I took this picture a few months ago, almost a year after he got it. Over the summer it has become dirtier and more frayed; near the end of the school year a fifth-grader snatched it off of his head and tore the velcro fastener thingy in the back--you know, the one that lets you adjust the size depending on how big your head is. I was able to sew it back on; but now it's so grimy you can hardly see the signatures anymore. He wore it every day at school, and every day all summer.
Those that know me, and even my Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging friends probably know that we are big fans of Indy Car Racing. (I got hooked after Joe and the kids dragged me to a couple of races in Richmond, Virginia. Being the only female human in my house can cause a girl to like boy stuff.) At every racing venue, sometime during the weekend the drivers hold an autograph session, and fans wait in line to meet their favorite drivers and have them sign various and sundry memorabilia. Last summer when we attended the annual (and the last, we would learn)Richmond race, we all got our necessary souveniers; Moe picked out the cool red-and-black cap with the Honda logo. (All the cars in the Indy Car series have Honda engines, don't ya know.) He collected quite a few autographs from drivers:
Dario Franchitti, the 2010 Indy 500 winner, and husband of actress Ashley Judd
Graham Rahal, son of racing legend Bobby Rahal
Tony Kanaan, who is EVERYONE'S favorite driver (Well, except for Danica Patrick, of course; and Helio Castroneves certainly got a boost from Dancing with the Stars). If drivers and fans were to vote for best sportsmanship, nicest driver, best all-around, Tony would probably win. He was the Indy Car Series champion in 2004.
Curly got a Tony Kanaan 7-11 hat, which of course got an autograph too. That's Dan Wheldon signing Moe's hat. Dan won the Indy 500 and the series championship in 2005.
This year there was no Indy Car race in Richmond. Since we can't go an entire season without attending at least one Indy Car event, we took a trip to Ohio to attend the race there. Moe decided months in advance that he would get a NEW Honda hat at the Mid-Ohio race, and have the same drivers sign it in exactly the same place. Well, no surprise, it didn't quite work out that way; since the autograph session was scheduled for Friday afternoon, there was no way we were going to make it to the track in time for that, especially after driving all day. On Saturday, the day before the race, we wandered through several booths selling many different kinds of hats;
...and Moe was delighted to find a Honda cap identical to his old one.
On Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning--Yes, we did go to Mass; we were staying with friends, and there is a lovely little church right in their neigborhood. We got the kids up in time for the 7:30 am Mass there. I will confess that we wore shorts and our brand-new racing T-shirts to church, though. Normally we wear more churchy clothes than that--we wandered around in the garage area, hoping to see some drivers and get a few autographs for Moe's hat. All the more well-known drivers seemed busy or out of sight: no sign of Danica, Tony, or Scott Dixon (who has probably won more races than any driver in the series right now); we did catch glimpses of Dario, Helio--you know, the one who was the winner on Dancing With the Stars--and Helio's teammate, Ryan Briscoe; but (dang it all) they weren't talking to fans or signing autographs.
BUT...we did run into some of our favorite drivers nonetheless:
Next year, the Indy cars will be racing on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland. We will plan our summer around this race so as not to miss a minute. Baltimore is reasonably close, and we could even day-trip it if we wanted to. In the meantime, Moe will probably wear his new hat every day--we still have his old one, too--and maybe next year he'll get a T-shirt instead. But probably not. I'm sure he'll want to continue the tradition of the red Honda hat.