Monaco, Monaco

Monaco Grand Prix

For auto racing fans, May 25, 2014, features two of the crown jewels of the sport, the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix.

In 1972, I was backpacking around France and I wanted to see the Formula 1 race in Monaco. While I was making my way to the youth hostel in Menton, I stopped at a small store in Monaco-Ville to pick up some food. I said, “à manger,” to the proprietor - the only food related phrase that came to mind, a phrase that had been drilled into my head by Mr Kimura, my junior high school French teacher. I saw an appealing label on a can of something, high up on a shelf. The shopkeeper pulled the can down and as she handed it to me, she started laughing. She said, “pour les chiens.”

In 1990, I returned to the Monaco Grand Prix, this time working for ABC, the US television broadcaster of the race. One of the Formula 1's greatest drivers, Ayrton Senna, was at the peak of his career. I stationed myself just past the piscine (pool), inside the triple Armco barrier at the apex of turn 16, where the cars literally passed inches away. I was lucky enough to get this photograph of Senna.

Monaco Grand Prix