The word "spectacle" will be defined in the next three posts.
My Indy 500 trip this year began late. I was on assignment so departure was set for Saturday morning at 4 am. I missed a pizza party with friends and a few drinks Friday night. No problem, early Saturday before the parade we start with a margarita breakfast at Acapulco Joe’s, a restaurant one block off the square. It’s a tradition.
The food is OK, the drink a bit too sweet but it’s convenient to a parking lot across the street where we have a post parade tailgate.
The same band plays on this same corner each year. It’s a Jesus band that travels from Oklahoma just to save souls at the Indianapolis 500 with Christian music that has a country and western slant. Men associated with the band will stand nearby to pass out “repent now” pamphlets to passersby. I noticed a larger presence of soul savers downtown this year, more than usual. In the next post it will become clear why they come, it's a target-rich environment for the saviors.
This guy looked Amish, holding a bible and screaming as loud as he could about risky behavior and going to hell. But Amish don’t have moustaches. They believe a moustache to be a military symbol. Ammies don’t preach, preferring instead to stay in their enclaves. I think he was just possessed.
Most of the of soul savers were chased off the street by Indiana’s finest right in front of me, since they were not registered participants. They just jumped into the street and did their thing. Most of their focus seemed to be about marriage and sexuality.
Some, like this group were quiet and let his t-shirt do the talking.
This guy let me take a photo of his sign but would not show his face. My guess is he was Hispanic and in his early 20’s.
In my observation most soul savers I saw were either older in their 60’s and younger in their 20’s. There were very few women as far as I could tell. Maybe men feel the need to repent and save more souls than women do.
As a final note I want to go on the record. By posting these photos my intent is not to ridicule anybody. Most photos I took of individuals I did their with permission. There was no heckling directed at any of these people from the parade crowd. They have as much right to express their feelings as anyone.
I am not taking any side on the issue, just relaying my observations at the 2009 “Greatest Spectacle In Racing” from Indianapolis. When you have 500,000 people on the streets and at the track for a weekend you see everything and I DO mean everything.
In my next entry you may see why these soul savers pick this event to do their thing. Some images will be very unusual and possibly shocking. Again, it’s target rich environment for the Jesus folks.
They don’t call it “The Greatest Spectacle In Racing” for nothing.