Memories of A. J. Foyt

A local guy who’s been playing with cars for many years was honored in Indianapolis yesterday — fifty years after he showed up for the first time, unannounced, eager to race. A fellow named Foyt.

1967 was one of the years A. J. Foyt won. We had moved in January of that year from New Haven, Connecticut, to Terre Haute, Indiana, my dad’s home town. My parents and a couple aunts and uncles went to the race. I was mad I couldn’t go–but they were all in their 20s and 30s … and I was five.

I stayed with my grandparents and listened to it with my grandfather on the radio. It wasn’t broadcast live on TV in those days. We sat in hard wooden chairs at a table on the screened-in back porch (called a “patio” there), the sun shining through the translucent green Plexiglas roof. On a plate on the table … a beef tongue, which my grandfather slowly sliced and enjoyed as we listened to the race, imagining my parents screaming with the crowd as A. J. Foyt raced to victory.

6 thoughts on “Memories of A. J. Foyt

  1. I remember that day well. The first day the race got rained out and we had to go back the next day. We sat in a box that your Dad’s boss had across from the pits. The second day there was nowhere near as many people as the first day.

  2. Yep, I can remember listening to the Indy 500 on the radio but it was mostly from 1970 onward that I listened to it intently. Of course now-a-days I have to tape the start of the race and watch it after I get home .

    Wasn’t there a big crash in the 1067 race that killed Eddie Sachs? I am trying to think what year he was killed. Time to hunt up some Indy 500 history on the web I guess.

  3. Ummmm…..that should be 1967 not 1067, I had the aftermath of the battle of Hastings on my mind. šŸ™‚

  4. We probably listened to at least a couple of those together.

    Sachs died in 1964. I Googled. šŸ™‚

    And let me guess ā€¦ you were probably rooting for Johnny Rutherford. How exactly is he related to you?

  5. Truth be told, Bill, I don’t even remember really listening to the Indy 500 before 1970. Even then I came in on the race after J. Rutherford took lead on the opening lap from A. Unser and then was passed again by A. Unser. J. Rutherford was running second at the time I came in. So I presume that if we did listen to it together it would have been before then at Grandma Cork’s.

    Yeah I was rooting of J. Rutherford. His wife was my dad’s 1st cousin, which would have made his children and I 2nd cousins.

  6. one of my fondest memories is getting to go with my pawpaw and with Red Fisher to watch A.J. Foyt race in the Liberty Bell 300 in Houston I think it was. I was rather young, only around 11 years old. Red Fisher got called down to the pit by A.J. Foyt.
    Poppa almost got to go, but he was in the Air Force and had to go somewhere else.
    We lived in Temple Texas, the people next door to us were somehow related to A.J. Foyt, and I have recently been told by Poppa that somehow somewhere donw the line our families were also related. By Marriage I think. We were the Hoyles. A.J. Foyt has always been and will always be my favorite racer.

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