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It's race day!

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It's race day! Empty It's race day!

Post by Wildcat445 Sun May 26, 2013 11:50 am

Today is the day that, in my family, the world stands still during the Indianapolis 500.

I was raised in Indiana, about 40 miles north of the Indy Speedway. The whole family would gather, cousins, aunts, uncles the whole clan on both my mother and father's sides. Grandma would have every radio she owned tuned to WIBC to listen to the race. Grandma and all the aunts would butcher and barbecue fresh chickens. Fresh potato salad, macaroni salad, garden salad, and all the trimmings would be enjoyed after the race. Dad always plated corn on Memorial Day, during the race. Even if he had the corn planted, he would save a few acres to plant on Race Day. He felt it would bring him a good crop. Grandpa would drive his Buick to the cornfield and parked it under a big sycamore tree. It was my job to fill up the corn planter with seed and fertilizer, and to monitor the race on the Buick's radio. I had to remember to start the car once an hour or so, or the tube radio would run the battery down. More than once we have had to remove the dead car battery, haul it to the barn on the tractor, then bring it back, charged, and rescue the Buick. We all had our favorite drivers and cars. Grandpa liked Lloyd Ruby and the big Novis. Dad liked A.J "Hoyt" Foyt. (He never did get A.J's name right.) Mom liked Roger Ward and Mario Andretti. Grandma thought it was all silly, but, next to Christmas, this was her favorite day of the year. You did not carry on a conversation during the race that was not about the race. God forbid that you be accused of "blabbing" during the race and causing somebody to miss the action. The men would swill white liquor, freshly "squoze off" for the occasion. The women would drink tea or coffee, laced with the homemade alcoholic brew. By the end of the day, we had caught up on the family gossip, were full as ticks, most of the adults were squashed on homemade whiskey and we had all listened to the "Greatest Spectacle In Racing", the Indy 500.

This is my 62nd 500 mile race. I watch it on tv now, but, it sure isn't the same. My parents are gone, grandparents are gone, most of my aunts and uncles are gone, the cousins are scattered all over the country. Although it isn't the same, the races brings back memories of happy times and a simpler way of living. This tradition is the best way I know to honor the men and women who have sacrificed so much to defend our country and to make family gatherings like this, and the race, possible.

Regards

WC






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Post by fixinmyphono Sun May 26, 2013 1:07 pm

Sounds like a great way to remember both your loved ones and those whom sacrificed all for their country .Thanks for sharing..
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Post by 75X11 Sun May 26, 2013 1:24 pm

I know what you are talking about. I grew up about 60 miles north of indianapolis My folks were not quite the race fans, but I do remember the hold it had over the state. My people have nearly all gone now also. I go back for my high school reunions about this time of year and it is like entering another world of peace and simplicity. I also visit the places where my family members rest. I did get to see the time trials in 1966, and watch a turbine racer go through its' paces. Then, a conventional racer. It was like listening to a garden hose, then a machine gun!
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Post by Wildcat445 Sun May 26, 2013 3:28 pm

Tony Kanaan won the race in a car powered by a Chevy engine. An Andretti did not. The Hondas could not run with the Chevies today. Nobody got hurt. It was a good day altogether. Hulio just did not have his setup right. He ran sixth all day. Hope all of you have a nice Memorial Day. Remeber to thank a veteran for their service. It's time to barbecue the chicken. Guess who gets to do it this year?

Regards

WC

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