Apparently, I am the only person in the state of Indiana who is not attending today’s Indy 500. Don’t plan on watching it either. And you know what? I’m okay with that. I’ll watch the highlights on the news.
I saw an interview with Jim Nabors this week. He stated he would fly here to sing, “Back Home Again in Indiana.” Organizers didn’t ask him. Instead, Josh Kaufman is singing it. Some of you are scratching your head. Josh won “The Voice” singing competition a couple years ago.
Nabors sang “Back Home Again in Indiana” at the track for most years from 1972 to 2014. Granted, Jim Nabors has had some health issues. But they still should have flown him here. It’s the 100th running of the race. And you could tell it meant a lot to him and he wanted to be there. Or they could have streamed him singing live from Hawaii. Okay, technically, it would be ironic to sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” from Hawaii, but Nabors is a staple. And I think everyone would have overlooked his physical location to keep with tradition. Because tradition is what today is about.
Florence Henderson isn’t singing either. Henderson sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “God Bless America” or “America the Beautiful” 23 times from 1991 to 2015. This year, she’s the grand marshal. It is a great honor. And at least she’s still included in the festivities.
Things and times change. I get that. And I don’t have a problem with that. I guess it’s just the irony of how they’re talking about “tradition this” and “tradition that,” and one of the most familiar and beloved voices of that tradition was slighted.
I’m sure Josh Kaufman and Darius Rucker will give fantastic performances. If they don’t, it will be one of the highlights on the news. If they do, perhaps, we’ll see them back next year, starting a new tradition.
The flag is about to be waved. So, if you’re at the track, slap on a lot of sunscreen, stay hydrated and have fun!