"The Greatest Spectacle in Racing". I remember Sid Collins saying that and the chills running down my spine as I heard the old Novis screaming around the track.
In our family, next to Christmas, "Decoration Day", "Race Day" was the highest of the holy days of the year. We were Hoosiers, and all Hoosiers back when I was a kid followed the 500. Dad would always plant corn on Race day. Grandpa would shine up his Buick and park it under the big maple tree on the edge of the corn field. My job was to monitor the race, keep charts, know all the cars, engines and drivers, then keep Grandpa and dad up to date on the race. Running down the battery in the Buick was okay, since grandpa would take the battery out of the tractor and put it in the Buick to keep from walking home. Dad wanted to know about "old Hoyt" (A.J. Foyt) and grandpa followed Jim Hurtebise and Lloyd Ruby who piloted the Novis. After the race, we had barbecued chicken, mashed potato potato salad corn on the cob and cherry pie. The whole family was there, from both sides. It was a big deal. Then we would all climb into grandpa's farm truck and put flowers on graves. It was a great time and a fond memory. I have listened to the race on radio or watched it on TV every year since 1955.
Often in error, seldom in doubt.