James began attending in the late 70's...
"Even though we were underage there was never a problem until
1986. After we had driven into the infield and were trying to
recover from Sat. night enough to begin Sunday's drinking, me
and a few friends were tossing a frisbee about and someone
had left a single can of beer on the car. A group of cops came
over and started hassling us about it. Of the group of four, only
one was above about 5'-6"."
"Anyway, they hassled us but would not arrest us if we poured
out all of our remaining beer (probably 4-5 cases of
Milwaukee's cheapest). We were bummed, but as we were
emptying all this beer, a group of press came over and started
taking photos and asking questions, and more people came to
watch and then a news team came over. Mind you it was only 8
in the a.m. Well, I guess it got too exciting for us and beer is a
carbonated beverage. One of my buddies took to shaking the
cans before we opened them. The cops were pissed ,but they
didn't get too wet and I guess with all the press, they left us
alone. It made the loss of our day's barley hops rather enjoyable
to hose down the crowd around us, including the press. We still
had some bourbon in the car for the day."
"Apart from the general strangeness of the snake pit, the event
I looked forward to every year was the burning of a car. You know
how it went, a couple guys show up in an old Impala with the roof
cut off and spray painted up with "Show us your tits" and they flip
it. The crowd around eggs someone on to puncture the gas tank,
then someone lights it."
"I think it was '81 or '82 that I saw three cars burned before the
end of the race." [see photos of burned cars on The Party page.]
"Once, while the cops came in to clear room for the fire truck, a
guy lobbed a beer bottle at the cops standing around the
burning wreck. This started a chain reaction of the guy trying to
hide behind the crowd with the cops chasing him and the crowd
simultaneously sheltering him and narcing on him. They
eventually caught the guy."
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