It smelled of gas and grit,
and sometimes, piss and shit.
But it was home to the fool and hardy,
in the month of May.
They came by auto, ship and train.
To the central Indiana plain,
to test their cars with vigor,
like there was no other way.
Peugeot, Mercedes, and Delage came.
Europe's finest in the pouring rain.
To be met by Marmon, Miller,
and local Offenhauser fame.
It took a month to get them running,
with smoke and oil and booze.
The grease monkeys rode on board,
for it was a long walk to lose.
No seatbelt was the rule,
but goggles were a must.
Better to fly off in a crash,
than bug in your eye be crushed.
Cursing was the rule,
when things didn't turn out right.
You could hear those blessings many,
in the garages late at night.
The qualifying was over,
the day had finally come.
To see who would be the best,
after a long hot day's run.
Pushing 100 was what they did,
but the bricks were unforgiving.
Those who lost control over the wall,
were lucky to rejoin the living.
Five hundred miles was the goal,
these men put to the test.
Only one would win,
and be a very best.
1911 Indy 500
Read War's End, the Novel
Copyright 2010 © Ronald W. Hull