Saturday, April 2, 2011

At Long Last...

I have to admit...I was getting nervous...everyone else was basking in the glow but not me.  For about three weeks now I would head to the mailbox in anticipation and.... nothing.  One day I flipped through the mail and got a newsletter from Mid Ohio, a nice reminder of something to enjoy later in the summer.  The sense of urgency to get up at 7 am Drive to the race course, , walk the 3/4 of a mile to set out our lawn chairs in the morning dew and stake our claim in the esses with 15k beloved commrades enjoying the scent of ethanol ... a fraternal brotherhood of speed...

But that nice little reminder of things to come wasn't what I had been hoping for, the object of my obsession had not yet arrived. 

A week or so later, a plain little white envelope was in the mail, it seemed thick and a little stiff.  I opened it and I smiled...Tickets to the Iowa USAC race on Friday night and the IndyCar race Saturday.  Memories came rushing back from last year's race, the best oval race of the year.  The suspense of the stalker and the stalked, a green flag pass after the last pit stop and a different team in victory lane.  An outstanding afternoon of racing.  But still not the fix I was looking for.

Another week and I heard from a friend who made his arrangements a full month after me had his little blue envelope of joy...and I admit I REALLY started to get nervous.  Another week and nervousness turned to despair...despair to hysteria...What was I going to do...Paul Tracy was going to the be there, Townshend Bell too even Dan Wheldon had a date for Memorial Day weekend...But not me.

Sure, there would be Iowa followed by six nights in Glacier the week afterwards.  There would be the whole three day orgy of speed at Mid Ohio, the family outing to Kentucky that has become a yearly tradition.  Heck there would be Vegas, $5million challenge  followed by a week long excursion to Grand, Zion and Bryce Canyons.  LOTS of good racing.  Lots of good times...But would the racing year be so full, sweet or complete if IT never came?? 

Of course not...

Had lunch with the nephews today.  One asked, where are we sitting this year?  I tried to not look nervous or let on that anything was up.  I said "Same basic place as last year, just one row lower...It's a BIG year, seats are going to be harder to come by." "Cool" was the response.  Their anticipation was making me even more nervous now.  George had suggested I call the ticket office.  He was right, Monday I would take care of this, put myself out of my misery.

So ... Imagine my Joy today ... Coming home from lunch ... Checking the mailbox ... seeing the hint of blue underneath the coop electric bill ... rushing inside to find a sharp knife ... cutting carefully ... seeing the green "lot 2" pass ... a moment spent trying to figure out what the hell a "Staind" was ... but then seeing them ... 4 Pictures of Dario with the words "100th Anniversary International 500 Mile Sweepstakes" above him... And Finally ... All was right with the World.

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