COLUMBIA CITY — When local 80-year-old Barbara Craig picked up the paper one morning she saw a photo of a vintage Indy car she had not laid eyes on in years.
In the article with the photo, Barbara read that STAFCO, Steel Tank and Fabricating Corporation, was to host the refurbished Kennedy Tank Indy car for a day.
Venturing to reconnect with her past, Barbara visited STAFCO June 5 to see the car.
“It’s in perfect shape,” said Craig. “They even wanted me to get in it.”
Since Craig’s hip went out of joint nearly six weeks ago, she had to tell the president of STAFCO, Pat Kennedy, that it was not possible for her to sit in the car.
“I met Pat, and he was real nice,” said Craig. “I knew his mom and dad before they got married.”
Barbara’s future husband, Ed Craig, worked for Kennedy Tank, the parent company for STAFCO. The owner of Kennedy Tank was Bill Kennedy, Pat Kennedy’s father.
It was only a year after Ed began working for Kennedy Tank, and the owner Bill Kennedy, that he was transferred to STAFCO.
At the time the Indy car raced, Barbara was only a 16-year-old girl, but she can still remember details from back around 1948.
“I was only 16 then, and that was my first 500 mile race,” said Barbara. “I can’t remember what speed the cars were going, but to me and to everybody else, it was fast.”
Sitting in box seats close to the track, Barbara said the race lasted nearly all day, much longer than a race would last today.
“I enjoyed it though,” said Barbara. “I thought it was a neat thing for a young 16-year-old to do.”
After marrying Ed, Barbara moved to Columbia City with him when he was transferred around 1952-53, and she has been living here ever since.
While Ed passed away 18 years ago, Barbara remembers the past with great satisfaction.
“I’ve lived a good life,” said Barbara.
There is no doubt her neighbors will see Barbara walking and resuming her daily tasks when her hip is back to normal.
Looking toward the future, Barbara said she has one big goal she wants to make.
“My goal is to live to be 100,” said Barbara.