When I met Mr. Palmer

I believe it was 1998--about the last time he came to the Brickyard Crossing Championship in Indianpolis.  I tried several times to get close enough for an autograph, but could not.  they even blocked the bridge off the 18th so he could talk with Mary Hulman George, Ownwer of the speedway.  Anyway, he moved on and I could not get near him.  As I watched him walk away I saw him cross the range with his caddie.  I then realized he was staying in a room on turn 2 of the track!  I knew how to get back there through the parking lot by the old hotel.  I took off running, telling my dad to stay put!  I got the the place where I thought he would be.  There was another gentlemen with me (he knew the secret too!).  About 5 minutes later out he came!  He was so gracious.  He shook my hand and spoke to the two of us for at leas 3 or 4 minutes.  I told him I knew the back way here--he laughed.  He signed my pairing sheet for the day, then got in his car and left.  He was exactly what I expected--gracious and attentive.  I never got the feeling he was in a hurry.  That is why he was great--he took the time to listen and appreciate the folks that came to watch him play.  Pure class.  My only regret is leaving my dad there--he did not get to meet him!