News Declares Start the Best Part

This attachment contains an article published in the June 1, 1909 Indianapolis News and was part of the newspaper's coverage of the lead up to the June 5, 1909 national balloon championship hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Unlike any other event at the Speedway the balloons offered an interesting challenge for track management in that most of the activity would occur well beyond the grounds of the venue.
This article obliquely addresses that fact in that it touts the entertainment value of the start of a big balloon race with all the inflation and preparation. This was not entirely hype in that while the people that sat in their cars or buggies outside the track to watch the balloons rise above it really missed a lot of insights and intimacy that could be had by walking among the men and their vessels. In addition to inflation those purchasing tickets and walking the grounds could see the provisions and extra clothing the men packed for their journey.
The use of carrier pigeons is noted which does not come up frequently in a lot of the advance articles. The newer communications solution - "wireless aeronautic messages" - is also referenced but not explained. The fears of women in the lives of the men are dramatized but the only woman quoted is Mrs. Charles A. Coey whose husband was the pilot of the Chicago. Mrs. Coey became the first woman in Speedway history to descend from the track in a balloon just days earlier in May.
One point I want to call out is that at the time the article was published weather prognosticators believed the prevailing wind current would carry the balloons in a northeasterly direction. This, the article warns, is worrisome in that it would force the balloons to travel over the miles and miles of water making up the Great Lakes.

BalloonNews060109.pdf3.72 MB