that old time feelin’
goes sneakin’ down the hall
Like an old gray cat in winter,
keepin’ close to the wall
— the prophet guy charles clark
Sorting through photos from the past, there’s this one.
For one glorious day too many years ago, I was a NASCAR fan. Dad, W.H. and I are pictured in the RV parking lot outside the Phoenix track. Dad and W.H. critiqued the cotton fields as we drove through the farms west of Phoenix, Texas farm boys at heart.
I may have been the only person there in a South Park shirt. Viola and I were diehard Bobby Labonte fans. Interstate Batteries No. 18. Dad was (sigh) a Jeff Gordon guy. not sure about W.H.
We packed into the stands on a cloudy fall day amid blaring country music and politically incorrect flags. Cars went around in circles forever. On a mile track, you never can tell who’s winning. But it didn’t seem to matter. The smell of rocket fuel, the deafening roar of the engines, the electricity of the crowd of True Believers. We cheered. We drank a beer. We cheered some more. It was so much fun.
I never much understood car racing. But I loved sharing something that was important across generations. I religiously watched soap operas with Ma and car races with Dad, even though I was never particularly religious. It always gave us something to discuss during the weekly phone call that wasn’t political.
At the end of the day, I guess you have to be content to sit in your metaphorical lawn chair, dust off the memories and take them out for one more lap. In this one, Bobby wins. Sorry, Dad.