Mr. & Mrs. Oilpressure Tie The Knot At IMS
Most that have read this site for some time know that some of my most cherished memories have occurred at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The hallowed ground that has been the birthplace of so much racing history is also where I have so many personal recollections since I started attending races there in 1965. Well, Friday night’s memory has topped them all. This sacred place will now always be remembered as the place where Susan Scruggs and I got married.
It was a small intimate ceremony attended by a few friends who made the trip from Tennessee. We are fortunate that we have met some wonderful new friends who have access to a private suite at the track and they allowed us to hold our wedding ceremony there.
For those that don’t know, Susan and I met and dated over thirty-five years ago during the second half of our freshman year (1977) at the University of Tennessee and into the first half of sophomore year. It was the first full-fledged college flame for both of us. As most of those go, it was non-stop and intense. Below are a few incriminating photos from 1977.
Also as most college romances do, ours ended. Susan will say that I dumped her in favor of my fraternity. I’ll claim she chose a football player over me. Whatever the case, we crossed paths only a few more times in college and never saw each other again after 1981 – for twenty years, that is. After one marriage each and two kids apiece, we re-connected by chance in 2001.
It was as if we never missed a beat. Neither of us had ever forgotten about the other throughout those twenty-five years after we dated. When we re-connected, we were good friends at first, but as time moved on; we both realized that we were meant to be. We are different in many ways, but to borrow an overused cliché – we are soul mates. We compliment each other and make up for each other’s deficiencies, although I think I have a lot more than she does.
Even before my first marriage in 1986, I had always carried this secret dream of getting married at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – but it was nothing more than a fantasy, because I knew of no way to pull it off. Through this blog however, I have met and made many new friends over the past few years. When the idea of marriage to Susan became more than a dream, I approached my friends to see if it was possible to do this at IMS. When they enthusiastically agreed, I surprised Susan with the locale, long before I gave her the ring on the morning of the St. Petersburg race. To my pleasant surprise, she was all for it.
We didn’t go all-out for the whole racing motif. We didn’t want to be in firesuits wearing helmets. That would have been just a little too tacky. Instead, I wore a suit and Susan wore a dress. But the affair was not completely devoid of the racing theme. My boutonniere was accented with a checkered ribbon, while Susan’s flowers were the exact same orchids as those found in the Borg-Warner wreath that graces the winner of the Indianapolis 500 in Victory Lane. Plus, our “guest book” was an oversized checkered flag with the Wing & Wheel bought in the IMS gift shop.
Susan’s best friend, Peggy Jennings and her daughter, Hannah, came up from Clarksville, TN for Peggy to serve as Susan’s Matron of Honor. My Best Man was my very good friend and co-worker John McLallen, from the One Take Only videos. Performing the ceremony, was another close friend of Susan’s, Karen Kluever of Charlotte, NC.
So will there be a honeymoon? You bet – but that comes after the race. We will both be at the track all weekend long. Then we actually return to reality and go back to our respective jobs for a few days, before returning for the race. Then after the race, we return to Nashville before hopping on a plane headed to a location that has a beach. I hope you’ll forgive me if this site takes a hiatus for a few days then, although I’ll probably post something from our tropical locale after the Belle Isle race.
We want to thank those that came; as well as Paul Dalbey from More Front Wing, who kindly served as our photographer. We also want to give a very special “Thank You” to our very good friends who were kind enough to give us access to their suite and for all the preparations that they should not have done. You helped create an unbelievable memory and fulfill a lifetime dream.
Without turning this post into a romance novel, suffice it to say that we are both very happy to finally be together. I feel as if I’ve married my best friend, and I don’t think anyone could ask for anything better than that. It’s been a long road with lots of obstacles, but we’re finally here.
OK – Now, it’s qualifying weekend!
George & Susan Phillips