Beyond the Build

Community Service

Bucket List Events

For me, April means two things: The Masters and Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, both extraordinary events started by men with a passion for doing something worthwhile and best in class. (Bobby Jones/Clifford Roberts for the Masters and George Barber for the Indy car event.) My spring is off to a good start because both are on my calendar.

Everyone knows about The Augusta National and The Masters, but Barber Motorsports Park is more of a hidden gem. You’ll find the largest private collection of motorcycles in the world and open wheel racing and motorcycle racing.

As I watched this year’s events, with guys doing more than 200 miles an hour, it made me glad to have a day job that is not racing. Takuma Sato, a car owned by David Letterman, won the race, and several of our folks were on hand to enjoy all the festivities, along with visitors from 38 states and 8 countries. The cars are fast, the company is hard to beat and the weather was just right.

As I watched, I couldn’t help but think about what the land was just a few short years ago–an empty field–and how George Barber’s dream played out with the museum and this race. The same goes for Augusta National, which was was not much more than pine trees and pasture right after the Depression. What a win for all who get to visit.

{Image Source: APM Kamal Ahmed}

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.