Michael & Andy
Kristi, Amanda, Michael, Stephanie & Jody
night after the conclusion of the Pole Day qualifying at the Indianapolis motor
Speedway and operating on no sleep in over thirty-six hours, I was off to meet
my friends Jody, Amanda, Stephanie and Kristi for our annual dinner. For the
past five years or more, we have made it a tradition to get together and to go
to dinner someplace fun and catch up with each other. We have all been friends
for thirty years or more and I always look forward to hanging out. Usually we
are also joined by our friend Laura as well, but apparently she has a new
boyfriend and was otherwise occupied. Hopefully she’ll be back next year.
Jody pining for Mike
Jody, Kristi & Stephanie
started out at Jody’s house with a few drinks then walked (sorry Amanda) over
to the nearby Mama Carolla’s restaurant along the Monon Trail for a yummy
dinner. Our friend Mike was working as a bartender and somehow free shots kept
appearing at our table, which made the dinner all that much more fun. We ended
up hanging out there until Mike got off work and we all headed over to Twenty
Tap the wonderful craft beer bar that our friends Tracy & Kevin opened last
Michael & Kristi
was a great night of hanging, drinking and sharing stories from the past and
present. One time a year is not really enough, but I am thrilled that my
friends keep making the effort to spend time with me while I am in
Indianapolis. I am so fortunate to have such amazing friends and to have them
still a part of my life after all this time.
was only slightly bleary the next morning after a few hours of actual sleep
when I headed back out to the Speedway for the Bump Day (or second day
qualifying). Technically since there were exactly 33 car and driver
combinations entered there was no real possibility of bumping, so I just
watched the additional 9 starters make their runs and qualify for the field. It
was another spectacular May afternoon at the track and was much more casual
than the previous day.
was also Armed Forces Day which meant they held the annual induction ceremony
prior to the start of qualifying. I watched the ceremony as Indiana Senator Richard
Lugar inducted seventy-five young men and women into all five branches of the
military. It was a pretty cool thing to see. Hopefully these young people will
all complete an honorable and safe service to our country.
Senator Richard Lugar
Jean Alesi & Arie Luyendyk
had to leave the Speedway a little early in order to head downtown to Banker’s
Life Fieldhouse to catch game four of the NBA play-off series between the Miami
Heat and the hometown Indiana Pacers. My friend Andy had scored me a coveted
ticket in the Legend’s Suite that came with free catered food and free booze in
addition to awesome first row of the upper level seats. Not bad at all.
Pacers who have not made it out of the first round of the Play-offs since the
notorious brawl in Detroit have a great young team and were actually up in the
series 2-1 going in to this game to the favored Heat. I had somewhat of a split
allegiance, having been raised a huge Pacer fan, but now living in South
Florida, but being at home I could not help but cheer for the Pacers. Things
looked good with them until a total collapse in the third quarter and massive
efforts by Lebron James (40 points) and Dwayne Wade (30 points) won the game
for the Heat 101-93.
was a ton of fun though and there is nothing quite like the crazy atmosphere at
an NBA play-off game. Thanks Andy for hooking me up. After the game, I actually
headed back to my sister Michele’s house where I was staying for the week. By coincidence,
my mother was also in town from her home in North Carolina, judging some kind
of art thing for the Broad Ripple Art Fair and visiting friends.
Fritz, Marta, Michele & Lolly
joined her, Michele and her friends Fritz and Lolly for lunch at Flatwater
Restaurant on the canal in Broad Ripple for a great lunch with some long, long
time family friends. Fritz and Lolly have been friends since well before I was
born and it was yet another opportunity to catch up and enjoy their company.