Friends remember man who embraced life |

Friends remember man who embraced life

Geraldine Haldner
Daily Staff Writer

AVON ” There were few things in life that rattled Petr Adamec. Instead, he embraced life like he took on challenges, friends recalled after he died in a motorcycle accident Sunday.

Head on ” often times with disregard for his own safety, but never without a sense of humor and a calmness that his friends say was legendary.

Adamec, who immigrated to the United States from the Czech Republic in 1997, died Aug. 15 after crashing his motorcycle on Highway 131 about one mile north of Bond. He was 11 days shy of his 34th birthday.

“Petr was never scared,” said his friend Stepanka Kreckova, 25, who shared an apartment with him in Avon. Early this summer, she said, Adamec acquired a raft, and after one trip on the Eagle River from Avon to Edwards ” without a guide or any coaching and wearing a bike helmet for protection ” he was ready to move on to bigger things.

“He went and did Dowd Chute,” she said with a shrug, adding that soon even his hardiest of friends dropped out when he called on them to go rafting.

Kreckova met Adamec like most of his friends first met him ” under the lifted hood of a car looking at an exposed engine.

What had been diagnosed by another mechanic as a $3,000 problem was much more affordable with Adamec as a friend, Kreckova said.

“He said he could do it for $100 for parts, and I could buy him beers,” she said.

Adamec, who in addition to rafting and fixing cars, loved to fish and talk to his son, Hondza, back in the Czech Republic, also was fond of Dunkel beer and Camel Lights cigarettes.

In addition to fixing cars, Adamec was a central figure in the small, tight-knit community of Czech expatriates in the Vail Valley.

His friends Jen “Hanz” Blanar and Jan “Patek” Piatka both remember Adamec ” whom everyone called Adam ” as the man to call on for a place to stay, a car or a job.

“He was kind of one of the first from the Czech Republic here and he always helped us, helped everyone who was new,” said Blanar, 23, who runs a local painting business.

Piatka fixed cars with Adamec and experienced Adamec’s laid-back attitude first-hand every day.

“We’d sit the garage look at a car and smoke cigarettes, and he would always say, ‘Two heads are much faster and better than one.’ He really enjoyed finding the problem and fixing a car.”

Adamec worked at Avon Autos, buying and selling cars. He also delivered newspapers ” the Vail Daily among them ” in Eagle and Gypsum. He had plans to return home at the end of the year, Piatka said.

“He was wasn’t a stressed person,” said Kreckova. “When we had troubles I would ask him ‘What are we going to do?’ and he would say ‘let’s go have a cigarette and we’ll see.'”

Adamec is survived by his parents and one brother all of Bilovec, Czech Republic.

A goodbye party for Adamec will be held at Paddy’s today at 6 p.m. and on Sunday at 11 a.m. his friends will meet at the Wolcott Yacht Club in cars and motorcycles and drive to State Bridge for a farewell ride past the place Adamec died.

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