Lets Run it up the Flagpole and See if Anyone
My first visit [to the speedway] was in the mid-sixties as a
teenager. We had seats behind the pits and it was the thrill of a
lifetime. It wasn’t long thereafter that I returned to the event as a
young male, exercising all of the lack of judgment that I could
In the early seventies I loaded my ’49 Dodge pickup truck up
with friends and a 50-gallon pasteboard drum lined in plastic
and filled with ice and nine cases of beer and headed for the
track. It rained most of the evening but that didn’t dampen our
spirits. We had a spot in the field off Georgetown Road and
partied all evening.
As the alcohol began to compete with my common sense, and
finally overtake it, I decided that I was going to get the
checkered flag that flew with others above the grandstands on
the front stretch.
I climbed the fence surrounding the track, made my way up
through the stands and somehow shimmied up the flagpole. I
reached the flag, only to find that I had tackled an impossible
task. The rope that held the flag was much thicker than I had
While hanging there above the stands, I became immersed in a
bright light. Along with the light was the sound of a bullhorn
telling me to come down.
As it was obvious I wasn’t going to retrieve the flag, I did as I was
told. I was immediately placed into a police car and driven to the
fourth turn, taken inside a small shack and introduced by one
officer to another there as, “Here is the guy who was one the
Much to my surprise and as a testament of how things were
different then, I was turned out and allowed to go free. I received
a cheer from the crowd along Georgetown Road for my stupidity.
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