I had a good weekend.
With the exception of a few years, I’ve been going to the same Indianapolis 500 race weekend gathering with longtime friends for the past 14 years. It’s become a tradition, and it’s a lot of fun.
The house has a changed a few times and the characters have changed in some fashion every year. But, the core group of people hasn’t changed and the experience has always been a great one.
We all stay with my friend’s parents (God bless them for having all of us there every year!) The majority of us know each other from our days when we used to work together and live in the same town and what makes it cool is that we’re still doing this, even years after several people have moved away to various parts of the country.
To the outsider, there may not be anything flashy about our get-together every year. But to us, it’s perfect.
Arrive on Saturday, go to the track and walk around, grill up a feast back at the house, listen to some of the people play their guitars in the basement (or other instruments – the ‘band’ has grown in size the past few years,) catch up with each other and share stories new and old, then call it a night. Sunday morning, it’s off to the race for those who are going, and that’s that.
It’s the same thing every year…and I love that. I look forward to it and am always excited when the weekend comes around.
I’ve been there through so many seasons of my life. Thought about that this year while I was there. The first year I went, I was barely out of college. A young television photographer/reporter, in a much different phase of my life than I am now.
14 years later, I now take my sons to the event. They’ve been the past two years and they had a blast once again this year. There are other kids there and they all do their thing while the adults do the same.
Again, it sounds simple but I like the simple things in life. It was great to see my friends, great to smile and laugh, great to have the boys along for the ride once again, and great to add another chapter to this annual event.
As an added bonus, I think the kids really got into the race itself this time.
We didn’t go, but as we watched it on television and it came down to unheralded Takuma Sato nearly passing previously two-time Indy 500 champ Dario Franchitti (now three-time champ after being declared the winner following Sato’s crash during said attempted pass) on the last lap, I could see their excitement.
My youngest son had already said he wanted to go see the race in the future, andmy oldest son immediately announced that he wanted to as well after the fantastic finish today.
Can’t wait…and can’t wait to see everyone again next year.