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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

These are the people that we call friends.

May 20, 2018

With Jenny, Jody, Amy, Amanda and Debbie

Zach Veach, Mario Andretti, VP Mike Pence, Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay

with Lindy

Justin Townes Earle

These are the people that we call friends...

Attending the Indianapolis 500 is the highlight of the year for me, this year marks my forty-seventh consecutive race that I have attended. But it is not the race itself that draws me back year after year, it is what it involves and what it means to me. It offers me the opportunity to see so many friends and family, many of whom I only see during this annual visit and some not even that often. My friends are so important to me and I have so many that live in Indianapolis and each May offers me a chance to see them.

James and Christopher Hinchcliffe

The visit also gives me a chance to combine many of my favorite activities such as going to the track, attending a concert or just going out to eat with my many friends and family. This year was extra special since my mother was in town during a portion of my stay and of course my sister Michele was here again this year and I got to see her, her husband Jerome and two of her four sons, Chris and Will.

Ted and Kevin

With Debbie

I want also to acknowledge my friend John, who I have known for just about as long as I have been attending the Indy 500, as he lived three houses down from the house I grew up in and we have managed to remain friends since meeting in the early 70s as children. John hosted me at his home once again this year for a portion of my stay and I want to make sure he knows how much that I appreciate it and his lifelong friendship.

with John


Dan and John

I have been going out to the track with John since the 80s and this year we once again spent a couple of days out watching practice, hanging out and taking photos. Our friend Dan joined us as well and one of the days we were there offered an even bigger excitement than just watching practice when US Vice President Mike Pence showed up at the track. Though not politically a fan of VP Pence, it was nonetheless kind of cool to have the Vice President choosing to hang out at the track on the same day you were there.  John snagged some pretty good photos of the activity around Pence’s visit.

Steve and Eileen

While I did not manage a selfie with the VP, I did get one with current Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb who was also on hand at the track. I am not familiar with Indiana politics so I have no idea what sort of Governor Mr. Holcomb is, though he was Lt. Governor under Pence. All I know is that he was nice as can be when I met him at the track and while I no doubt do not share much common ground with the man, it was again sort of cool to see him there.

with Governor Holcomb

I also managed to catch a couple of shows at the Hi Fi in Fountain Square. The first I went with my friend Megan to see the fabulous Squirrel Nut Zippers.  I rarely get to see and hang out with Megan, so it was really an awesome evening and the wonderful performance by the band was just the icing on the cake. The SNZ were formed in 1993 and play a jazzy fun swing style. They are a ton of fun to see and seem to have lost little of their enthusiasm in the years since forming. They have a new CD out and are touring it as well as playing many of their hits and fun covers.

Squirrel Nut Zippers

I was back at the Hi Fi the very next night to see a very cool pair of singer songwriters with strong pedigrees. My friend Debbie and I met at the Red Lion Grog House for dinner before the show and who should be sitting next to us at the bar? None other than headliner Justin Townes Earle, so in addition to seeing his great live show, we were able to have a nice dinner with him. Justin’s famous father, Steve Earle had just played at the Key West Theater a few nights earlier and we talked about that and about how Justin should play there as well.

Justin, Michael and Debbie

Justin Townes Earle

The show was terrific and was opened by yet another second generation musician, John Hiatt’s daughter, Lilly Hiatt who was great as well. The pair put on a fantastic show and I would suggest that if you get the chance to see either of these performers that you should take it, hopefully in Key West.

Justin Townes Earle

Lilly Hiatt

Lilly Hiatt

Michael, Jody and Deron

One of my most favorite annual traditions is an annual dinner with a group of friends that I have known for ages and that I look forward to every year. I am not sure exactly how many years that we have held the dinner, but it has been a while, perhaps 15 years or so and it is just an amazing experience for me. This year we met at Mama Corolla’s Italian restaurant once again (after a wonderful cocktail hour at my friend’s Jody and Deron’s home). My friends Jody, Amanda, Jenny, Amy and Debbie were on hand and we once again shared a fantastic evening of the type that you can only have with close, old friends. It was amazing. Missing this year were our friends Kristi, Stephanie and Laura, who will hopefully be back next year. I love these ladies and I am so blessed to continue
to count them among my friends.

With Debbie and Jenny


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