She had a smile that lit up a room, an infectious laughter that made you happy, and a presence that was so palpable you just wanted to be with her.
Holly Golembiewski, also known as Kate Moss, was a beautiful person inside and out.
We first me at Pocono Raceway in August 2013 when Holly was covering the races for her radio station CLNS. She approached me about what I do and found out that I helmed my own website, Drafting the Circuits, that not only did Internet Radio but also original articles about racing.
Holly exchanged information with me and promised to be in touch as she wanted to write for me.
That fall we spoke on the phone and via Facebook and agreed that Holly would write a weekly column.
Her articles were well-received and always had a strong core that touched the readers at Drafting the Circuits. Holly had a true talent for knowing what her readership wanted to read. Her Earnhardt articles always broke records at my site.
As Christmas 2013 approached Holly sent me an article to edit that was lovely but not appropriate at DTC. She had written a beautiful gratitude list that listed all of the people who had blessed her life and gave her opportunities in this business that she loved to do. I was fortunate to be on that list.
I told Holly that as much as I loved the article it was not for DTC and race fans, but rather the perfect launch of Blog for Holly to embark.
She agreed and started blogging!
By spring of 2014 we had decided we’d cover the NASCAR races at Pocono International Raceway together. In June we attended our first race as a team. We were fast friends and worked in simpatico. I’d never seen anyone write so much, so topical, and so well. I was relegated to being Holly’s editor solely instead of lead writer. I didn’t fight the natural flow of the weekend.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won that race at Pocono. Holly was beyond ecstatic as she would often confess that even though she was a part of the NASCAR media, she was a HUGE fan of Junior’s. We were in Victory Lane together for the heady experience.
Holly asked a good question at the press conference after the race which lasted well over an hour. When Earnhardt, Jr. finally got up to leave, Holly raced to where he was headed, took out her camera phone, and stopped Junior for a “selfie”.
I was mortified.
As media we are not allowed to be fans. Holly came back to our seats and apologized immediately but said she couldn’t let that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass her by.
Convinced NASCAR and/or Pocono would take away our credentials I stewed silently for about a week. When no repercussions occurred I relaxed.
Holly had chutzpah.
We covered the races together again at Pocono in August 2014. As luck would have it Earnhardt, Jr. won again. Holly was completely professional the entire weekend.
In the media center we worked hard, spoke personally about our lives, made friends, and talked and laughed a bit too loudly.
In the garage area we introduced each other to our contacts, took pictures, and were one another’s buddy.
I missed the June 2015 race at Pocono and Holly told me how much she missed me.
I missed her, too.
We just came off of the August NASCAR races at Pocono and were reunited after a year. It was like no time had passed. We were as close, silly, and united as we ever were.
Holly and I had plans to cover the IndyCar races at Pocono later this month – she had never been and was so looking forward to it.
In fact, Holly was looking forward to a lot of positives in her life. Her Internet radio program was likely being picked up by PRN and her terrestrial radio show was a huge hit in her local area. Holly was a regular fill in for a local cable television show as well.
People knew the public “Kate Moss” persona – she posted cute selfies, race questions, and always promoted her projects.
They know that Kate replied to nearly every comment she ever got on social media and prided herself on her connection to her fans.
But here is what you might not know.
Holly was an only child who lived with her parents who adored her and vice versa.
Holly was a longtime member of the Lion’s Club and was most proud of her service and connection to the organization. She attended meetings with her Daddy.
Holly was a well-loved high school teacher.
Holly was an avid sports fan, not just race fan. She could speak to any man about sports and they always walked away impressed with her vast knowledge.
Holly used to go to NASCAR races, especially at Pocono, with her Daddy since she was a little girl. She’d been around Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip, and had great stories to tell about her experiences.
Holly was a very polite young woman. Every time we covered races together she presented me with a “thank you gift”. The gifts are treasured by me and always something I loved. She knew me and took the time to select something that resonated with me.
Holly knew how to say thank you, show her gratitude, tell you her appreciation, and make you feel valued. In this world that is a rare and wonderful trait. I will miss that about Holly the most.
Holly was very smart, intelligent, and silly. Her work ethic was strong, her determination boundless, and her moral compass straight. But that girl knew how to giggle and it was awesome to be in on the laugh with her!
Holly had a huge heart and terrible luck with men. She desperately wanted to find true love and often told me I got a “good one”. I always told her she would, too.
I was often a little jealous of Holly. She was young and blonde, finding success in all fronts of her media career, and always moving forward.
But, I could never feel anything other than happy for Holly because she worked so hard for everything she earned.
Holly was a loving daughter, wonderful friend, awesome writer, radio host, television host, community-minded person, teacher, and celebrity.
Many of us lost a very special person when Holly died, but for those of us whose lives she touched, we are all the better for having known her.
Holly taught me to live life, to go for it and worry about consequences later.
Holly always thought it was better to ask forgiveness than get permission.
Holly will always be remembered as a vital, gorgeous, engaging, endearing, energetic, and awesome woman.
Last night somebody said, “Look at all of the stars in the sky.”
Without thinking I said, “Yes, Holly is one of them now.”