Jim Nabors missed last season at the Indy 500 singing “Back Home Again In Indiana” due to heart surgery. He is back this year and in a couple hours will be singing “Back Home Again In Indiana.” To me that is the start of summer. In the past I’ve looked at Jerry Lewis on Labor Day singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as the bookend to Jim Nabors- the end of summer. Jerry is no longer on the Labor Day Telethon.
I’ve been watching the Indianapolis 500 since back in the late 1960’s. I would always go down to my grandparents and stay and watch the race [they showed the race on delay back then at night] with Whitey [my grandfather] I was into Indy racing back then, AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, the Unser brothers those were the great days of Indianapolis. I kind of lost interest I guess after my grandfather passed away in 1982. I have kept the tradition going though. Every Memorial Day weekend I sit down and watch the Indy 500. I do not watch any other race. The drivers of today at least in my mind do not match up to the greats of the past. The names don’t wow me I don’t know much about these drivers. Back in the 1970’s I knew them all.. I root for Helio Castroneves to win every year. I miss Jim McKay, Jackie Stewart and Chris Economaki doing the race, I miss AJ getting caught up in an accident and blowing his cool in pit row when being interviewed, I miss Mario Andretti- looking to be on the road to victory before blowing an engine and coming up short and most of all I miss watching the race with Whitey. But I will be watching.
below- Jim Nabors singing “Back Home Again In Indiana” in 2010.