Jim Inman (Photo: Indy Star)
This Sunday will be the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500. While fans will be back in the stands – a change from the race last year – and milk will be poured at the end of the race, one familiar voice will not be calling the action.
Bob Jenkins will not be on a microphone this weekend.
Jenkins, 73, woke with a headache on Christmas morning. A visit to the hospital revealed two tumors on his right temple. Brain cancer was the diagnosis.
Add in a fall that broke his back, and Jenkins has certainly had a tough year.
Jenkins has been working at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1979, and has certainly been a fixture for decades. He’s called numerous 500 races, including a nail-biter in 1992 when Al Unser Jr. defeated Scott Goodyear by 0.043 seconds.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Jenkins isn’t sure if he will attend the race this year. The chemotherapy and radiation treatments have decreased the announcer’s stamina, and Jenkins has noted that he sometimes has trouble putting words and phrases together.
Hopefully we see Bob Jenkins back in a headset next year.
The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to run Sunday, May 30. The race will be at 40% fan capacity, due to COVID restrictions.
WGCL will begin coverage Sunday at 11:00 am. The race is scheduled to start at 12:45 pm.
May is National Mental Health Month.
As friends, family, neighbors and coworkers begin stepping out into the world, many people will be slow to open up about how they have struggled during the pandemic.
If you feel that someone is struggling, here are some tips to help:
- Check-in regularly. Call and speak with the person. If they don’t answer the phone, send a text. Let the person know you’re open and available to chat.
- Ask them to join you. Many times people are reluctant to resume activities after being isolated. An invitation can be to lunch, dinner, running errands or even a weekend drive. While the invitation may not be initially accepted, knowing the offer is there can help.
- Avoid judgmental comments. What might seem like a small matter to one person can be enormous to another. Don’t tell someone to “get over it” – let them know their feelings are valid and keep an open ear, heart and mind.
- Be genuine. Let the person know you care. It doesn’t have to be a big production – small, consistent and specific comments can help those trying to break out of the stress and challenges of mental illness.
It’s important to seek immediate help if someone is in danger of harming themselves. The National Suicide Prevention Line is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).