Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Day Before

Early Saturday morning, I went on-line to order
my ticket for the Indy 500. I could have printed it at home,
but I wanted a "real" ticket, one imprinted with
a picture of last year's winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay.
There weren't many good seats available,
but that wasn't a problem: I wanted general
admission so I could just find a nice place sitting
on one of the grassy mounds inside Turn Two.

People were lined up outside the IMS corporate
offices waiting to pick up their tickets.
While there, I heard one of the officials say
that over 100,000 folks attended Friday's
Carb Day, that included final shake-down runs
for the thirty-three starters of the '500,'
an Indy Lights race, as well as a rock concert.

All over town, people were in the midst
of their own preparations for the race.
The manager of the mattress store was inflating
a display character at the front of his business.
Oddly, the mattress was having a bit of difficulty
achieving the appropriate erect position.
There appeared to be some kink in his system
that prevented him from becoming
firm enough to, uh, stand.

A couple blocks from the Speedway, 
a man got ready for his race party, lining up
at least a half dozen coolers, four propane tanks,
and a grill to prepare food for his guests.

Back at the Speedway Shopping Center,
the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile and 
the Mr. Peanut Mobile were introduced at
the entrance to Kroger, where they would share
billing for the grocery's promotions.

I thought the Mr. Peanut van resembled 
a character from Star Trek. A Worf?
At any rate, the Weinermobile's license plate
read as YUMMY, while Mr. Peanut's
I kept reading it as "Nut Mumbles."
Go figure.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Some days are just like that ...

Most days, my little camera is in my pocket,
easily at hand when I see the way the evening sun
describes the delicate turn of a flower's petals,
or when a bit of sun breaks through the gray overcast
 to bathe the Speedway golf course in its warmth.

Then again, there are those times when
the morning sunrise casts a cold eye on a set
of box springs and a mattress,
wrapped against the morning dew
in a torn plastic shroud.
Oddly, the items were propped
against a wall in one of the stalls at
the carwash near where I work.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Swim Practice and an Indy Car Race: Best Day Ever

I left for swim practice at about 7 a.m.
Saturday morning. It was going to be a full day: 
I addition to my backpack full of swim supplies, 
I had a ticket in my wallet for the 
2nd Annual Indianapolis Grand Prix.
After practice, I went downtown where I stopped
at a grocery for my track lunch, a sandwich 
and bottles of pop and orange juice, then caught
a bus to the track that dropped me off 
at the front gate of the Speedway.

I headed towards the mounds inside Turn 2
where I found a spot to watch the conclusion of
the Indy Lights race. The Indy Car race was
scheduled to start at 3:50 p.m. so I had 
time to walk around the infield where I found
another nice piece of grass outside the road course
Turn 7. I settled there to enjoy the company 
of other race fans and to bask in the lovely sunshine
as I ate my little lunch.

While the race was a so-so affair,
won by the "usual suspects" (Will Power of Penske Racing),
just hearing the sounds of the engines and seeing
the  low-slung, flying road sculpture took me to my happy place.
Admittedly, these latest incarnations of race cars
are not the most attractive creations; their wings and anglets 
seem like engineers' versions of frippery. 
I want to strip off the carbon fibre ruffles to see 
whether there is a sleek racer below.

After the race was over and awards were made,
 the track was opened to the spectators
to give folks the opportunity to walk as much of
the IMS oval and road courses as they liked.
Many hundreds of people passed through the gates
to check out the smooth pavement, to inspect the
SAFR barrier on the outside of the walls, and to take
pictures of the place to record their visit.

People walked around to see the most famous,
best known sites - the scoring pylon and the Pagoda.
 A number of them rolled through the course
in their wheelchairs, obviously enjoying the chance
to sample a small bit of wind in their hair,
imagining for a second they are driving
the same track as their heroes have done for
nearly one hundred years.

Carrying his daughter on his shoulders,
a father walks through Turn One, his hands free
to record pictures of the front stretch.
Below, president of the Speedway, Doug Boles,
took the time to meet and talk with visitors 
he met underneath the new scoring pylon.

I didn't get a chance to speak with Mr. Boles,
other then to tell him how much I enjoyed the track walk,
and to say, "This should have been done ages ago.
Look at the people: they are all happy and they love this place.
They would never hurt it."
Then the darkened skies released the rain,
closing the track for the day. 
People quietly headed for the gates and shelter.
The place is hallowed ground.
We will all return. Soon.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


The flowering trees, their petals nearly ready
to fall with the first good breeze, stood in the sun,
happily bathing in the morning light.

And I, just as happy, stood amid them, 
taking in their beauty.
The sun washed over their blooms, 
revealing the flowers' delicacy, defining 
their edges and accenting 
the translucent pastels of the petals.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Revolution: Webfoot's Nemesis

Revolution: it's personal.
A former lover used to say that I didn't have proper toes,
that I got "toe buds" on the ends of my short, 
wide feet. I have just enough foot to keep me from
tipping over when I walk, thank you. They serve.
These days, scarred and callused, they help
propel me through the water as I swim.

With the Natatorium undergoing renovations,
I now go to the pool at Butler University for practice.
Most evenings, the narrow lanes are crowded
with other swimmers. With so many people at practice 
we need to share the lanes, circling down one side, 
back on the other. The place is my nemesis:
if I am going to be hurt while swimming this
is generally where it happens. 

The other night, I hit, or was hit, by another swimmer,
jamming a knuckle and jarring an already sore shoulder.
It hurt and was swollen and numb. I was a whiney 
bitch and took my hurt feelings and swollen
hand home to reconsider my position.
 I have goals I want to achieve and I need 
to not let little knocks and scrapes annoy me. 
I decided I should just pull on my big girl panties
and get over it. I returned to the pool the next night
to swim a little harder.

Besides (and here's where the "revolution" part
comes in), I decided I was having a white girl,
"first world" problem. The facility at Butler is in
a beautiful, well-equipped student recreation
center that's less than ten years old -- and I was kvetching 
because I did not have access to the world class 
facility where I am used to swimming. 
In a world where so many people do not have access 
to clean water to drink, where their rivers 
are cesspools of fecal matter, where the water 
is rationed or where people have no water at all,
I have my choice of places that are full of the 
beautiful blue stuff.
So ... "Get over it, doofus!"

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