Indy or Bust
My son goes (went) to a private high school, here in Northern
California. As I read the Senior Calendar, I noticed that Senior
Finals were scheduled to end the Friday just prior to Race day.
A note on the bottom of the calendar says, "Seniors are
expected and, required to take final exams as scheduled.
No early or, late test taking will be permitted."
Well, these people in California, really don't understand about MY
family's DNA. It is Hoosier DNA, and it as been passed on
to yet another generation. School systems in Indiana understand
Hoosier DNA. "...was at the track", was an excused absence,
in my day.
As I took down the 2004 calendar and replaced it with the 2005
calendar, and as my son's Final Semester began, I hit the
internet. I managed to locate a pair of "cheap" seats on a
Northwest Airlines red eye flight from San Francisco to
Indianapolis, via Minneapolis. The flight leaves SFO, just after
midnight, and the connector out of MSP arrives into Indianapolis,
just after 9:30 AM, Saturday before the race. "That is our flight,
I say to myself, "have a little time to talk to mom & dad, buy
some stuff for lunch, go to bed, wake up, and go to the track.
Not willing to take a chance on some travel agent screwing things
up, or a glitch in Internet bookings, I went to the Northwest
Airlines counter at the San Francisco Airport to purchase
passage personally, and in cash. No chance of Credit Card
companies messing things up here. Cash always clears on the
The agent, as she is typing in our information, tells me, "Well,
you are in luck, these are the last two tickets on this flight out
of SFO, and, on the flight to Indianapolis, I only have 4 seats.
I wonder why?" I smile back at her and say, "Memorial Day
Travelers." She looks at me and says, "Yeah, but this is January,
we usually don't sell out flights 5 months prior." I just shrug my
shoulders and say, "I dunno---I do have confirmed tickets, right."
She says, "Yes", and hands me my receipt.
My son is in a band, with guys he has been hanging out with
since the 4th grade. His band has developed a following around
town. As part of "Senior Week", the school hosts a party, where
the schools' unofficial garage bands perform. My son's band
agreed to do the show. The school party is traditionally held on
the night of the final day of school for the Seniors. He assured
me, "We are the third band to perform, we go on at 7:30, we are
off at 9:00, I'll be home at 9:15. We can leave as soon as I get a
quick shower, and be at the airport by 10:45, 11:00 at the latest."
Friday, before race day, everything goes as planned. My son
comes home from school, packs his bags, puts them into the car,
grabs something to eat, and goes over our last minute travel
plans. Just before he leaves to pick up his girl friend, he assures
me, "I'm all packed and ready, I'll be home at at 9:15, I promise.
My suitcase is already in the car. Bye."
My wife and I watch TV and wait for my son to come home. At
9:10 PM, we hear my son's car drive up in the driveway. It takes
him a little longer than normal to come into the front door. As he
hops into the house he says, "Someone spilled water on the
stage, I sprained my ankle pretty bad. Let's go to the airport."
My wife, the nurse, and not having "Hoosier DNA," took one look
at his ankle and said, "We have to go to the Emergency Room."
A short "discussion" followed. I finally said, "To sit and wait in the
emergency room, takes about 3 hours, minimum. We'll have
more time to sit in the Emergency Room in Indiana. If we stay
here, we miss the flight." While my wife taped up my son's ankle.
I dug some crutches out of the garage. We arrive at San
Francisco Airport pretty much as planned.
When we arrive in Indianapolis, my dad met us at baggage
claim and, took us to his house. We stay just long enough to tell
my mom, "We made it. We are going to the hospital."
St. Vincent's Hospital is less than a mile from my parent's place.
My son was taken into the back as I watched TV in the waiting
area. About an hour later, my son emerges from the back room
in a wheel chair, and wearing a soft splint on his ankle. The
doctor explains everything to me and, what to do until the
swelling goes down.
At that point, I looked the doctor dead in the eye and say, "Is he
going to be all right to go to the race tomorrow?" The Doctor
said, "Look, you took an overnight flight from California, just to
go to the race. Seriously now, if I told you, 'No, you can't go to the
race', would it make any difference? Would you listen? No, I don't
She then turned to my son and said, "When I was a High School
Senior, exactly the same point in my life, as you are now, I fell
and broke my wrist on Race day morning. We were just leaving
the house to go to the track. I wouldn't let my mom and dad take
me to the hospital until after the race. I know what this is all about.
Be careful, and enjoy the race."
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