Here’s my memory of the dream ???
Of course, Dale Earnhardt dies that month at Daytona (this is 2001) but I think this dream came before. When I wrote it down, it occurred to me to see the Great Driver as the Great Clown. If the Great Clown faces death with every joke, every antic ???
Earnhardt was not a comic character as Jimmy Spencer or Jeff Gordon can be. He was a dead serious, angry, brilliant, careful, immensely wealthy man who left a trail of broken feelings behind him, who came late to the Redneck public trust and who was known in his youth as the Intimidator for reasons that were not friendly. As todays’ NASCAR fans love to boo Gordon, the fans of yesterday booed Earnhardt.
When he was interviewed and asked who his heros were, he would inevitably answer pilots. Until you understand what it’s like to drive around a huge two-mile banked oval at speeds over two hundred miles an hour, the answer seems almost gratuitous.
Think of racing as flying an airplane attached to the ground. And there’s forty guys out there with you on a strip of asphalt that in most cases won’t bear three cars wide.
Yikes. The show goes on.
Bubbles and tunnels and vortices of air. It’s all about air.