As a boy I attended the Indianapolis 500 with my uncles and cousins. As an adult I provided charter and school bus transportation to the race. I remember attending the 500 Festival Parade while providing transportation to the Southport High School band.
I have great memories of going to the track for qualifications with my dad. It was so much fun to jump in our car head to the track as soon as he got home from picking up milk from dairy farmers.
If my uncle didn’t come from Knoxville, Tennessee, to attend the race, I always listened on the radio.
It was so exciting when the race was televised locally on WFBM (now RTV6) in 1949 and ’50. The years that I lived in California and later in Michigan allowed me to enjoy the Indy 500 on television without the delay. I got spoiled.
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My wife, Lyn, and I were invited to listen to Carly Brooke sing Saturday night at the Stacked Pickle in Greenwood. Carly, 16, has been singing country music for several years and has performed at the Marion County Fair for nine years. She sang the national anthem for a Colts game a couple of years ago.
She and her family lived in Beech Grove for a long time. As her singing career continued to blossom, they decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee, where Carly routinely performs.
Because the Stacked Pickle was so crowded by the time we arrived, the only open tables were at the other end of the room from where she was singing.
When Carly took a break she stopped and talked with us for a few minutes and asked about her good friend Stuart, our therapy dog.
Since our table was so far from the performance area, I felt that on occasion that Carly might need to know that we were being properly entertained. So when she sang a song that Lyn and I were familiar with, we felt compelled to sing along. I think I did a bang-up job with “Me and Bobby McGee.”
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I have been out in my little office for a while now and it is Sunday afternoon. I turned the radio on to listen to the Indy 500. Moments after the national anthem was performed, I heard the Stealth Bomber flying over our neighborhood. Stuart and I rushed out to catch a peek. Very special.
I just got invited to join some friends at a pub where the race will be shown via satellite.
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I’m back. I met Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Cosby and Mr. and Mrs. Tim Smart at Schneider’s Pub on Meridian Street. We enjoyed a great lunch and exchanged some stories, and we even watched the race on occasion.
I hope everyone had a special Memorial Day. The best place to enjoy Memorial Day is Indianapolis.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools.