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Watching the Race to the 500

From: Norman Williams
Date: 5/27/99
Time: 11:37:20 AM
Remote Name:


The big day was dinner at Aunt Emma's and Uncle Jim's on on Easthaven Avenue just off of the National Road. The traffic was heavy with a long line heading for the 500 at Indianapolis. I was about ten years old. All the relatives came for dinner at Aunt Emma's. This was a big affair with the best dumplings, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravey, sweet potatoes and great pumpkin pie. The women were all in the kitchen around the big old wood cook stove while the men sat in the parlor talking. Uncle Jim drove a big Mac truck which was setting in the barn. It was great fun sitting at the steering wheel pretending to drive the truck. Harold Norris was a casket salesman and was just he greatest story teller. I remember one of his stories was about a hanging that one of his undertaker customers invited him to. Harold had a big booming bass voice that dominated the conversation. All the family came to Aunt Emma's on race day. There was Uncle Levi and Aunt Lulu. Levi was a farmer and sold cream to the Richmond Dairy. The cream was seperated from the milk which was called "blue John." This was fed to the pigs. And there was Aunt Allie and Uncle Newt from Webster where he had a farm also. I remember offering to carry his milk pail as a kid because I thought he was too old to carry the pail. Well Newt was 70 or so but stong as a horse. My father was a sign painter and owned a shop on main street over a department store. He had two motor cycles, a Harley Davidson and an Indian bike. The traffic on the National Road to the Races was a solid line of cars that must have extended all the way to Indianapolis. Many people also went on the Interurban which ran from Dayton and speed at 50 miles and hours down the tracks. It seems like only yesterday but that was more than seventy years ago. Those were wonderful days that I spent as a kid in Richmond. The only race I ever saw was along the National Road. I have never seen the race at the Indianapolis track. Norman Williams, an old Hoosier now in Florida.

Revised: January 20, 2006