Porch Parties Bring Back Indy 500 Memories

In recognition of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, Hoosiers across the state have been asked to host Porch Parties as a way to foster civic pride and engagement in this signature event.

Porch Parties are gatherings that bring families, friends and communities together — often highlighted by fun, food and memories.

Several CarDon & Associates communities are hosting Porch Parties throughout the month. We’d like to share some of their stories and memories about the Indianapolis 500!

Jim Wells – Resident at Solarbron in Evansville

Jim attended his first Indy 500 race with his father in 1946, which was the first race after WWII. Jim and his dad drove to Indianapolis and had to walk three miles up Lynhurst Drive because there were cars parked everywhere, and they couldn’t get through to the race track. Then in 1958, he and his wife moved to Brazil, Ind., and they received two race car pins in the mail. They went to the 500 that year and wore those pins. He tried to pay for his way in and was told the pin was an open pass to get in the race and visit the pits, pagoda and garages, which he and his wife did. After that, they went to races and trials for years. He remembers the fatal crash with Eddie Sachs and Dave McDonald in front of the starting line in 1964. And another year, there was a big wreck, and A.J. Foyt climbed up the fence in front of him to get out of all the wreckage!

Susan LawrenceSusan Lawrence – Director of Marketing and Admissions at Countryside Health & Living in Anderson

I have been to the Indianapolis 500 several times, and I have met both Ari Luyendyk and Tony Bettenhausen. I always liked Ari because I had met him, and I took my sister with me the year Tony was in our tent. We used to have a race party every year at our house because we had one of those huge satellite dishes, and it would pick up the race on race day. It was a lot of fun back then unless it was cold … then it was not so fun!

Al & Sue Skinner pictureAlbert Skinner – Resident at Countryside Health & Living in Anderson

Albert and his wife Sue have been huge Indianapolis 500 fans for years. When they were younger, they would go to Turkey Lake for the Memorial Day holiday every year. The whole family would go, and they would have big cookouts, fishing and lots of family fun. When it was time for the 500 to start, no one could come in to the house through the front door. If you wanted to go in, you would have to walk around the lake and come in the back door because all the men were watching the race in the front room, and they would have a fit if you walked in front of the TV! They were big fans of A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti and the Unsers (Al & Bobby). It was a wonderful time for the entire family! A great memory.