May 27, 2006
Indianapolis is a fun place to be during the month of May. The Indy 500 is a lot more than just a race for the people here. There are all sorts of events that go along with the race throughout the month and people just tend to be in a good mood. Kathy’s father, Jim Kilroy, flew in on Thursday to attend his first Indy 500 and her brother Chris arrives tonight. We have been busy playing host/tour guide and giving Jim a quick indoctrination into Indianapolis and the crazy race he will be attending. His first night in town, we took him along with my mother, Marta Blades out to eat at my favorite Indianapolis dining experience, Brugge Brasserie (see link). Located in the hip enclave known as Broad Ripple, Brugge was opened last year by a group of my high school friends including Eli Schloss, Shannon & Ted Miller and Abe Benrubi. Ted is an award winning brew master and his beer took silver medal honors in last year’s great American Beer Fest. Quite an honor considering his brewery was less than a year old at the time. The food is awesome as well.
Friday was a big day as well as we took Jim to “Carb Day” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is basically a funny name for the final practice before the actual race. We started off with a visit to the speedway museum for a historical perspective, then a tour of the garage area since we were fortunate enough to have garage area passes. Then out to the stands to watch practice and the IPL or minor league race that was part of the festivities. The weather was stellar, beautiful sun and not too hot or humid. The sun brought out a massive crowd, and we ran into some friends, Kevin Love & Mark Wolfe who were enjoying the party atmosphere. There was a concert by the B-52s which we missed and Kathy was sad not to have seen the actor Patrick Dempsey who owns one of the race team, but we had a great time and Jim enjoyed his experience.
One of the fun things about the 500 is all the parties that go along with the race. Last night, Jim & I were invited to one of the many annual “Calcutta” parties. These are basically a way to combine a party with a chance to gamble. The starting drivers are auctioned off and a percentage of the total pot is divided among the top finishers and whoever finishes last. A group of my friends known as the “Fisher Farts”, formed a syndicate to bid. The pot went over $40,000 and we got could only afford the cheaper end of the field, so let’s hope driver’s PJ Chesson, Eddie Cheever or Felipe Giaffone finish last.