May Comes Early In Our House

By Susan Phillips

For most of you, May probably started last Monday on May 1st. That’s when it started on the calendar and in most normal people’s households. However in my house, May gets about a five week head-start.

If I’m being completely honest, May never officially ends in my house. Twelve months a year, there is always something around related to the Indy 500. Whether it’s my husband George reading an Indy book or even just an artifact lying around, there are enough reminders throughout the year that the month of May is never far from our thoughts. But it begins in earnest around the last week in March. It seems like this year, it was in full-swing by then because there was such a big gap between the first and second race. St. Pete whetted George’s appetite, but with the next race so far off he turned his attention to May.

One of the best/worst features of a Smart TV is that You Tube on the big screen is so easily accessible. I like it to watch music videos or any of the “how to” videos on there for baking and such. George lives through You Tube in the spring, accessing old obscure Indy 500 videos.

Thank God, I travel a lot with my job. That way George is free to watch whatever he wants on many weeknights. Like clockwork, he’ll call me at the same time every night I’m away; usually around 7:30. A couple of weeks ago, it was 9:00 and I hadn’t heard from him and wanted to go to bed since I sometimes have to be in my stores at 4:00 am for training.

I finally called him wondering what was wrong since I hadn’t heard from him. Instead of my fear that he had fallen or had a heart attack; he had found a colorized version of the 1955 Indy 500 and had gotten so wrapped up in it, he lost track of time.

He has what I consider a massive DVD collection of Indy films and documentaries. He watches the same biographies every year of A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti and others. I know Foyt is one because I was sitting in the room one night when he popped it in. He has every single Indy 500 full broadcast from the 80’s through last year’s race. When all else fails, he’ll put in one of those.

That’s not to mention all of the VHS tapes he still has in storage. I don’t know the exact year, but he has every single IndyCar race that was run for about four straight years from the 90’s on VHS. He’s already had his Indy 500 tapes transferred over to DVD. Sometime, he swears he’s going to do it to all of his IndyCar races. I can’t wait.

How he can watch the same DVDs over and over each year is beyond me. Now that he can watch You Tube on the big TV, it’s opened up a whole new world. I’m not sure what’s worse…the same videos over and over each year or a brand new endless supply of new stuff going back a hundred years.

And don’t even get me started on Donald Davidson. While I know he is Indy 500 royalty and he seems like a very nice man, there is nothing as exasperating as going on a long trip and thinking about what music you want to hear, to suddenly have a ten year-old episode of Donald Davidson being queued up to listen to for the next hour and a half.

Please understand that I really enjoy going to Indy and all of the other races we go to. We’ve been doing three straight weekends at Indy ever since the Grand Prix started. One year, we even did four when they had an oval test the weekend before the Grand Prix. It’s tiring, but I enjoy it. But let’s be clear…George enjoys it a lot more than I do.

It’s just that he seems to have tunnel-vision at this time of year. He can’t focus on any other topic other than racing or the Indy 500. Last week we went to a Nashville Predators playoff game. Guess whose idea it was…mine. I was also the one that got the tickets. When we found out the game was on a Tuesday, his first response was “I’ll miss Trackside”. [groan]

On this subject, he did ask me to remind everyone that nightly episodes of Trackside start tonight along with Donald Davidson kicking off for May. Consider it done.

Like I said before, I’d like to have some type of vacation that does not involve going to a race track. But for May, I get it. The problem is May starts a lot sooner in my house than it does in yours.

9 Responses to “May Comes Early In Our House”

  1. Yannick Says:

    Thanks for sharing this view into your life with our host of this blog.
    I must say I’m surprised that his Indy 500 related collection is most likely much larger than my collection of music CDs, and it kind of makes me wonder what George would do if he didn’t have this usually very well written blog as an outlet for his interest.

    I’m glad he has because it’s almost always fun to read (almost because this sport certainly has had what feels like more than its fair share of dark sides over the years, too).
    And I admire your patience, Susan, with which you play along with your husband’s favourite pastime.

    Here’s wishing both of you happy traveling to a location remote from any racetrack this year, but not only that, wishing you an enjoyable and safe Month of May, too.

  2. Jack in Virginia Says:

    Susan, may I suggest for a nice, non-Indy related vacation, that you drag George over here to Smith Mountain Lake in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia? We’d love to have you at our Bed & Breakfast, Bedford Landings ( A shameless commercial plug.

  3. S0CSeven Says:

    Susan, my wife and I love to travel. Have been darn near everywhere. We always meet female friend couples who are travelling together to see the world just because the husbands are ‘involved’ in something. Be that hobbies, work, careers, disinterest ……. whatever……

    George sounds like a great guy and you a super understanding wife ……… so maybe you just have to grab a girlfriend, buy plane tickets and go where your heart leads you.

    There are thousands of women that do just that and everybody ends up happy.

  4. Ron Ford Says:

    For me, racing in the month of May begins with the race I saw Saturday. It featured lots of horsepower, low downforce, lots of passing, and the only aerokits were on the heads of the lady fans. All the entries finished on the lead lap. The stands were filled with happy fans. Hopefully the Indy500 will be like that.

  5. billytheskink Says:

    I voted “it’s May in my house twelve months out of the year” because 70% of my décor is racing related, but I’m rethinking my vote. After all, I don’t change my ringtone to “Back Home Again” until cars hit the track at IMS…

  6. Bob F. Says:

    We’ve called it “The Glorious Month Of May” since we were teenagers. It starts with the fastest two minutes in sports in Louisville. Went to the Kentucky Derby every year for many years. Still go to the old River Downs on Derby Day to bet the Churchill card.

    Followed by the Greatest Spectacle in Qualifying (well not anymore, but we still go.) Pole Day was the greatest and maybe will be again someday. Would sometimes go to Bump Day as well the following weekend.

    And finally finish the month with the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Whether I was at the race (this year will be #21) or listening to the exceptional radio broadcasts, its a fun day.

    You are lucky George only watches old Indycar races. I will watch those on YouTube. But I also enjoy old World Series and baseball playoff games.

    I have a box full of VHS tapes in my basement as well. Mostly baseball but likely a few Indy’s. Been a while since I went through them!

  7. jhall14 Says:

    I might suggest if George can find it, Voices of the Speedway, “50 years of the Indy 500 on radio”. It is a DVD of the history of WIBC with the Speedway from 1952 to 2002. I purchased it in 2003 at the Speedway. It is narrated by Vince Welch. It lasts approximately 50 minutes

  8. Susan, If I see you guys at the track I will whistle at you and flirt. If George doesn’t notice or say something…..hmmm there could be a problem. I say he owes you a beach vacation! ; )

  9. Ron Ford Says:

    Just a suggestion: If George ever invites you to visit the IMS museum with him, go shopping instead and make him pay for it.

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