By JOHN T. WARD
Six years into a personal gut job, Cole Porter had transformed himself from a heavy-smoking, overweight electrician and handyman into… well, as his wife, Megan, put it, in a comically theatrical voice, “Cole Porter, you are ironman!”
Ironman as in triathlete: swimmer, biker, runner. He’d gone all-in, and with such infectious energy that she followed his lead, as their two young daughters later did, too. It was something they all did together now. Even Faye, at age 10, had already completed an adult sprint tri.
At age 38, though, Porter had decided he would focus on cycling for the coming year. And onlookers that sunny September morning in Fair Haven should not have been fooled by all his laughing and chatting at the starting line – so much in fact that a race official asked him, please, sir, can we have your attention? That was just Porter being his irrepressible self. Inside, he carried a determination to win.
And, as if right on script, as the pack of whirring racers completed the first lap of the first race, Porter was in the lead when he spotted his three “girls” standing on the sidewalk.
Megan raised her camera and snapped a photo as he approached. He was smiling that smile that had captivated her from the day they met.
Seconds later, there was a crash.