Art Pollard Tribute by Rex Miller
Reflections of a day in May 1973 at Indy
Rex Miller, Muncie, Indiana
My recollection of Art Pollard:
Art may have been the 1st driver to see the “trap door” that we used get the car and driver shots with the 1000mm (super-telephoto) lens just coming out of turn 3. (“Trap door” = hole cut in fence and then folded back up after pictures taken.) I was working with the 1000mm lens, checking for lighting and accuracy during the morning (race day start situations). I was trying to be very discrete since this was the first few days of the “trap door” that Don (a photographer from UPI) had created (without IMS’s knowledge).
I was at the fence, Art came out to the turn to watch a teammate practice and watch others handle the bobble in Turn 3. He had already been out and was in his driver uniform. The observer stand was just down-track from me. He finished observing what he came to see and then wanted to see what I was doing. We had a great chat. He laughed about the “trap door”, checked the view that I saw from the 1000mm.
It was just us and roar and fumes for about 10 minutes.
As Robin Miller said in the eulogy, and has been said by others, “kind, generous, friendly, outgoing, persistent, honest, gentlemanly, optimistic, competitive, even-tempered, vibrant – these words describe a few of the qualities of this exceptional person who was also a great race driver. He liked and understood people, and he gave of himself to his fans and friends” that is exactly what I experienced in a 10 minute friendship.
Later that day, no more than three hours later, I felt cheated because of a crash on the other end of the track. I hurt deep inside because I wanted more… not just more time with Art, but time for Art.
He was not just a man in a driver’s suit. Art was a “kind, generous, friendly, outgoing, persistent, honest, gentlemanly, optimistic, competitive, even-tempered, vibrant, great race driver” in a man suit.
The Carpenters were one of Art’s favorite groups in the modern era. The Carpenters – Superstar