Today’s the biggest day of the year for our city, the day of motors and fans and speed-of-sound little cars that can whiz their way into victory or history or glory or fame. And though we’ve lived here for almost twenty years, we’ve never been to The Race. The town is crowded, traffic is unbelievable on the Interstate and streets, and then suddenly, almost all is still. The flocks of fans have made their way into the big bowl and the rest of us enjoy their enjoyment by doing our own thing in other places.
I do always tune in the first few minutes of the race, and have seldom missed hearing Jim Nabors sing Back Home Again, and today I felt a pang of gentle regret for having to miss that moment.
Sometimes we’ve gone out of town on this weekend, to a lovely little hotel on a lake a couple of hours South, with a wonderful rustic restaurant on the grounds, and crickets chirping through the twilight windows. This time, we decided just to have a quiet weekend at home, and went to the early matinee of Terminator (can you say oxymoron?).
After all that rumble and roar, the mayhem and the machines, the dark depths of an apocalyptic, futuristic struggle and angst, we came out to bright skies, a quiet parking lot, and just as we sat down in the car, Chris turned on the radio, fumbled with the dial a bit, and there was Jim, right on cue, as if we’d planned it, by Royal Command and Sovereign Decree. The Serendipity of it was amazing, and we looked at each other and Chris said, “I ordered that just for you.”
We rode with the breeze in our hair, singing along softly, with an iconic moment, a tradition that’s continued since the early Seventies, and we hope every time that this won’t be the last time, that the song will go on and on, in the same place, same voice, same remembered tones.
We’ve adopted this place, and it’s certainly welcomed us, and the words have a sweet comfort and longing that’s more touching each time I hear them. And just hearing them in that dear, familiar voice---this time was like a present, and I’m glad we didn’t miss it.
Back home again in Indiana,
And it seems that I can see
The gleaming candlelight, still shining bright,
Through the sycamores for me.
The new-mown hay sends all its fragrance
From the fields I used to roam.
When I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash,
Then I long for my In-di-a-na Home.
Thank you once again, Gomer. And rachel says Hay.