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Old 2019.07.25, 09:52 PM   #1
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Unhappy Remembering our beloved moderator mleemor60

I learned earlier today that our long-time moderator and friend mleemor60 passed away this morning after increasing struggles with cancer in recent months. I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of meeting Mike on several occasions. Being retired, he was able to travel often and he and his wife would always meet up with me at one of his Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives destinations so that he could cross another off of his list. His self-given title in his profile was "Curmudgeon & Moderator", but he used his curmudgeonliness for good - toiling tirelessly to keep the forums safe and rid of SPAM. I'm sure others have their own stories about Mike and I'm hoping that everyone will share them in this thread, as a sort of memorial to Mike and everything he meant to this community. I'm planning on making some tweaks to the site design so that we can remember him on every page. Please feel free to share your memories, thoughts, and wishes in this thread, and maybe wherever he is now, he'll pull out his laptop to visit MZR, and see how much he meant to all of us. Rest in peace, Mike - thanks for everything you've done for MZR, Tiny RC, and the community.
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Old 2019.07.25, 10:37 PM   #2
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I am deeply saddened by the loss of a great friend, mentor, and hobby father figure. Mike and I met for the first time at the ALS race in Maryland in 2007 I believe. He was wearing his classic racing overalls that he always wore on race days. He was still relatively new to the world of mini-z, but a long time veteran of the hobby. We shared some stories as I was setting up my pit, and plugged my 12v pwr adapters into my lacrosse bc-900 chargers, frying them on the spot since they required a much lower voltage. The 12v adapters were for the maha chargers, but I was so focused on what he was saying that what I was doing became an after thought.

When Mike talked, I listened. Everything he said, was important and he never sugar coated anything. He quickly absorbed all of the information on the forum, and mixed it with his vast experience in the hobby and racing real cars to create his perspective on how mini-z racing should be carried out.

At the time, there were many small clubs scattered all over... each with their own rules and scope of structure. One of mike's passions was to try to develop a sanctioning body in which we could unify the rule structures throughout the US. This brought forth the development of the Carolina Cup. Mike reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in participating, and offered to host me at his house for the events. I agreed, and racing at the Carolina Cup races were some of the highlights of my racing career. Not only the on track experience, but more so the hospitality and stories shared in Mike's basement racing garage. Walking into the small room, there were decades of RC history on his walls and shelves, and he could spend an hour with a story for each item....

My last race with Mike was at Remnant, it was my first race back after a 5 year hiatus. He had brought quite a few bodies that he had been working on, and carefully showed me many of the modifications he had made for each one. At this point, the racing came secondary, all of my attention was with Mike and how enthusiastic he was about these bodies. They really were special, and I was in awe with how much progress he had made with the development in aero and reinforcement with them. When you looked at the body from a slight distance, you couldn't see anything was different, but when you held it close, and really examined it you could see how much attention to detail had been placed on them. This was exactly like Mike, there was so much knowledge hidden beneath the surface, you really needed to spend a lot of time and go over the details, and then you would start to notice it.

We definitely did not agree on everything in the hobby, but our disagreements and discussions about some topics brought us closer together. Having Mike in my life was a blessing, and I always have him in my thoughts any time I am at a race, or discussing race structure. When GIHOSU and I discuss anything racing related, we always adj ourselves, What Would Mike Morse Do? Doing so has been a great way to evaluate our racing structure and how to be fair to all racers while not letting the inmates run the asylum...

He will be dearly missed, and I will carry him with me always as a great friend and is part of my mini-z family. He dedicated much more time than people realize to this hobby and forum, and we all owe gratitude for all that he has done over the years.
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Old 2019.07.26, 06:31 AM   #3
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Thank you so much for sharing this, EMU! <3 <3 <3
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Old 2019.07.26, 06:58 AM   #4
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I too was gutted to learn of the loss of a person whom I held as a good friend. Iíve spent a good deal of time with Mike on many things, be it racing, modifying Autoscales, moderating the forum here, etc. and affectionately called him Grumpy Mike. Sadly, I donít think I even scratched the surface when it comes to sharing his experiences with actual car racing, etc. We tended to be focused on events at hand, etc. Mike was even a avid supporter of our racing events held at Nekocon, an anime convention, which you wouldnít expect to see Mike but he was truly adventurous and no stranger to jumping in to experiencing new things.
I truly treasure the times spent with Mike at racing events, etc., and Mike traveled to MANY. As others attest to, I didnít always agree with Mike on everything but always treasured the feedback, viewpoint, and opinions and was always able to share these in return in mutual respect. This is something that you truly feel is missed in these times as most are to quick to shout down others of opposing position where as Mike was able to listen, digest and continue debating, strenuously at times , his points.
Sadly, we are not any closer to scale rules/formatting than prior however in great part to his and others like him in this region in particular, we have a very Ďcommoní understanding of rules/format that has allowed racing to flourish on when economics of real estate/brick and mortar are taken into consideration. The Carolina Cup may be no more however we continue to have no less than 4 and possibly more, racing venues that coordinate on a regular basis to make sure we all operate in a manner that supports the location, drivers desires as well as support for regional activities and the scale by extension. It may not sound like much but when looked at through the prism of time and scale, itís very much a continuation of sort of the Carolina Cup in a less formal manner.

There is no modern comparison when it comes to Mikeís focus on keeping this forum clean and humming as a moderator. There was a time maybe 15 years ago when I had as much focus and zeal however life has a funny way of changing that over time and Mike simply attacked it with vigor and determination! If your one of the few that happened to get swept up in his clean sweeps you understand . When dragging the lake, your bound to have some unintended catches and he was always quick to make amends. Iím sure itís common knowledge, Mikeís disdain for social media and have always appreciated his counter balance to my effort to throw open the gates if you were which would have undoubtably flooded the site with spam and the like. Iíve always greatly appreciated the stubbornness with which he approached social media as the foil to my indifference of sorts. We always found common ground and I have no doubt caused much frustration on his part as a moderator but have ALWAYS been better for his efforts, opinions and determination. Mike bowed to no one on racing and the site.
I truly regret that many times, life got in the way of attending more event with Mike. He and Debbie were always kind and shared their home with me and others while down in the area for racing. I have very fond memories of good breakfast meals early on race days. I wish there were more of his like in this world, grumpiness and all.

Debbie has noted a Celebration of Life will be held on August 24, 2019 and hopes to have his racing friends to share stories. We will share more information as it becomes available.

Last edited by arch2b; 2019.07.26 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 2019.07.26, 10:41 AM   #5
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I'm very sorry to hear about Mike and his battle with cancer. Iíve interacted with Mike on the forums here over the years and did get a change to meet him and his wife one time here in Utah on one of his Triple D (Diners, Drive inís and Dives) Road trips through my area. We only met up for a Lunch but had some great conversation about racing and his passion for good food. This was years and years ago but I appreciate him taking the time to know I was in the City he was visiting and that he took the time to coordinate meeting up with people that shared the same passion for this hobby.

My condolences to his family and close friend in this time of loss. This is a sad loss for our racing community and a loss of a great person. Mike, Remember not to drink the Coolaid.
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Old 2019.07.26, 10:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briankstan View Post
...Mike, Remember not to drink the Coolaid.
Now thatís a priceless memory Iím sure all who discussed racing at this scale will remember with him
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Old 2019.07.26, 11:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arch2b View Post
Now thatís a priceless memory Iím sure all who discussed racing at this scale will remember with him
that's why I had to throw it in there. I think it was Mikes favorite thing to say.
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Old 2019.07.26, 01:03 PM   #8
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This saddens my heart to hear about Mike passing. I look back at the day when I first met Mike. At High Speed Hobbies in North Carolina. It was a hobby shop I started going and racing Mini Z's. Because I worked on a NASCAR team and I needed a place to race RC. But I remember him coming to the Hobby Shop with an X Mod car and I introduced them into messing around with mini Z's stay away from xmod cars. We had a strong great friendship racing every weekend and Thursday nights at high-speed Hobbies, trading ideas talking about past racing experience and big cars and small cars. It saddens his heart when he found out I got laid off from the NASCAR team and had to move north to New Jersey. He always welcomes me at his home with him and his wife stay over when there is a mini z race back in North Carolina. I will definitely miss the phone calls every time I called him about mini Z stuff. Even the disagreements on things we didn't like but I always enjoy talking to him he was like a father figure as well

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File Type: jpg Screenshot_20190726-131111_Photos.jpg (259.9 KB, 66 views)
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Old 2019.07.26, 01:19 PM   #9
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I happened upon High Speed Hobbies when I moved down to the Carolinas back in 2008. I had raced 10th scale touring cars primarily in IL and WI for quite a few years and had owned a few MiniZs since they first came out. They were great to sharpen the reflexes and stay in practice, just a large bit of carpet and some paper cups made a respectable track. I couldn't have stumbled in to a better MiniZ racing scene and one of the first to welcome me was Mike Morse.
Holy crap! This group of guys are good! I enjoyed my first night of racing immensely and it was great to have somewhere to race RC cars in my new home. Mike continued to provide advice, cars to run, batteries to test, parts to try out and a smile eeked out often from his familiar resting scowl when we shared notes and relived a good night. Race night was Mike's element... I'm not sure if even one of his favorite Diners compared to a good run in a heat when the car handled like magic. That's when the happy 10 year old Mike came out, light on his feet and a big smile in his eyes.
I got to know Mike well and like to think of myself as one of his friends. He was kind and generous to me at the track and out in the real world filled with kids, home projects and relationships. He loaned me power tools, taught me how to properly lay down a wood floor, counseled me during tough times and bought me more than a few 5 Guys burgers.
Life interceded and I gave up RC racing quite a few years ago now and haven't been to this site in nearly just as many. Mike though stayed in my life, we talked often and I enjoyed hearing of his new RC related projects and events. I saw him in his last few days and luckily did share a last burger with him as he neared the last laps of his race. I will miss his honesty, his generosity and the interest he showed in getting to know me... I wasn't just some guy trying to kick his ass on a little race track.
Godspeed Mike, may your batteries be fully recharged now, your body slick and your motor turning 30K RPMs.
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Old 2019.07.26, 08:31 PM   #10
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As you can see from the posts above this one Mike will be missed.

I first met Mike at one of the ALS charity races in Maryland. I can still picture him with his jeans and suspenders. Willing to help everyone there. I remember someone needing a spur gear and he was the first one offering up to help that person showing them the many options he had and offering them what ever he had in hopes to get them running again.

He was the opposite of self centered. I think he was always thinking of what was the best thing to do for the hobby, the MiniZ racer site, and the hobby shops that are the main stay of having a place for us to race.
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Old 2019.07.27, 06:17 PM   #11
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I've attached information that will be in the local papers, The Independent Tribune & Salisbury Post as passed along by Debbie.
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Old 2019.07.28, 09:26 AM   #12
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I only had the privilege to meet Mike in person a handful of times, but from the very first time to the last he always filled me with information and guidance, I kind of personally thought of him as "Doc" from the movie Cars, full of knowledge and wisdom.

First time I met him in person was with a group in Greenville SC. They had a community center setup with a HUGE track, not many people were there but Mike was all over the place and immediately starting looking over my cars and giving suggestions. Just a month later that group and Mike asked if I wanted to tag along to some races in DC. We all met up there and it was a great weekend of racing, hanging out with Mike and the fellas from SC, one of the best mini-z weekends i had.

I continued conversing with Mike periodically over the last couple of years about various topics, just as many have said he always was willing to share the knowledge and opinion. We hadn't caught up at any mini-z races since the SC and Charlotte areas had fizzled out.

The last time I met up with Mike was when he decided to sell off all his Mini-z stuff. I spent the day hanging out with him in his basement going through what had to be a decade or more of mini-z memorabilia, he showed me tons of parts and cars and bodies and everything in between, the ones he liked, the ones he didn't, and explanations that made sense. We combed through mini-z stuff for hours. We continued to converse periodically for the months after usually about some part that i would run across and have no idea what it was. He had told me he was starting some treatment but I had no idea his condition had worsened to the extent that it had.

I wish i could have spent more time like that one day absorbing and learning....."look forward to tomorrow but take time to cherish today."

Farewell Mike
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Old 2019.07.30, 03:27 PM   #13
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I am sad to hear of this and my condolences to his family and the community
Mike and I met many many years ago when I went down to do a tour of the Carolinas. Mike welcomed me with open arms as I was still relatively new in the mini z community.
It is unfortunate that I was not able to hang out with him more often as we were on opposite coasts
Godspeed Mike !
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