Friday, December 17, 2010

The times of my life!

Beth with Uncle Clarence

We started off Friday in Rochester, Indiana, where we visited Beth's Uncle Clarence Basanda.  Clarence is a city boy turned serious farmer, who retired from a garage building business to farming over three decades ago.  He farmed actively until in his late 70s, and now lives in a retirement community.

7046 Bexley Dr., Castleton, In.

Following our visit with Uncle Clarence, we headed south on US31 to Indianapolis, where I lived with my  parents in the late 60s.  Their home at that time was in Lawrence township, and was at the outer edge of the "Naptown" area, bordered at that time by forests and corn fields. The neighborhood later became annexed by the once-farming community of Castleton, which now is fully suburban.  This home at 7046 Bexley is my clear favorite of all the homes I have lived in during my life.  Two milestone events I remember from my days there are the assination of Robert Kennedy, and the first Moon Landing.

Click on photos for larger images!
From Castleton, we headed around Indianapolis on I-465, picked up Indiana Rt 37, and headed south to Indiana University in Bloomington, where we first met, and where we became engaged!

My days in Indiana were the favorite days of my life!  I met Beth, my wife of now 39 years.  I lived a Walter Mitty life when at IU as I worked for WIUS, the Indiana University radio station, as a sportscaster, with my primary assignment at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where I conducted broadcast interviews with such famous race drivers as A J Foyt, Mario Andretti, Johnny Rutherford, Dan Gurney, the Unser brothers Bobby and Al, Jim Clark, Dennis Hulme, Bruce McClaren, Mark Donahue, and many more!  I still have most of those interviews on a reel-to-reel tape and on dubbed cassette tapes.  I have a near term goal of transferring them to CDs or DVDs.

I also treasure highly the time I spent working at Hoosier Motor Club, the AAA affiliate club in Indiana.  I worked there for three summers, and each holiday break when I was a student at IU.  My primary work was in the travel department, where I constructed map-based travel routings called Trip Tics for members.  What I know today about US geography that did not come from my moves to the many places I have lived, comes from my days at Hoosier Motor Club.  I also spent considerable time working with the member services regarding automobile license plate renewals, which served me well later in life when I worked in the motor vehicle industry for 23 years!

Hoosier Motor Club was also richly steeped in motor-sports history, as up until 1962 the American Automobile Association, AAA or Triple-A, was the sanctioning body for the Indianapolis 500, and during my time there was still the organization that conducted the Indianapolis 500 Festival, including the Miss Indy 500 Pagent and the Indianapolis 500 Parade. Many of my college-aged co-workers during that time were hired from the contestants of the Miss Indy 500 Pagent!  Tough Duty!

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