Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Remembrance of pit-stops past

Had some relatives in town the past few days. A couple of the guys are NASCAR fans so we rode up to the speedway, then stopped by the Hendrick Motorsports complex nearby. The race shops there include the ones for Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. (If you speak Racin', that would be "the 24" and "the 48.")

There's also a fairly cool (and free!) museum. But the one thing that sticks with me was a box on the counter in the gift shop:


There were 20 or 30 of 'em in there, all with chipped yellow paint. Could've been from one of Gordon's Daytona wins. Could've been from a minivan out in the parking lot. The sign didn't say.

I'm thinking about a tearful moment, three or four days after a funeral, a family sitting around the dining-room table. There's a gentle thunk on the table, followed by a moment of silence as everybody stares at the thing in the Ziploc bag. And then somebody says: OK, y'all. It's time to decide who gets Daddy's lug nut.

So what's the most bizarre souvenir you've ever seen for sale? What's the weirdest one you've ever bought? And more important: What's the souvenir that still has some sort of hold on you, even now?

Comments, stories, tearful revelations below.


Anonymous said...

Vials purportedly of Elvis's sweat at the gift shop at Graceland the year of the 10th anniversary of his death.

Anonymous said...

It was actually the DAY of the 10th anniversary of Elvis's death.

Anonymous said...

Sheriff Buford ("Walking Tall") Pusser's shoes.

Oh, wait a minute . . . you mean they weren't SOUVENIRS?

I might be in trouble now. Dang.

Unknown said...

For a time, I had Leonardo DaVinci beneath my fingertips. It happened one day in the Louvre. Rob Urban, a former Observer reporter, his wife, Laura Zelenko, and I were entering the DaVinci Room, where the Mona Lisa is hanging, when I stupidly pointed to a painting of great beauty, done my Mr. DaVinci, and in the process, my unclipped fingernail touched the painting. I'm sorry, I will never do it again.

Some heady minutes from a few days after Lady Diana was killed only blocks away.

Love yer blog!

PS - I mentioned your blog on my blog (anonyMoses) today.