Sunday, May 28, 2006

start your engines

The world's largest high school football stadium (if they played football there, but they don't) is starting to fill up. Today is race day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500. Until you actually see the racetrack, it is hard to fathom how large and massive it is. For most of its life, it had one race a year. We're up to three now (Indy 500, Brickyard 400 - NASCAR, and the Formual One Grand Prix).

The race has been moved to 1:00 pm for television. Today may be the hotest day of the year following a month or so of very cool and gentle temps. It should be a high of 89 degrees (F). We will not be able to see the race on television. The Speedway can hold up to 500,00 people, and since only 300,000 or so will show up, it is not broadcast in the city. I suppose it never will. A lot of people will have radios on, another Indy tradition, and you will hear the roars and the announcers floating across patios and backyards. But like college wrestling, some sports don't work well on the radio. We'll listen for a bit and then maybe at the end.

People have their special routes to the Speedway, and may of them include using roads close to the townlet ... we're about 3 miles or so from the track.

Going to church will be going against the traffic, so no problem there. But with the late start time, coming home from church may be slow. The Rector won't be at church today. He is an avid race fan. My Unitarian neighbor across the street said that her minister is also out on race day. Father Tom makes an exception when Pentecost happens on race Sunday.

Yesterday, partner and I bought a new meat smoker, and this morning we started what is our tradition for Memorial Day weekend, smoking a beef brisket. Twelve hours later, the meat will be soft and and flavored, and quite tender. This is what barbecue is, where we're from.

Except in Texas, people use mesquite wood, and we use hickory. The Colonel, another Texan who knows more about smoking meats than anyone I've ever met, speaks reverentially of hickory. His advice on meats has yet to disappoint us.

And after Memorial Day, the bridge across the White River, a few blocks south of the townlet, will be closed for most of the summer. That means the townlet will become a bit isolated, something it was until about 1970 (when the river bridge was built). The townlet council has voted to close two of our entrances to prevent area commuters from using us as a shortcut. That sounds unfriendly, but given that our road is only 16 feet across, without curbs or sidewalks, and curvy and bending, the outsider driver may not realize his or her threat to children, or dog walkers. What do they think this is, the Indy 500?

The bridge will re-open in time for the Brickyard 400.

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