Jack Tower was a racer and riding mechanic (real name Edward J. Towers). He was born February 24, 1888 and lived to the ripe old age of 97 (November 1985).
He was the fastest qualifier (88.23 mph, single lap) at the 1913 Indianapolis 500, but started from the back row as the grid was determined by a blind draw at that time.
Jack's car flipped over on the southwest turn on lap 51. Jack broke his leg and his riding mechanic, Lee Dunning, broke three ribs.
Tower also served in the U.S. Army in World War I and World War II, achieving the rank of Colonel, here is a link to an interview with him about his war experiences: http://www.nj.gov/military/museum/mexborder.html
I'm counting down the days until the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
I'm not a race fan in the fanatic sense. I've only been to the Indy 500 a handful of times. My memories center around listening to the race on the radio in the backyard while filling out the leading laps grid from the Indianapolis Star.
I do love Indianapolis, tradition, and most of all a theme! Each day I will share a memory or tidbit of history.