Just some thoughts:
This past May as I sat in my living room watching the qualifications for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 it brought back a memory.
In 1961 I was in my second year in college. One of the things we would often do during that month was go “over to the track.” Over to the track was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Back then on practice days you could get in for practically nothing. Maybe a dollar and if you went at the right time or to the right gate you could often get in free.
It was early May and I was there on this afternoon when a fella was doing a friend a favor.
Friends do favors for their friends. In 1942 George Woolf was at his job. He was a jockey. A very good jockey. He had just ridden the famous horse Whirlaway to victory. On this day a fella jockey needed a jockey for his ride on a horse called Please Me. It was said that Woolf was not feeling well that day but hey his friend needed a favor. In the words of one of the trainers at the track he said of Woolf, “He remembered the little fellows who were his friends when he needed them. He never forgot about his friends.” Sadly that day the ride would cost Woolf his life.
On this day in 1961 I’m at the track standing by the fence when Paul Russo a driver approached fella driver and friend Tony Bettenhausen. Russo was having trouble getting his car up to speed and so asked Bettenhausen if he would jump in the car, take a few laps and see if he could help find what might be the problem. Bettenhausen did. On that day an anchor bolt fell off the front axle of Russo’s car and Bettenhausen lost his life in that accident. Bettenhausen his life doing a favor for a friend.
While it is true the chances are good that you or I are not going to ask someone to get on a horse or in a race car. But we do need to remember when asking a favor of a friend….they don’t have to do such. And most favors are not free.
May 30, 2019
Posted June 19, 2019