Skip to comments.Terminal NASCAR fan fulfills dream of going to the Daytona 500, then passes away in infield
Posted on 02/24/2013 11:44:09 AM PST by P.O.E.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Three days, maybe a week. Three weeks ago, that's how much time doctors gave Mitch Zannette to live.
Three days, maybe a week. What can you do in that time? How do you say goodbye to everyone and everything you've ever known? How do you close off a lifetime?
Three days, maybe a week. If you know what you want out of life, it's enough time to write your own last chapter.
So last week, Mitch Zannette checked himself out of hospice and headed to Florida to see the Daytona 500. He made it to the track. Went to the beach. Met Miss Sprint Cup. Drank some beers. And on Thursday, three days before the race, he died in the infield at Daytona International Speedway. He was 50.
Mitch Zannette was a firefighter, a mason, a pool player, a father and a friend. He lived in the tiny borough of Pen Argyl, Penn., population 3,600. His favorite foods were broiled seafood and cream cheese cupcakes. He loved hunting and drinking Budweiser, and both led him to tell some amazing stories. He was a NASCAR fan for most of his 50 years, and rarely missed a race at Pocono, his local track.
(Excerpt) Read more at sports.yahoo.com ...
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Pen Argyl fireman, Mitchell R. Zanette, carries a firefighter's horn in 2009, leading off the 74th Annual Lookout Fire Co. Labor Day Parade in Pen Argyl. Express-Times Photo
thanks for posting this
Wow, cancer is horrible. Looking at the picture at the article site compared to this, what it did to him.
God Bless him. Let’s hope he had the best days of his life in that last week.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Zanette.
From "NASCAR this week::
DAYTONA BEACH Mitchell Zanette made his final arrangements at Guerro & Ruggiero Funeral Home, climbed into a motor home and then headed south to cross off the top item on his bucket list.
After a 16-month-long battle with cancer, Zanette, 50, of Pen Argyl, Pa., died about 2 a.m. Thursday inside a motor home parked in the infield of Daytona International Speedway. The dying wish of the devoted Dale Earnhardt Sr. fan to see the world-famous track was fulfilled.
He didn't die in no damn hospital bed, said his brother Joe Zanette, 47. Not even cancer would hold him down ... I guarantee he's up there tormenting Dale right now.
Even though he didn't make it to see the Daytona 500, the lifelong NASCAR enthusiast hung out on the beach, cracked open a few cold Budweisers outside his motor home, had his picture taken with a blonde bombshell Sprint Cup girl and got to see history made when Danica Patrick became the first woman to earn the pole for the Daytona 500, friends and family said.
Better yet...lets hope the best days of his existence are in his future...it isn’t always about us....the living....*S*..There are many chapters in a book...
True enough. The Glory that awaits surely outweighs anyhting that mortal life can show us. Still, It’s to be hoped he had a last, great, seafood dish on earth.
Great story. It’s an interesting question...if you had only a week left where would you spend it? I’m sure a lot of people would go to places they’ve always dreamed of seeing, but personally I think I’d try to revisit places that had meaning. Camp for a night at the campground where my dad and I used to go, spend a night at the hotel we stayed in when I proposed to my wife, etc...
I know a guy who died recently. He was diagnosed with cancer and given a year to live. The doctor told his wife, and the b**** NEVER told him. He just went on doing his work (he was self employed), and then one day, he simply dropped dead. Never took a day off to enjoy himself, never took a vacation, or do anything he really wanted to do. Very sad.
I’m glad Mr. Zanette got to do a few things before his time came.
Rest in peace.