No Direction Home

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!

Friday, June 08, 2018

Crawfish Boil

May 27, 2018

Becky and Rick

Kelly, Tara, Rosie and Debbie

Crawfish Boil

Leaving the parade, it was on to two more events that have become annual traditions as part of our Indy 500 weekend. I am not sure how many years I have been attending, but since the beginning I have been going to the annual ODC Calcutta and Henss Crawfish Boil on the Saturday afternoon and evening prior to race day. In n past years the Calcutta has been held after the boil which lead to some very late nights and very irritated participants, but for the past few years our friends at Brugge have hosted the Calcutta in the Elliott Room at the restaurant’s office prior to the boil and that has worked out much, much better.

The Ford Family

Tim, Kevin and Ted

Shannon and Haley

We loaded up the rental van and headed up to Brugge, where we enjoyed a fantastic lunch while waiting for the crowd to gather for the Calcutta. The scheduled time to start was 3:00 PM, but we knew better than to expect my friends to be ready for that. We were able to enjoy a leisurely lunch before meandering over to the Elliott Room to wait for the festivities to begin.

Cale,Kathy, Pat, Kelly, Kevin, Effie and Caitlin

The Calcutta is basically a gambling event in which the starting field of the Indy 500 is auctioned off to the highest bidder as individual drivers or sometimes in pairs or rows. The total amount collected is then distributed to those who have purchased the top five finishers as well as last place (which anyone has a chance to get and thus allows for people to bid on lesser drivers). There were quite a bit of new faces present at this year’s event, which is always interesting as it can drive up the prices.

Michael, Caitlin, Greta, Cale, Effie, Kathy and Tom

Kathy, Jody, Deron, Paul and Kristi

It started off fast with some of the lesser drivers going for much higher prices than in previous years, which always causes some consternation about being able to afford to get in. The trick is to try and get the best driver with the best chance to finish well for the lowest price possible. Historically I have done quite well in my selections including one year when I had the drivers finishing first, third, fifth and last, but for the past couple of years I have been shut out completely.

Kelly and Chaoch

Matt, Ted and Russell

I was determined not to let that happen again so I bid heavily on a pairing of Scott Dixon and last year’s winner Takuma Sato and ended up winning them and being pretty confident of finishing in the money. If Scott Dixon finishes, which he has pretty consistently over the years, the chances are good he will finish well. Getting Sato was just a bonus.

Michael and Kevin

Rhonda, Mary Lee and Jody


While the initial prices were higher, the later and more popular drivers were not quite as expensive which sort of leveled things out and made the total pot about the same as it has been the last few years. As is tradition, after the completion of the Calcutta it was a short drive over to 6oth and Broadway for our friend’s Rick and Becky’s annual Day before the race Crawfish Boil.

Tim, Becky, Rick and Rhonda

Paul and Kristi

Mary Lee, Scotty, Tara and Deron

It is a great block party that always allows me to see multiple friends all in one place and is always a great time with beer from both Brugge and Twenty Tap and lots of food, including hundreds of pounds of Loisiana Crawfish, which I am not a big fan of, but Kathy loves.

Deron and Jody

The boil always allows me to see lots of old friends, make some new one and introduce my Key West guests to my friends and some good old Hoosier Hospitality. It always reminds me of just how blessed we are to have so many amazing friends, many I have known for the better part of my life. My friend John for example, grew up three houses down from me and I have known him and his family basically my entire life. This year he surprised me by showing up with his sister Cathy along, which was a wonderful surprise. It has been years since I have seen her and it was so great to catch up.

Cathy and John

Debbie, Chaoch and Rhonda

Michael, Tim and Rusty

Rosie and Kelly

It is that way with so many of my friends who come to the boil. Thanks so much to Rick and Becky and their family for continuing to host this amazing gathering. They are so welcoming of everyone and their friends and neighbors are such good people. It is always a wonderful evening for me to see so many people who mean so much to me and to share the excitement of Memorial Day weekend and the tradition of the Indy 500.

Ted and Mary Lee

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

500 Festival Parade

May 26, 2018

Scott Dixon

500 Festival Parade

One of the longest running traditions of the Indianapolis 500 Festival is the annual 500 Festival Parade that runs a route through the streets of downtown Indianapolis on the Saturday afternoon prior to the race itself. A continuous tradition since the first parade which was held in 1957 the event is one of the centerpieces of the 500 Festival which hosts a month long series of events in conjunction with the Indy 500 each year during May. From the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon to the parade with countless events in between, the 500 Festival celebrates the city’s association with the great race every year.

The 500 Festival parade is the third largest and most prestigious parade in the nation after only the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the Rose Parade and each year about 300,000 people line the streets to witness the excitement that is the parade. I have been attending off and on since I was a small child, my father’s office at the Indianapolis Star once overlooked the parade route and each year my parents would bring my sisters and I to watch from that excellent vantage point.

Kathy and Effie

Victor Olidipo

As an adult, I attend far less regularly though whenever I have out of town guests on hand for the race, I like to take them so they get the full flavor of the month of May. This year with an entire family joining us, we added it to our must do schedule and made our way from their downtown hotel to our favorite parade viewing spot in time to catch the start of the parade.

Tom and Caitlin

It was brutally hot for a parade, but we toughed it out through almost the full event, which featured the larger-than-life floats, giant helium balloons, celebrities and dignitaries, award-winning bands, and all 33 drivers competing in the Indy 500. The parade was notably a little short again on the celebrity factor, I think the most famous celebrity may have been the actor who portrayed the creature in “The Shape of Water”, but it was still fun to see the bands, balloons and other fun aspects of the parade.

To me, seeing the drivers is always fun, they often are accompanied by their wives, children, girlfriends or sometimes by members of the military or some other special guest. This year it was especially warm for them, but perhaps not as bad as it was going to be in the race the next day.

Graham Rahal and Courtney Force

In the morning prior to meeting up with our friends, I was out at the track early to attend the annual 500 memorabilia show which is held in the tower terrace pavilions every year just before the all-field autograph session- which is always a total zoo. I enjoy looking over the collectibles and historical artifacts from years gone by and walking around in the mostly empty garage and pits on the day prior to the race. I have a couple of friends who are vendors at the memorabilia show and you can always meet fellow race fans there as well.

Cale and Effie

I did not purchase anything at the show, of which I am sure that Kathy is happy about, though there were a few items that I considered. I am a sucker for certain items of which there were thankfully not too many of this year. It is still weird to me seeing stuff from races that I attended being considered vintage, but I guess attending something for forty-seven years makes me an antique.