Saturday, May 2, 2009

The First Saturday in May

I love the Kentucky Derby. I love the hats and the bugle and the colors and the mint juleps. Especially the mint juleps.

We used to host an Annual Kentucky Derby Party, with printed invitations and bow-tied bartenders. We had Kentucky Derby stirrers and napkins and betting tickets, which I bought directly from Churchill Downs. The race was on tv's in a couple of rooms and 60 or 70 of our closest friends and associates would yell and scream and laugh and hug. We always talked about having a live Dixie-land band, but we always decided that they'd just be one noise too many, so we stuck with some cd's on random repeat and no one seemed to care.

Today, the track was a mucky mess ("fast wet" pronounced the announcers who agreed that they each knew what the other meant, but neither of whom deigned to share with the class) and there were a lot of very well-dressed people tromping through it. So, I had to wonder aloud to TBG : Do those people HAVE TO or GET TO walk on that mucky track?

We'd never seen this particular piece of the festivities before, so I wondered and watched. There was a 75 year old trainer/owner who looks exactly like Daddooooo's father, and who has a one horse stable and whose one horse was right there behind him as he waved to the crowd and tried to be polite to the interviewer with the microphone when all he wanted to do was say "Thank You" to the cheering throng. Clearly, he was going to walk with that horse wherever they'd let him walk. The trainer in the Hermes tie? Vanity, perhaps, led him to threaten the long-term health of those silk pants and snazzy loafers. But when the New Mexico cowboy hat bolo tie 12 shattered foot bones guy loped through that goop on his crutches, the answer was clear -

they GET TO walk on that mucky track.

"And Mine That Bird" wins the 135th Kentucky Derby"

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