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Indy 500 historian returning to Strand

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

When Donald Davidson steps foot in the Strand Theatre, he doesn’t have a plan.

There is no speech prepared, no presentation of any kind. He’s there simply to tell anecdotes.

The Indianapolis 500 historian will be appearing at 7 p.m. Friday at the Strand in downtown Shelbyville to regale residents of stories about previous Memorial Day weekend races.

“I like to talk about some of the neat things that have happened,” he said Tuesday in a phone interview. “The Strand is a little bit different because of all the places I go to, I don’t typically know if there’s going to be any enthusiasm or not.”

There’s plenty of enthusiasm at the Strand.

That’s because those who attend do so because they want to.

At other locations, such as at Kiwanis Clubs around the state, members may not be interested in the topic.

“I basically show up and set up and ask, ‘What do you want to hear about?’” he said.

Describing it as a “chat” and not a lecture, the one thing he doesn’t like to talk about are controversial subjects. And while he’s not a “gear head,” he does handle technical questions.

“My guess is everybody in the audience has heard me talk somewhere,” he said. “They just want me to talk about their favorite driver from the ’60s or ’70s or whatever it is.”

His chats at the Strand last around 90 minutes and admission is free.

“The theatre is a really nice setup and the fact that your audience, everybody wants to hear what you have to say (is enjoyable),” he said.