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Anyone remember a man named STEVE SIMON???...I DO...

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Old 02-14-2004, 09:11 AM
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Excerpt from this month's Extreme Boats Magazine:


This month's technical concept is not a part or a procedure to implement in our constant pursuit of bigger, better, faster. It is not about fixing or making something better. The reality of this situation down right pisses me off! It is about something I have no answers to and cannot resolve in my mind.
I would like to tell you about a person who devoted a lifetime to technical concepts and the what-ifs. A person that truly personified "bigger, better, faster" in every way. The man I am speaking of is Steve Simon. Steve would take a "what if" from some chicken scratch on a napkin at lunch to another one of his real world success stories. And he was not about to take a lifetime to accomplish it either. You knew Steve was on another one of his missions. He sure did make it look easy, one accomplishment after another! That is what made him stand-alone.
Steve's presence at DONZI Marine was very clear. I think you could determine when Steve started at DONZI just by opening any Powerboat Magazine of the time. Steve was very adamant about winning anything he was going to try. From numerous manufacturers’ awards to DONZI's racing program in the APBA Pro Series. Second place was never an option for Steve. Actually, I think winning took second seat to domination in his mind.
I really have to tell you that my wife Andréa and I were very proud to be a part of the winning "DONZI Family" as Steve would say. There is one day in particular that really stands out in my mind as to when I knew we were apart of “The Family". We had been working for multiple days and nights at the DONZI facility in Sarasota. More times than I would like to remember for periods over 24 hours continuously. Mind you DONZI runs a tight ship over there. From the shipping and receiving area to their security, everything had its own process. It is not your average unorganized boat manufacturing facility by any means. Even towing a boat out of there involved paperwork. One morning Steve met us as we were coming in with; "We have a problem". I was not surprised. Hell, I knew I was about to have a mutiny on my hands with my own crew. I just figured one too many people were tired of working around one of our multiple projects we had going on throughout DONZI. I had been pushing everyone at 110% for days. It was all about to end I thought. Steve sat everyone down and proceeded to explain to everyone why we were there, what we were trying to do and how it was going to work. Then, finished it off with "These guys are family, so treat them as such!” We walked away from that one looking at each other wearing some flabbergasted _expression like...what the hell just happened back there!
One week later the AR DONZI team was on top of the podium at the APBA's Pro Series opener, the Daytona Offshore Grand Prix. While accepting the first place award Steve Simon yells out "Does this mean I can have my factory back?” We just looked at each other smirking and replied “Nah, see-ya next week!” Everyone laughed.
Actually as I finish writing this I am not really sure why I did. Was this in some way for Steve? For his friends and family that loved him? Maybe to really make sure the entire power boating industry is aware of what we have truly lost? Everyone has their own way of dealing with tragedy, maybe this was my way? Maybe I just wanted to share one of my many Steve Simon stories? Well, I do know one thing; while there are so many questions that will go unanswered, I do know there is not an acceptable answer for me. While some would debate where Steve may be now? (Depending on belief, or lack there of) There is no doubt where Steve was. He truly left his mark on everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. I know that Steve Simon will not be forgotten. In my mind Steve Simon and offshore powerboat racing are synonymous. Thank you Steve and Dustin for not only my opportunity to pursue many of my "technical concepts" there at DONZI Marine, but also for your friendship you have shared with Dre and I outside the circle of racing - as family.
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Old 02-14-2004, 09:14 AM
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Old 02-14-2004, 11:26 AM
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Steve, was a great person for the sport of Offshore and a true gentleman. I got to actually talk with him for the first time two years ago at the NY Boat Show. As people may not acknowledge it repeatedly, believe me he is and still will be missed. Those feelings just don't go away over night.
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Old 02-14-2004, 12:09 PM
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really nice guy.. too bad.. guy goes 150mph in a boat and get's hit at 35 mph by some drunk in his truck
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Old 02-14-2004, 01:29 PM
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Actually, I believe it was a woman who turned in front of him, doesn't matter, a tragedy all in all. I met and spoke with Steve for the first time at the 10th St. ramp in Sarasota, I was behind him waiting to launch "Outlaw" and he was out testing the first Donzi F-2 boat. We were both just chatting and complaining how how people with smaller boats took up the parking for the larger boats, i.e., two of the smaller rigs could easily have doubled up but wouldn't. We ended up talking for close to half an hour, just like two old friends. I got to speak with him again during the production of the first Sarasota Offshore Showdown, he remembered me from that day on the ramp two years earlier. Have to admit, it made me feel good that he did. Steve will be missed, though I really feel he will always be here in spirit.
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Old 02-14-2004, 01:38 PM
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Its a down right shame that the good people that have contributed good things to society, are the ones to be taken from us prematurely. I just wish God would be more selective and take the murderers, rapists, and child molesters, so we dont have to worry about them.
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Old 02-14-2004, 01:43 PM
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Bruce,

Can not agree with you more buddy. I must say that it really makes you think/wonder sometimes. I really believe that as long as Donzi's racing involvment stays alive, Steve's Memory will never be forgotten by those who did not know him as well as friends and family.
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