SI Vault
 
Scaling New Heights
William Nack
November 17, 1986
Laffit Pincay has shed the weight of tragedy and is back on course
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 17, 1986

Scaling New Heights

Laffit Pincay has shed the weight of tragedy and is back on course

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5 6

Laffit III, then 10, awoke thinking only of what Saint Nick had left him under the tree. "Then I thought of my mom," the boy says. "It was the first Christmas without her." He broke into tears only once during the holidays. His father took him aside and told him that what had happened touched everyone and they all had to keep going and try to remember only the good things. "We have to get used to the fact that she's not going to be around anymore," father told son.

Looking back on it just a few weeks ago, young Laffit folded his hands on his lap in the den of the family home, thought carefully a moment and said, firmly, "It didn't really hurt me at first, but then it hurt me more and more. It still hurts, but I think it always will."

Earlier that day Lisa and her brother had dashed into the house from school asking their father for their medical records. "I wonder where they are," Pincay mused out loud.

"Dad, I have to get another booster for school," said Laffit. "Mom took me for the last one."

Pincay did not answer. By then, he was searching the house for the childrens' vaccination records. Lisa and her father had already had long talks about why Linda had done what she had done, and she appears to have come to terms with it. With her father out of the room, she recalled the memory of that final scene, of breaking down that door and finding what she had found. It is still vivid in her mind, as doubtless it will always be.

Asked about her reaction that day, she remembered thinking that she would keep her mother's suicide to herself. "My first reaction was that I wasn't going to tell anyone," she said. Of course, the tragedy was played prominently in all the Los Angeles papers, so there was no secret to keep from all her friends.

"I didn't think of him as being famous," Lisa said. "He was just my dad. That was the first time I realized how famous he was."

Pincay returned to the den, papers in hand. Now his son was standing in front of him, hitching up a pair of slacks and telling his father that they didn't fit. "Are you sure your pants are too big?" the father asked. Young Laffit showed him the long cuffs and with his fingers demonstrated the more than ample waist size.

"O.K., we'll get the pants fixed," the father said.

At one hectic moment, a visitor noticed that in the den's six-decker trophy case—one filled with cups, urns, plates and bowls—there were only four Eclipse awards, statues of the great pioneer thoroughbred. "Lisa, where is my other Eclipse award?" Pincay yelled to her in another room.

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6