In honor of the Glidden family after Bob’s passing on Sunday, December 17, we respectfully chose to re-run this Richard Brady Remember When column from our September 2017 printed issue highlighting Brady’s years visiting and photographing the many-time champion. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the Glidden family.
Remember When: The Glidden Family And I
Over the years I lived in Indianapolis, I became good friends with the whole Glidden family, Bob, Etta, Billy and Rusty. To this day, I am still enthralled with their dedication and openness.
There was never a time I was declined coming out to the shop and getting the photos I needed for whatever publication I was doing work for. Oftentimes there would be one of the Diamond P television guys there at the same time getting video pieces for them, but even those guys let me set up and get my stills done with no interference.
Bob only had one rule: I was not to take photos in the shops engine room. To this day had I broke that golden rule, I’m quite sure that I would have been stopped from shooting anything out there again.
It has often been said that the whole Glidden family had work ethics like none others in the sport. While I still believe they did work very hard at what they did, its just a fact that many champions like them are so dedicated to their work, that they are immersed into what they do 24/7. How else could they be the repeat champions they are if they didn’t devote just about every waking hour of every day to their craft? I think you’ll find that those who live and breathe it every day, regardless of the sport or craft, do become repeat champions. The end result is they become very good at what they do, with the perfect example of that statement, the Glidden family. Over the years I went out to the Gliddens home just outside Whiteland, Indiana, to do photos, I got to see first-hand just how dedicated they were to their sport.
I had been contacted by the late Leslie Lovett, the then photo editor of National Dragster, to go out to the Gliddens and shoot the cars, the trucks, and the family in their crew shirts for a possible cover of that publication. As what seems to always be the case with publications, what I was to shoot was needed as soon as it could be done. The whole Glidden family pitched in to help get it all set up and in place, so that I could shoot it.
I failed to mention though that the day chosen to do this was Easter Sunday. Yep, Spring had sprung, the grass was greening up and growing, all the Spring flowers were out, and on a warm Easter Sunday morning we all met at the Glidden shop to shoot the photos I would take which eventually found their way into three or four different magazines.
One of the funny and unique things that happened to me while out there on one or more occasions, was when I asked Bob if it would be alright to use his trophies as background. His reply was, sure, as long as you take each one off the many shelves and replaced them back on those shelves when I was through shooting.
Not only did I do that the first time I asked but a few years later I asked again. Only by then there was double the trophies, which took me much longer to take outside and line up, but to return as well. I remember he seemed amused that I would take the time to do that, but the end result were some photos that no one else has or thought to do.
Even though the family might have been rushed doing other things getting ready to go to a race, I was always allowed to come out to the shop to get what I needed as long as I worked around their schedule. Some of the time I went out there, they were racing in NHRA but they also had an IHRA car as well which meant there was two of everything, two race cars, two sets of spare parts, two complete rigs, etc. Regardless though, I always felt welcome, which also included the feeling I got when I needed something early at a race too.
Like a lot of others I worked with over the years, to this day I was always thrilled to work with Bob and his family and I’m glad I get to Remember When.