May 31, 2004

Back Home Again in... Wherever

I've lived away from Indiana for so long now that I forgot yesterday was the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500. For ten years, it was unavoidable. I lived just a couple of miles from, and on the same side of town as, the Brickyard. It is the focal point for the civic calendar during the entire month of May.

I had never really cared for motor racing, but upon moving to Indianapolis, I quickly learned the names of the perennial drivers and teams. I moved to Indy over a qualification weekend in May, so my baptism was preceded by a very short catechumenate. Reading the results of the race, I now recognise very few names - evidence of my apostasy since leaving the Circle City for the rolling hills of the Shire.

The downside of living in Indianapolis was that after all of the hype and whilst having to put up with all the extra traffic on the Westside, had to listen to the race on the radio. Apparently it isn't enough to have an estimated 750,000 people inside the walls of the Motor Speedway (estimated because the Tony George and the IMS never reveal how many tickets they sell). The television rights always include a blackout provision for a 90-mile radius. As far as I am aware, this hasn't packed more people into the infield, as it isn't a particularly good place from which to view the race.

Anyhow, it looks like David Letterman's joint venture with Bobby Rahal has paid off and good for him.

Part of me misses Indianapolis, not for the race, but for the friends, the familiar streets, and the days between the blistering hot summers and the freezing cold winters. I find that part of me misses everywhere I've lived since I left home - the coastal plains of Gonzales, the dry rugged hill country of Junction, the Ozarks of Fayetteville, as well as the sprawling small town of 1.2 million that is metropolitan Indianapolis. I've be blessed to have never lived somewhere I really disliked. In each case, except Junction really, I've been happy to settle indefinitely. I didn't dislike Junction - I just never planned to stick around.

Part of me has always wanted to put down roots and become an established and recognised member of a local community. My destiny has never allowed this. I'm sure I'm just a transient resident of the Shire. But at the end of the day, we are all just passing through, so I suppose it doesn't really matter that much.

Posted by david at May 31, 2004 10:19 AM | TrackBack