Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pilgrims to Motor Mecca -- a poem about going to the Indy 500, 1934

Hi folks -- as you all know, I really am interested in car culture -- film music, literature, and poetry, and that includes material about auto racing. This poem was taken from a 1934 official program of the Indy 500 Race. This, and a poem that I read today from 1932, encapsulates an experience that still rings true today, as reflected in my recent trip to the Indy 500 and seating in grandstand "H."

"Pilgrims to Motor Mecca" by William Herschell

Pilgrims to Motor-Mecca!--
Yonder they come4;
Grandpa and Aunt Rebecca
Abner and Lum!
Grandma conveys The Baby,
Milk in her hands;
They'll find the nephews -- maybe--
Out with the bands!

Doggone! These Speedway Races
Sure tote a Thrill;
Gates, baskets, ushers, faces,
Rune through a mill!
Rush, scurry -- not a worry--
They know they'll find
Seat Stubs, in all their hurry,
Thought left behind!

Some come in family wagon,
Some on a bike;
You'll see a Premier draggin'
Right down the pike!
Some come in lordly fashion,
Cars up-to-date;
None hows a peevish passion--
Throngs jam the gate!

Airplanes above are humming,
Seeking to land;
Folks knew they'd be coming--
Give welcome hand!
Bands play and flags are flying,
Men in the pits
Test nerve for duties trying--
Cars get the "jits!"

Here's joy, Old Motor-Mecca
Turn on a glow;
Grandpa and Aunt Rebecca
Must see a show;
All through the winter lonely
They've ruled the place;
One bet their object only--
Who'd win the Race?

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