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346 Fall 2015

Dinner was scheduled for Wednes-

day night. We knew we would need a

place large enough to seat about 500

people, and we also knew there was no

such facility within a half-hour’s drive

from the track. The answer was to

have the dinner under a large tent in-

side the track. It would be needed for

the vintage event anyway, so we were

able to have them put it up a day ear-

lier than they had planned and got a

reduction in the cost. We also had to

pay to rent tables and chairs, but

that’s normal in situations like this.

You have to pay to rent everything

from plates and silverware to napkins

and tablecloths, podium, lights, PA

system, wait staff and garbage re-

moval. While catered meals tend to

cost less than a banquet facility, hav-

ing to rent everything makes up for it.

The track manager’s wife also ran

a catering business and often provided

food at track events. It was a real

sweetheart relationship. We chose the

“Wisconsin picnic” buffet dinner: ham-

burgers and hot dogs, bratwurst, cole

slaw and potato salad.

Dinner was scheduled to start at 7

p.m. By the time everyone was seated

the skies had darkened and tornado

warnings were being posted. The

event organizers and the track man-

ager were trying to decide a course of

action: should we wait it out and hope

it would blow over or vacate the tent

and cancel the dinner? The county

sheriff stepped up to the podium and

relieved us of having to make the de-