On 1/15/05 we had our 3rd annual Skyway Bridge Meet. This event was started in January 2003 by SarasotaRed (Steven). That first year, it was a very sunny day, bright blue sky, but a bit cold and windy.
The second year we did it, it was a dreary cold ugly day, January 2004. That event was put together by myself. We had a great turnout, but the weather kept the event pretty short.
This year, January 2005, J put on the event, it was a little warmer than in '04, but it was still a cold dreary day, especially for Florida. You almost can't tell what photos from the 2004 meet and which ones are from 2005, as both were just gray windy days.
If you go back to the first meet put on by SarasotaRed, that day stood out by the bright blue sky and the Skyway Bridge lit up in the background. I just don't think J or myself have the touch for ordering up the nice weather that Steven did for the first meet in 2003. He truly had a gift with everything and everyone. Steven passed away from cancer on 1/30/05, shortly after this meet (which he was unfortunately not able to attend due to his health), a meet in which he began in 2003 and in which also created may long lasting friendships.
While attending the memorial on 2/05/05 with a few other S2000 owners/spouses who knew Steven, we found out when the doctors told him he had 4-6 months to live, he went out and bought his S2000 for therapy. The memorial mentioned several times his fun times and friendships with the S2000 club and how much he loved his car. They showed several photos of Steven and the S2000 crew at various meets on the slide show presentation. I felt very honored to have taken a few of those photos and to have attended those events with Steven and his wife Vivian.
Steven was very active in recruiting fellow S2000 owners to a new "club" he got together in the Sarasota area right after he bought his new car. He the reason we have the Skyway Meet and have gotten as large of a group of S owners we now call the Tampa Bay Area S2000 group.
Steven kept his illness pretty low key and didn't tell many people about it, and the people he did tell kept is pretty much to themselves. If you would have had the pleasure to meet him, the first thing you would notice is he was a very happy man, always with a smile on his face and kind words to say. You'd never guess he was fighting for his life each day.
So, while I appreciate J for putting on this great event and for all those that attended, I felt it was important to do this write up in honor of the man who started it all. He will be missed by many of us and has left a vacant space in our hearts.
VLAHON, STEVEN R., 60, of Palm Harbor, died Sunday (Jan. 30, 2005) at home. He was born in Saginaw, Mich., and came here in 1975 from Michigan. He worked for Sarasota County as an information technology system support manager for 13 years. He also taught at Texas State University, Texas Tech University and Southern Illinois University and owned New Wave Software. He was a member of Third Church of Christ, Scientist, the S2000 Club, both of Sarasota. He enjoyed cruises, golf and tennis. Survivors include his wife, Vivian; a son, Russ Yoder, St. Petersburg; a daughter, Melinda J. Vlahon, Colorado; and a brother, Arthur of Michigan. National Cremation Society, Largo.