Thursday, November 16, 2006
I did some sightseeing today. My first stop was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. It was pretty cool, and this is from someone who isn't into cars much, though I love the really old cars. They have one section of Indy cars and another section of cars in general, including a 1927 Deusenberg, a 1932 V-16 Cadillac (how come they don't make V-16s anymore?), and the Stottard Dayton that was the pace car for the first Indy 500 race in 1911.
I took the track tour, where they drive you around the track itself, and there's a pre-recorded narration. My pictures from that tour all had raindrops on the windows, but I like the way they look.
Next I headed downtown and decided to walk from my hotel to the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial (more pictures here). It would have been ambitious, if I had known it was farther than it looked on the map. A cold, drizzly wind was blowing, and by the time I got there, I decided a taxi ride would be a good way to get back.
This memorial has every single one of the 3,410 Medal of Honor recipients (19 of them received the Medal twice) etched in glass, with their rank and the location of their heroic action. They start in 1861 and continue through the Iraq war, with one name listed in Baghdad. Some of the places are familiar (James H. Doolittle, Lieutenant Colonel, Air Mission, Japan), and others surprised me because I didn't associate them with war (Little Big Horn, Apache Creek, Mogadishu, Peking).
There's a touch screen, so you can learn about the recipients, and every now and then, it starts telling the story of someone. It was finishing up the story about one recipient when I got there, and later it told about the "Buffalo Soldiers," a unit of Black soldiers who were posted to the Old West and are credited with capturing Geronimo, Pancho Villa, and (if my memory serves me) Billy the Kid.
I walked back to the hotel, cutting through the two-block-long state government building for some warmth on the way and then getting disoriented in the Circle Centre Mall when I tried to get warm a second time. Warning: Circle Centre Mall may be a square on the outside, but once you get inside, they turn you in circles and then send you out the wrong door so you can't find your way. It's a plot against out-of-staters, who are silly enough to believe everything in Indiana runs in straight lines. But I'm wise now.