Don’t Tell Anyone About the Corndogs

A week or two ago my friend Terry Bisson took me to the Stock Car races in Antioch. I know little of races of any sort but I was fascinated by the scene. Early on a version of the national anthem was played over loudspeakers, and everyone stood up and took off their hats, put their hands on their hearts. I saw two fellows in cowboy hats during this; one knocked off the other’s hat because the fella couldn’t take it off himself, as he had a beer in each hand. No disagreement ensued–it seemed quite sensible to the one who couldn’t get his hat off…

It was a dirt track, not very big, and when the cars raced around it their wheels spun up clods of dirt and mud that pattered over the people walking near the fence.

There were several kinds of stock cars; the first ones were all battered, some with their numbers hand painted on the sides. They tended to spin out a lot. Others were slicker, customized Torinos or Trans Ams; another race was something called Sprint cars, almost like midget race cars, running on methanol and frequently backfiring. Several women drivers took part, and there was a driver said to be 85 years old, 60+ years in racing. We sat in bleachers, open to the crisp night and a lot of car exhaust–we were high over most of that, with a great view.

Beer was consumed, and Terry ate one of the hamburgers, which he said was pleasing for the price; I will now confess that I ate a corndog. I’m not supposed to eat corndogs. This is between me and you. Don’t tell anyone…

The announcer calling the race could not be heard over the roar of the engines.

We had a fine time.

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