Jenks: a passion for motorsport. MRP £19.95 ISBN: 1-899870-22-9
I worked with DSJ for many years, and it was not the unalloyed delight outsiders imagined. Helpful and amusing when it suited him, he was often difficult, and always utterly rigid about his copy. Neatly hand-written, it was completely unpredictable in length. Even if he had been told there were only two pages free, he would say, “If it’s interesting I’ll write four pages, if not, just a half.” Any attempt to cut a word brought trouble.
Not only that, but he would not write in MOTOR SPORT about the past, or his own recollections. “History is over. I wrote about it then and nothing’s changed.” That was one of the elements in the dispute which ended his connection with us. It’s both fascinating and frustrating, therefore, to open this collection of short pieces Jenks wrote for the BRDC journal and find that he wrote exactly what we wanted, but for another organ. Short, pithy, reflective, and, I’ve little doubt, written precisely to length, these make entrancing reading. Tales of roadside repairs, his continental trips, listening to Verdi in Verona the myriad things which excited his probing mind. Some subjects he had already touched on here, some are new to me, and some are reprinted, including that Mille Miglia. All are infused with the unquenchable interest he had to the end, and the man himself is illuminated by several contributions under “The Jenks I Knew”. GC