Tuesday, May 20, 2008

You go, Grandma Pittenger!

Last year we decided to take advantage of our home’s close proximity to a large lake and buy a boat. With three children ranging in ages from 16 to 4, finding activities that interest everyone can be challenging. Boating seemed like the perfect solution. And it has been a purchase we haven’t regretted.

I haven’t water skied in almost 20 years and I systematically rebuffed my son’s routine pleas for me to try it again. Or wake boarding. Or even tubing. I kept telling myself that it was never a good time to be hurt. I had a conference I was attending in a month. A party coming up. There was always a reason not to.

This year I’m taking a different approach and my change of attitude comes from a 96-year-old woman named Edith Pittenger. She is the grandmother to my cousins, the mother of my uncle Jay. (His wife is my mother’s sister.)

Yesterday Edith, a long time fan of Indy racing, took a spin around the track. She has attended the Indy 500 for the past 44 straight years. This time she saw the track from a different vantage point. Going 180 miles per hour seated behind driver Arie Luyendyk, Jr., this great-great-grandmother fulfilled a dream and had a smile on her face the entire time. She set a record for being the oldest person to accomplish this feat.

The photos here were taken by my cousin’s husband, Ryan Mackowiak. Along with Edith, several dozen family members were present to cheer her on. What have you always wanted to do but were just too afraid to try? Or maybe you’re waiting on a better time, a day when it wouldn’t matter if you got a little banged up. I’m going to get out of the boat this year. If anyone takes pictures, I’ll be sure to post them.


Kendra said...

If anyone reading would like to see my grandma take her spin around the track here is the link:


Once you get to the main page, in the middle you have different videos to chose from (5 pages). Her's is on page 2 titled "96 Year Old Hits the Track".

We just found out about an hour ago that Jay Leno's office called my grandma and asked her a bunch of questions! Needless to say my grandma was thrilled to get the call...so thrilled she can't really remember everything they asked her. Hopefully one of those questions was, "would you like to come out to LA and be on the show"....we'll see!

Thanks Pam for sharing her story!

Wila said...

Looking at the photos of Edith makes you realize the beauty effects of good posture, an interest in life and a gorgeous smile.

Anonymous said...

She made msn.com!!