Well, "The Big One" has come and gone. I'm talking about the event of the year for all the big-belt-buckle-wearin', backy-chewin', boot-scootin' boogyin', American-flag-wavin', farmer's-tan-showin', NRA-sticker-totin' NASCAR fans out there. The "Bristol Motor Speedway Sharpie 500" took place just over the mountains from us this weekend. We did not attend, but some friends, Lonney and Amanda, did. Here's one of the photos they took:
Amanda said it was a good time, and I'm gonna take her word for it. I don't go anywhere near Bristol during "race weekend", which happens twice a year. You don't have to, because all the folks who roll into town for the event come to you! Now, I don't mean to disparage NASCAR, BMS, red-necks, or any of that. It just isn't my thang, as they say around here. But we have been to the BMS a couple of times, but only for their Christmas Lights extravaganza. We've even gotten to drive our extremely sedate Saturn VUE on the "fastest half-mile". That's enough for me.
Still, it is kind of neat to drive along Panhandle Road, which runs the ridge of the Holston Mountains, and look down to the right and see the BMS (it's a little hard to see in the summer, but the orange roof shows up pretty darn well in the winter, I'll tell you). I'll never go to one of the big races. Lots of folks in the area work at the beer stands or other vendors to help raise money for their favorite causes; it does make me smile to think of folks here in Carter County (where they just passed a "Drinks by the Glass" ordinance for restaurants in 2004) selling beer to make money for the Carter County Democrats, or the Moose Club. I don't know if any of the churches sell beer, but I can just picture them selling Dale Earnhart T-shirts. Some things just never go out of style.