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railbird's whit and humor

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  • railbird's whit and humor

    and his soft side. Really miss that and a lot more.

    OT...25 Years
    Twenty five years ago this evening I slapped a couple bucks into the hand of a Justice of the Peace and headed off to Niagra Falls with the charming young lady who turned out to be the love of my life.

    Who da thunk?

    Up until that point in time my life hadn't been much more than a 27 year run of thrills, chills and poor decisions. Bad attitude, bad relationships and a bad marriage had pretty much soured me on the thought of any chances there might be for me to be involved in a good relationship, much less a happy home life.

    This young lady single handidly proved to me that, although it might have been tough at times, the two of us could create a life worth living in an enviroment we could call home. She has displayed patience when I had none, instilled persevearence during the times I was ready to give up, and most importantly displayed a faith and trust in me that I had never experienced before.Her presence made something out of me at a time that damm few thought the effort worthwhile.

    She has given me a son that has grown into one of the finest young gentlemen I have ever known in my life. He's now a friend and an inspiration , and a direct reflection of the wonderful upbringing bestowed upon him by his mother.

    These past twenty five years have been my life, the rest was just surviving.


    Enough of the heart fealt stuff....

    She's also "been to a few" along the way,,

    I was dead broke when we tied the knot so I sold my new Camaro and drug her old Vega out from under a snow bank , tuned it up for some low buck roadtrips, and of course to get me to work. First things first.. Michigan, Milwaukee, and most every short track in Indiana were soon visited by the haze that accompanied this fine example of GM engineering.

    Sue hadn't made it to any tracks other than Senior skip day at IMS as a kid, but that changed dramaticaly in the early days of our marriage. While she was still recovering from our son's birth I packed her up and headed for Milwaukee. Beer, brats, and a board for a seat, welcome to your new life sweety, maybe you should have listened to your dad.

    No money and no tickets? No problem. Her instincts for the "deal" were adapted to the back and forth wrangling with the scalpers. From crowded racetracks to sold out NFL games "Blondie" quickly learned to stare down the shysters and make the deal. On our first visit to MIS I dropped her off in front of the ticket office to look around for tickets, before I had the car parked we had top row seats.

    Overnights? Every thing from a last minute sold out Racine Hilton to a leaky tent in the "Penske lot" at MIS..From sweating through the night in a camper shell at Elkhart Lake to having frost on our noses in the parking lot in Atlanta

    I think pitching a tent in an incoming storm while keeping everything dry takes a certain amount of skill....
    Now what it takes to step into that tent and spill a full beer on the sleeping bags while bragging about the effort is something altogether different according to her.

    No cooler policies? A late night trip to the Goodwill turned up an oversized patent leather purse, the matching hightop boots had unfortunately already been claimed, which was then transformed into an effective, albeit somewhat leaky, incognito cooler. Milwaukee's finest were none the wiser

    Roadfood... It hasn't always been the steak and crab leg special at a posh spot on the shores of Lake Michigan. Coldcuts and fast food often fueled the indigestion that kept us from nodding off at the wheel on the way home from a long weekend. Manifold roasting gave some trips a fragrent drive while delivering dried out fare with just a hint of the tangy taste of carbon monaxide.

    My all time favorite came after the radial tire debacle at MIS. Faced with the choice of hanging around the track and watching the drunks burn Goodyear hats in the street or heading back to Indy for a really great party, we chose the latter. With no time to stop for chow, and an old station wagon filled with supplies for a weekend of camping , the beautiful wife had me roll down the back window for ventilation. Leaning over the front seat she fired up the Coleman grill and proceeded to cook hotdogs as we were blasting south on I 69 at hyperlegal speeds...

    Best damm dogs I ever ate.

    As time passed and our son grew to fill the role of navigator/road buddy she decided her days as a raod warrior had passed. Now days she posts a bye on the banzai trips, choosing instead to head out only for the high end deals like Long Beach and the USGP.. Still, in the phone calls and emails home to assure her of our well being I have to remind her that the trip could only be better if she was there with us.

    Of course, who would be home making sure we were greeted with a hot meal at the end of the trip???

    Twenty five more good lookin'?

    [ November 08, 2002: Message edited by: Railbird ]

    "Living well is the best revenge"

    We are about as happy as we make up our minds to be.___Abraham Lincoln

  • #2


    • #3

      He had the ability to relate, with style, and could have been a writer.
      Happy anniversary!



      • #4
        Thanks Sue ! I remember reading that...............
        SENسR MODERATOR......

        "Better To Be Judged By Twelve Than Carried By Six"
        " Only Those Who Will Risk Going Too Far....Can Possibly Find Out How Far One Can Go "...T.S. Elliot....


        • #5
          Outstanding, Inspiring and Humorously thought provoking...

          That was Railbird. Wish I had known him better.
          Camp and Brew Did Not Make Indianapolis
          It's Indianapolis that made Camp and Brew what it is.


          • #6
            One of my all-time favorite posts
            There's really no such thing as Gary the Moose, Sybil.


            • #7
              Thanks for posting that Sue and love to you. You guys were truly blessed.
              It really IS all good!


              • #8
                Railbird was quite a guy and I think of him often when I post. He was a real race fan.


                • #9
                  Aloha Sue,,, and Bird That Sits on Rail,,,

                  I remember that,,, I don't remember the tears,,, maybe the roof leaking,,,

                  He was a work of Art,,, He is a work of Art,,,

                  Yes,,, Yes,,, Tony,,,

                  Your Grandfather was a friend of Roger Penske,,,

                  Your Grandfather did business with Roger Penske,,, but

                  Your Grandfather never trusted Roger Penske,,,


                  • #10
                    I remember that post and I still miss that guy alot. hope you (Sue) are doing fine. Don't forget to stop by sometime,


                    • #11
                      Thanks Brenda and i will come by. About time to get that opener part going.
                      We are about as happy as we make up our minds to be.___Abraham Lincoln


                      • #12
                        Hey, Sue!! I was at The Flag Room the last couple of Thursdays, asking about that very thing (the Season Opener Party). I will try to contact BStone tomorrow by phone. Let's get this ball rollin' - I was hoping you'd give your blessing

                        I miss you guys Hi Kelvis! Hi Nick!
                        "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
                        ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"

                        Brian's Wish


                        • #13
                          I'm no expert on relationships but it looks like you two had a good one there Sue.

                          "Ooh woo, I'm a Rebel just for kicks, now
                          I been feeling it since 1966, now..."


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