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Picturing the Past 121: Rainy night at the show

Posted Tuesday, August 2, 2011, at 12:01 PM

The Celebration grounds crew at work in 1974 after a rainy night left the track in a total mess. Yes, they got it in good shape within a few hours. (T-G file photo)
It's August 1974 and the show ring at the Celebration Grounds is a mess.

Ever seen it looking like this? Two inches of rain fell the night before and the grounds crew and others have their hands full getting the ring in condition for the show to go on.

But go on it did.

I can only think of two times the show's been cancelled (or moved into Calsonic Arena) - one which I've only read about, in the 1940s, and another time sometime within the past 20 years when Bedford County was hit by the remnants of a hurricane. There's another time, I think in the 1980s or maybe later than that, when high winds hit during a show -- with folding chairs flying through the air. I imagine some of our readers will remember that one. And it seems like around 2002-2003 a severe thunderstorm struck the grounds one night while a tornado watch was out. Eyes were definitely toward the sky that night.

But the grounds crew has always gotten the show ring in shape even under extreme conditions. I've been at the show grounds several times this week doing a story on grounds preparation for the T-G's annual Celebration edition. Everyone I talked to was helpful, friendly and seemed really dedicated to doing a good job. The proof shows every Celebration.

More photos coming: More than likely you'll see Picturing the Past expanded to more than once a week very soon. Over the weekend a Facebook page on Shelbyville memories suddenly exploded onto the scene. Enjoyable reading, and I'm contributing to it myself.

We've got a great resource here at the PTP blog as well. As several people have suggested, I need to start posting newer photos than I have been. You've been heard and we'll go in that direction.

But there's still an interest from some folks in older stuff as well. We'll try to please everyone.

PTP on Facebook? It's been suggested that a Facebook page be started for this blog. Interested?

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday -- with a possible increase in postings ahead -- in this blog. Reader contributions are welcome.

Showing most recent comments first
[Show in chronological order instead]

David - thanks for the fast forward to the future......at least to the 70's. :>)

And yes! I think it would be great idea to have a more regular updates and to see more your blog on a Facebook page.

For those looking for the Facebook page - here is the link - http://www.facebook.com/groups/172915312...

You will have to ask to join, however the admins seem to be a good job of granting quick access.

-- Posted by Bjaj1 on Tue, Aug 2, 2011, at 7:33 PM

marnold1118 in the search line at the top of the page just type in If you grew up in Shelbyville and then search.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Aug 2, 2011, at 3:25 PM

marnold1118, think this is the one you're looking for

"if you grew up in Shelbyville you remember"

-- Posted by dkd57 on Tue, Aug 2, 2011, at 2:51 PM

How do you find the Facebook page "If you grew up in Shelbyville?"

-- Posted by marnold1118 on Tue, Aug 2, 2011, at 2:39 PM

I can remember an earlier time when the show was inundated with rain. You mentioned the 40s. Somehow in my mind I was thinking that it was in the early 50s, however, it could have been 1949. I know that my Dad took the service truck or car from the service station over there and spent most of the night pulling cars out of the mud that had gotten stuck in the parking area between the grandstand and Evans Street. I remember that he said several people had tried to pay him for pulling them out, but he would not take it.

Like you I have been pleasantly surprised at the interest which has been generated by the "If you grew up in Shelbyville" Facebook page. There have been over 3,848 posts by more than 1,357 members and several have posted pictures that I had never seen before.

I am looking forward to seeing what you are able to do about extending PTP to more than once a week.

As for a Facebook page for PTP, I would be very interested. It would help us get to know a little bit more about the people we have been posting with for the last 2 plus years.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Aug 2, 2011, at 1:58 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.