1977 Race - Bergy Almost Didn't Make it
Saturday May 28th dawned bright ans sunny in Northern
Kentucky. Afternoon temperatures rose into the mid 80’s and as
always since 1964 I was filled with anticipation for the next days
500. Well, the usual routine was a nice dinner with my neighbor
and an early bedtime for the 5:00 A.M wakeup. Well, that night
all plans went out the door.
Kentucky experienced it’s worst fire disaster in history. Shortly
before 9:00 P.M fire was discovered in one of the banquet
rooms at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate Ky. It didn’t
take long for this to evolve into a major fire. At the time of the fire
over 2,500 people were in the Club for wedding receptions and
other private parties. But, the majority of the people had come to
the Cabaret room to see John Davidson. Our fire department
was first called to send an EMS unit. Moments later a call was
made for an engine company. Upon arrival we were assigned
search and rescue. After a number of trips in and out of the
building with victims the ominous sound of the blasts on the
appartus air horns signaled an evacuation of the building. Well, I
grabbed my last victim and realized I’d gotten turned around and
lost my way out.
Well, at that point I said a prayer to the Lord that if I died I was
not going to be a happy person to meet him because I was going
to miss the Indy 500. I moved around a bit and saw some light
where firefighters had knocked a hole in the wall and made my
Well at that time I rooted for two Texan’s, Johnny Rutherford and
A.J. Foyt. Well I arrived back home to shower and head to Indy.
My day was special. A.J. Foyt became the first 4 time winner,
and as we learned later that was the last ride Tony Huhlman took
with the winner.
So, my wife and I are anxious for May to arrive as we make
our weekly trips for practice and qualifying then the Greatest
Spectacle in Racing.
(Note: Bergy is now a member of the Kentucky Speedway Safety
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