As a journalist, I talk to a lot of people. Those people tell me a lot of old stories, and most of those stories make me forever grateful for the conversation I had. But they also make me sad that I never got a chance to experience the things I heard about, and that I’ll never be able to tell the stories as my own.
I’ve been feeling that a lot lately, since I’ve been working on a story about an old race track out in Austin, Longhorn Speedway, that closed in the late 1990s. Everyone I’ve spoken to has been so fond of the days when they raced out there, and all of the stories make me wish I’d been able to experience a race before it shut down.
But instead, I’m simply left to go out and see the track in its wilting, sad state. I’ll never get to know exactly what it was like when everyone headed out there on a Friday night for racing, and that makes things even more depressing.
Still, it’s amazing to hear stories told by other people. Whether those stories are about race cars or anything else, I often find myself to be incredibly fond of hearing the memories of others—especially when they’re fond of those memories themselves.
Of course, I won’t tell you the stories about Longhorn right now. You’ll get to read all of them once I wrap the feature up, so I shouldn’t ruin the fun before that publishes.
But I want to hear your favorite stories that you’ve heard from others, because if there’s anything I’ve learned in this business of interviewing other people and hearing their side of things, it’s that some of the best stories come from those you’re least likely to interview for some big, important reason. It’s also a nice reminder that everyone can have great things to say if you take the time to ask.
So, what car—or race car—stories were you so fond of hearing others tell?