Night-Before Buzz!

The article in this attachment was originally published June 4, 1905 in the Indianapolis News – the evening before the national championship balloon race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. All concerned with the event hung on every word from meteorological experts such as H.B. Hersey of Washington’s United States Weather Bureau and the director of its Indianapolis office W.T. Blythe. While the men had been predicting a northerly wind at race time they seemed to be hedging their bets as now they prognosticated that the wind would continue in that direction through morning hours but morphing into “variable winds” at race time.
The article reports that the teams were busy at the track inflating their balloons and generally getting their equipment in order for competition. Officials declared the races would go forward "rain or shine" and that accommodations were extensive at the Speedway. The Big Four train lines promised special runs every 20 minutes. Speculators had it that Charles A. Coey was the favorite for the handicap race while A. Holland Forbes, Captain Thomas Baldiwn and Speedway President and Founder Carl G. Fisher were listed as three stong contenders for the national championship.
The visitors were effusive with praise for the new Speedway and its aero infield. Check out what the oh-so-worldly Mr. Forbes had to say:
"It is a wonderful undertaking and is worthy of London, Paris or New York. In fact, it surpasses anything every attempted in those cities for equipment, both for automobiling and aviation. I never thought that it was such a stupendous undertaking. The way the piping has been placed and the method of laying out the field has been a revelation to me and goes far to prove the important part that this city is to play in the game which at this time is exciting the entire civilized world."
Baldwin's assistant, Charles Walsh, added:
"Indianapolis should be proud of the citizens of her city who have had the nerve to attempt what none of the millionaires of the East hae ever had the nerve to attempt."
The article reports that the balloon race was the biggest sporting event up to that date and may well have been. Perhaps the only other truly major sporting event of national scope hosted in the city prior to this one was the national League of American Wheelmen bicycle championship at the Newby Oval in 1898.  Don't you just love the feeling of buzz the night before a major event?

BalloonNews060409.pdf3.71 MB