Bus to Babylon - 1979
In 1979 my best bud and I decided we'd go to the 500. I'd been
the year before with my Dad,and after a year of stories Bill had
to go. Being young and broke,we ordered infield tickets,figuring
if we had enough money we would "upgrade" when we got there.
We bought round-trip Greyhound tickets from Va. to Indy; I think
they were $60. We boarded the bus Friday afternoon. It was an
eventful trip. There are some strange people on cross country
busses, I think we met them all. Changed busses in D.C. and
Pittsburgh. As soon as it got dark (halfway into Ohio) somebody
fired one up. Being the only longhairs on the bus, it looked very
likely we wouldn't be on the bus when we got to Indy.
Fortunately, the driver was a race fan. When we told him where
we were going and that there's no way we'd screw it up, he
realized we had a stealth toker on board.
Got to Indy in the morning and walked to the track. We spent the
day there. This was the year extra cars qualified, so we saw that.
While we were in the gift shop a lady came in and asked if they
had any Rick Mears stuff. When they told her no, she said, "Well
get some! I'm his mom and he's going to win tomorrow!"
As we were walking
towards the beer line,
here comes this guy
walking towards us
To our surprise, he set
it on the ground so we
could take each other's
picture with it.
We spent that night partying on the street. When the rain
started, we set up camp (along with a few hundred other people)
under the small bridge outside the track.
On the way to the track in the morning, we bought tickets about
20 rows up in "Stand A" for $50, then sold our infield tix for $20.
The race was great, both of us hoping Mears would blow it at the
end so A.J. would win!
After the race we walked back to the bus station and another
endless bus ride. It is one of the great memories of my life.
Dad and I will be back this year, but boy am I glad we don't have
to ride another damn bus!
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