“…while reading johnnie parsons book i came across this photo. and here’s the story behind it…
The MGM movie crew, including handsome Clark Gable, the top box office star of the era, was in John’s pit box during the race. (1950) They had become close to each other and they were cheering him on. They watched as chief mechanic Harry Stephens kept giving John “EZY” signals. John felt this same tactic had cost him a win during last year’s race, so John wasn’t about to slow down even though he had a lap on the field. Growing tired of the continuing “EZY” signals, John flashed a sign of his own to Stephens. The universal one finger salute. The MGM people got a real kick out of it.
At Milwaukee for the June 11th race, John received a large envelope via special delivery at a cost of 21 cents. It was from MGM’s J. L. Smith, one of the MGM Indy Pit observers. Inside was an 8×10 photo of Lew Smith, Barbara Stanwyck, Clark Gable, and Bill Hickman (stunt driver). In the photo each of them were giving the famous one finger salute mocking Parsons’ message to Stephens.”
All four are seen in the auto racing movie “To Please a Lady” (1950).