Fifty Years On… USGP edition

About now, fifty years ago, Carol and I had begun our first adventure together, having recently cast our fates to the love affair.

We set off for Watkins Glen, New York for the U S Grand Prix.

We had no idea how the camping or race ticketing worked, or even exactly where the track was. We proceeded to Watkins Glen.

In those days, there were no garages at the track, and the teams took over gas stations in the village for bases, with only simple race pits at the track. I still miss that.

We found a sea of people, mostly feeling no pain, but all very friendly. We milled around in the village for quite a while. Occasionally the sea would part, and a mechanic in a formula one car would rip through the street. It was magic.

We eventually found our way to the track, and a “campsite” in a field. We bought a bundle of firewood along the way. It was cold, a tent and our eventual elaborate camping gear was still in our future. We had one sleeping bag, borrowed from her father, and the yellow Galaxie 500.

Carol was so cold, she melted the soles of her shoes holding her feet to the little campfire, and we fouind I had managed to find a “campsite” far from any food stands.

Somehow we survived. I fell in love with Watkins Glen, and even more in love with Carol.

Race day, October 6th, was brisk. Jackie Stewart got nine points in his Matra. I got no pictures worthy of the name, lacking any long lenses. I got to hear and smell the formula one cars at last.

It was a memorable trip, and I would do it again in an instant.

One Reply to “Fifty Years On… USGP edition”

  1. Helluva story. So Watkins Glen dates back to ’68. I can picture Paul Schrader and a Galaxie 500. Almost the same as the NOVA. Big American Steel. Freezing Mom in Autumn, late 60’s, Almost Canada…. that I can also picture. Guess the lenses came later… quite the trip.

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