Track neighbor continues decades-long Derby weekend tradition - News, Weather & Sports

Track neighbor continues decades-long Derby weekend tradition

Elmer Huber Elmer Huber
Michael Johnson Michael Johnson
The Derby tradition continues at Elmer Huber's Queen Avenue home. The Derby tradition continues at Elmer Huber's Queen Avenue home.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Before horse racing fans could enjoy the festivities at Churchill Downs on Oaks Day many had to first find a place to park. While it may have proved to be a challenge for some, one Churchill Downs neighbor continued to turn the rather typical problem into a profit for yet another year.

"If we've got a spot, we'll give it to them," said Elmer Huber, 90, of Louisville.

The Navy veteran, who'll turn 91 years old Sunday, annually transformed his front lawn into a gold mine.

"I'm sitting out here waiting for cars to back so they can park 'em in the front yard," said Huber.

Living in the shadows of Churchill Downs on Queen Street, Huber said he had turned his yard into a parking lot for decades.

"When I first started, I got a dollar on Friday and two dollars on Saturday," said Huber.

Huber said that was in 1959. Now, 55 years later, Huber's homemade business and profits remained on the come up.

"$20 here. $10 in the back," said Michael Johnson, Huber's neighbor, while helping direct vehicles. "By Saturday, it'll be $100 and $50 in the back."

Over the years, Huber said his clientele had included a variety of people including many repeat customers satisfied with the down home service the Queen Street group provides.

"We even had the mayor," recounted Huber. "His brother used to park right between those two houses."

"Once you bring good service in," began Johnson, "you know they're going to come back every season."

"We don't go no place," said Huber. "We stay here until every car's off that driveway."

While Huber insisted keeping a watchful eye on the parked vehicles is a personal must, this year he found a way to bring the races even closer to his front door.

"They got the television set over there. You know that big one," began Huber, "We are going to put benches and tables over there and we're going to have peanuts and popcorn!"

Huber said he favored the new game plan and would stick with his winning business plan for years to come.

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