Tuesday, April 29, 2008

never one to half-ass it

I know my daddy might read my subject line and say, "Jennifer Jo, watch you language!" - even if he were to say it jokingly. But I just can't think of a better way to put what I need to put. Johnny G is never one to half-ass it. After calling myself something of a knowledgeable Indy Car fan today I felt the need to be affirmed by my racing Yoda. So, I shot an email off to John asking for a sound byte-a quote-that I could use on my blog to support my claim. As the day went on I got a few, “Sorry, I’ve not had the chance to get to it yet”. And I knew that meant he was putting some thought into it. That’s the way John does most everything. He always gives it some thought and an above average effort. He’s from good Mid-Western stock, that boy (and he’s part Kentuckian to boot). But he’s really is just of a character that is beyond his years. They don’t make 'em like that much any more.

My work day ended and I still didn’t have my quote.

When I got home this evening I had this waiting for me in my Inbox. I ain’t gonna lie, it made me tear up. Can you imagine what he would have written if I had asked for a reference letter to accompany my resume?

Anyone can memorize an alphabet or list of past winners. Jennifer has been a full-time student of IndyCar racing for six years (minoring in knitting). She was a fan – a female fan – before anyone knew of Danica. Her car is named after Parnelli Jones. She has attended races; scaled grandstands with severe back pain; weathered heat, humidity and numerous storms; read books; won contests; intelligently defended IndyCar’s status as a sport (hello?!); cast hundreds of dancing votes; witnessed IRL marriages and breakups (not to mention herself changing IRL boyfriends at least five times); seen both exodus and unification; and mourned the tragic deaths of two drivers. Since July 2002 she could probably count on one hand the number of races she hasn’t at least seen on TV or the Internet. She can tell you a full minute before the fact that Scott Goodyear is about to say "expecially" or "you’re just a passenger." But perhaps most importantly she makes time for the articles and blog posts that hit the Net every day, with the regularity of routine that is required to become good at anything. She is the skilled musician, the distance runner, the disciplined seminary student -- morning coffee, devotional reading, prayer, IndyCar. Even during the winter semesters, she has been my Cliff Notes -- the faithful study buddy off whose paper I copy. I am routinely surprised, delighted, and embarrassed at how much she knows. Though she might not admit it herself, she is now more knowledgeable on the series than this Hoosier who’s been following it for over 25 years. The student has surpassed the teacher. And in one month we will start our engine, trek past her old Kentucky home, and arrive back home again to Indiana for our sixth "500" together. There will I watch proudly as Jennifer receives her master’s degree in racing. There will she drink the milk.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Johnny G. introduced Jennifer to the Indy fever and it has trickled down to me and her dad. It's nice to be a fan of a very classy sport.