Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
This year marked the fourth time my wife and I attended the Indy 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis. The next five entries (to be posted over the next three days as quickly as time and endurance permit) represent a fraction of the pics my wife and I snapped. In many cases, encores and additional takes of specific subjects may be available if anyone out there is interested in seeing more, or is looking for a loved one who was in one of the many marching bands that day. For first-time MCC visitors, please note my wife and I are relative amateurs, obviously not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because fun and joy.
What we’ve seen so far:
Here in Part 5, the grand finale: pics of parade participants in peculiar positions. Exhibit A: the mysteriously patriotic float known as “Michael the Eagle” ran into trouble on Monument Circle when a tree caught his Uncle Sam hat and threatened to bowl him over like a tenpin. Oh, the humanity!
Mr. Eagle, if that is his real name, leaned precariously toward the crowd on his right, but their imminent ballooning was forestalled by a lot of rope-tugging and a few fearless volunteers who ran underneath to catch him. After a minute or so of fighting, the eagle finally behaved and the parade resumed.
The last float in the parade also experienced a technical difficulty we’ve never seen before: jackknifing.
The driver of the tow car tried to take the right turn from Washington Street onto Meridian too sharply and found himself in a classic jam not easily resolved. Nearby officials and participants ran up to see if they could cure the jackknifing through simple shoving, but the car wasn’t that light.
Meanwhile on the platform above, the Indy 500 equivalent of the Secret Service combine forces to protect the winner’s trophy. They had their priorities.
Finally a creative soul with working knowledge of jackknife scenarios suggested a different solution: they detached the float, let the car roll forward several feet, pulled the float forward by hand like in the days of Hercules, and reattached them once they were realigned.
The indomitable human spirit triumphs over adversity once more, and the day is saved! And the Heart of Racing is still beatin’.
One sight that’s become more common in recent years: parade participants doubling as tourists. Some of them have such busy schedules over Race Day weekend that this parade is often their only chance to see much of Indianapolis. My wife and I sit along the street approaching the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, one of downtown’s most distinct landmarks. We frequently see parade riders snapping pics of the monument as they approach, and/or snapping a selfie for posterity.
This year’s excitable visitors rode along in the cars of Sebastian Saavedra…
…and James Davison.
We conclude with neither a selfie nor a trainwreck, but a fond farewell. As previously mentioned, Indiana’s own Jim Nabors will be retiring from his duties in the Indy 500 opening ceremonies after this year, so this may have been our last chance to see him in person. I like to think, as I snapped this photo at an imperfect moment, that the turnout was sufficiently overwhelming and grateful, and with any luck inspired one last thought of, “Well, gaaaawwwwwl-lee!”