30 April 2011

67 winning cars

When our friend Joe told us about a special short-term exhibit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, Chris suggested that we go there with Casey, Elvie and Shin-ya. I don't think it took too much arm twisting. It seemed like the Japan Clarks wanted to go, too.

There have been 94 races, and 67 winning cars are currently on display at the Hall of Fame Museum. As an avid race fan, I've visited the museum many times. But I was shocked at seeing 67 winning cars packed into that relatively small building:

What a sight!

And here is the Borg-Warner Trophy, which includes a sculpture of each winning driver's face.

Pictures of the winning drivers circle the main lobby where the trophy sits. There are two pictures for my favorite driver, Dario Franchitti, who won the race in 2007 and 2010.

Here are some highlights of the museum.

This is the car that won the first race. Ray Harroun drove this car, called the Marmon Wasp (named for its color scheme and wasp-like tail). This car looks pretty good, considering it's 100 years old!

The museum also is home to the Auto Racing Hall of Fame. Several famous drivers, crew chiefs and others have been inducted, including Donald Davidson, the IMS track historian. And would you believe that he walked through the museum while we were there! But I didn't have an autograph book or my camera handy! One of my lifelong goals is to take his Indy 500 History class at IUPUI. He knows so much history and so many interesting race facts. It's absolutely fascinating to listen to him on the radio, so I imagine his class is very entertaining, too.

This is A.J. Foyt's first winning car (1961).

Can you imagine him ever being small enough to fit in this cockpit? :o)

Here is Jim Clark's winning car from 1965.

The famous "spin and win" car driven by Danny Sullivan in 1985.

Jacques Villeneuve's 1995 winning machine in.

When Juan Pablo Montoya was a rookie in 2000, he also won the race.

Look at all of those Penske cars!

This is where the current champion is honored. Unfortunately, neither of Dario's winning cars is at the museum. I was sorely disappointed.

And finally, we had to take pictures in the IRL demo car.

So if you're in the neighborhood, you must go see this unique collection of cars. Find out more about the exhibit and the 67 cars included.

29 April 2011

Family fun

While we had a few special outings, most of the time we spent with the Japan Clarks was informal, relaxed and filled with food, hugs and laughs. So here's a collection of random photos taken throughout the three weeks.

The first full family picture! Later, Chris' cousin Suzanne (a professional photographer) took some more posed and formal family pictures.

Casey's family with his Aunt Linda and Uncle David.

Shin-ya and Chris chatting about life while enjoying Push-Up popcicles.

Avery also invited Casey to one of her famous tea parties.

Casey and Avery performed the actions together in this Sesame Street book.

Avery posing with her new best friend after church one Sunday.

Poppaw and Avery were plum tuckered out one afternoon and took a long nap together.

28 April 2011

The first days with new family

Although Elvie and Shin-ya have been a part of our family for a few years, we hadn't yet had the chance to meet them face-to-face and spend quality time together. But that all changed when Elvie and Shin-ya spent a few weeks here, getting away from the unrest in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami.

We spent much of the day with them on the first full day they were here. And how do you think Chris tried to connect with his new 12-year-old nephew?

With video games, of course! Chris let Shin-ya use an old XBox system while he stayed here. The first game was basketball, with Butler (Chris) defeating Florida (Shin-ya). Luckily, the real game that night had the same outcome!

Avery had to get in on the action, too.

Only about two hours after meeting him, Avery curled up with Shin-ya to watch a movie on his laptop. I knew right then that these two were going to be best buds!

Before long, Avery had Shin-ya playing all sorts of "girlie" games, like having a tea party, playing with dolls and putting pink barrettes in his hair.


I'm glad Shin-ya was a good sport and put up with playing some not-so-boyish games with his new shadow. It's a good thing he likes her because she hardly left his side the whole time he was here!

14 April 2011

Long-lost pictures

Before I post (several) recaps of the Japan Clarks' visit, I have to share these pictures from Avery's final birthday celebration in March. It was a combination birthday for Avery, my mom and my sister.

Her final big gift from my parents was rollerskates, plus a helmet, elbow pads and knee pads. Safety first!

Daddy can wear Avery's helmet, too! What can I say -- we're a family of pea-heads.

She had to sneak in a taste of the icing.

Being the fun gradmother she is, my mom insisted that everyone wear an Abby Cadabby birthday hat for a family picture. Abby is one of Avery's favorite characters on Sesame Street.

You'll notice that everyone took a good picture except Avery. She couldn't decide if she should laugh at all of us or smile for the camera. At least we got a few usable shots!