventions".

We are so mortal...
Bob Scott
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Men can heal the lustful. Angels can heal the malicious. Only God can heal the proud. - St. John Climacus

#70 Bill from NH

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:51 PM

This is the awesome chassis Rocky had built for me. Back when he built it we were running a Super 16d in it. It now has a Falcon 4 which we are currently running.


Rick, thanks for posting the photos. Each one of Rocky's F1s I've seen is a little bit different than the last ones, your's included. :)

Bill Fernald
 

Some people burn rubber. I burn oil.  :roflmao: 


#71 Phil Donaldson

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:23 PM

Rest In Peace, Brother.

Say hello to George Teman and Jon Laster for us.

Team Trend


#72 Dennis David

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:22 AM

Wow, first I read about Larry and now I hear Prof Fate has left us as well. Always an interesting person. Maybe the only person that could talk toe to toe with PdL! I'll never forget his box of slot cars. All jammed in a plastic box, with each a story to tell.

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#73 rvec

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:52 AM

As I was looking for images of past slot car conventions, I came across a thread about the passing of Rocky Russo (January 2012).  I met Rocky at a Slot Car Convention in 2003 or 2004.  He was a great guy with a quick smile and friendly personality.  Like his late friend, Larry Shepard, they both were passionate about the hobby.  I think Rocky was more interested in chassis design and less interested in modeling.  Although some of his work appeared rough, his cars were always competitive.  For the 2005 convention, I had Rocky build an open wheeled chassis for a race at the convention.  We kept in touch for years but I lost track of him as my interest in slot cars gave way to many other activities. 

 

I have posted some photos of Rocky (and the late Larry Shephard) and their cars on my group page.http://groups.yahoo....lectronRaceway/ click on the photos link on the left of the page.  Sorry, you have be become a member of the group to view photos (very easy to sign up) 


Rich Vecchio


#74 MarcusPHagen

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 07:21 AM

I've been away for far too long.  Coming back to find that Larry Shepard and Rocky Russo are both gone... it's like a kick in the gut.  Some people say that "online friends aren't real", but they don't know the kind of energy, passion, and downright goodness that I experienced by reading what Prof. Fate wrote.  I, too, will remember his phrase "they're all doomed", and have many times used it in other contexts to convince myself to let go, to share, to enjoy.  RIP, Rocky. You are indeed remembered with great fondness and appreciation.

 

Marcus P. Hagen


Marcus P. Hagen -- see below, my five favorite quotes: applicable to slot cars & life in general.
[ "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.". . Daniel Patrick Moynihan ]
[ "Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately, it kills all its students.". . . . . . . . Hector Berlioz ]
[ "There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness." . . . . . . . . . . . Dave Barry ]
[ "Build what you like to build, they are all doomed." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Prof. Fate ]
[ "The less rules the more fun. Run what you brung." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Larry LS ]

#75 Bill from NH

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 12:41 PM

Marcus, it's good to see you back!

Bill Fernald
 

Some people burn rubber. I burn oil.  :roflmao: 


#76 gascarnut

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:49 PM

Marcus, I have often wondered whether YOU were still with us too, so it's good to see you back.

What have you been up to?

Happy New Year

Dennis Samson
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Scratchbuilding is life
Life is scratchbuilt

Samson Classics


#77 Horsepower

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 12:23 AM

I can't believe he's been gone a year. :cray:  :(


Gary Stelter

#78 Dennis David

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 12:38 AM

That's because he's been gone two years. But in our world of slot cars he was larger than life.


Dennis David
    
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#79 Horsepower

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 06:18 PM

Sorry, you're right of course. Overwhelming sadness just thinking about it. Strange how age seems to cause time aberrations. Like, how fast TWO years go by, or how everybody seems to say they can't believe how fast Christmas arrived. I bet Rocky could have explained it. He was a genius. :good: Also the fact that he passed away on New Years day kinda throws me off (more than I already am).


Gary Stelter

#80 Dennis David

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 07:12 PM

I understand. I think we're all in the same boat with many of just reaching or having just reached retirement age.


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#81 MarcusPHagen

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 11:31 PM

Marcus, it's good to see you back!

 

Marcus, I have often wondered whether YOU were still with us too, so it's good to see you back.

What have you been up to?

Happy New Year


Playing bass in my church's worship band. I'll try to be active in some of the other threads (don't want to clog up this one, since it's for Rocky) but thanks for the welcome back! 

mph
Marcus P. Hagen -- see below, my five favorite quotes: applicable to slot cars & life in general.
[ "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.". . Daniel Patrick Moynihan ]
[ "Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately, it kills all its students.". . . . . . . . Hector Berlioz ]
[ "There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness." . . . . . . . . . . . Dave Barry ]
[ "Build what you like to build, they are all doomed." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Prof. Fate ]
[ "The less rules the more fun. Run what you brung." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Larry LS ]





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