postcard from the indy 500

Why-is-the-indy-500-the-wildest-party-in-racing-237224646-may-24-2013-1-600x450John Paul Rollert at Harper's Magazine:

For one weekend every year, the corner of Georgetown Road and West 25th seems like the center of the universe, the perfect place for Tate to tell people about a world far beyond our own. Or try to tell them, for no one stops to have a conversation with him, not on the afternoon before the Indianapolis 500.

“I wouldn’t be here if y’all came to church,” Tate explains to no one in particular. He’s armed with a portable microphone and a street preacher’s shield of self-righteousness, holding his phone out before him as if he were trying to cast out a demon dispatched from the Verizon call center. This is how I find him, and it takes me a moment to realize what he’s doing: videotaping hecklers on the other side of a temporary fence. One of them is wearing a shirt with an arrow on it pointing up to his face, holding a sign that reads He wants to see boobies.

I can’t blame the goons, not entirely, not even the one with the bullhorn who attempts to trump Tate’s appeals by invocations that begin, If you believe in drink…. This is Indy after all, and the corner of the Coke Lot is a perfect place to party and preach.

more here.