Missed Derby, that is. I know, I know, sacrilege.
Weirdest thing about me and the first Saturday in May, though. I have graduated college on that day, been engaged on that day, birthed a son on that day, and this year was on vacation for about the third time on Derby Day! It’s not intentional. I love Derby. It’s just how things have worked out, more than once.
I was on my smartphone checking Facebook on Friday this year, when I came across a pic of a local ad guy wearing a horse mask. “Weird,” I thought. Then I realized, “Hey, it’s the Oaks.” In line to gain entry to Universal Islands of Adventure (and the new Harry Potter theme park contained therein), the lady in line behind me asked where we were from, and told us that she, too, was from Louisville. “You’re going to miss the Derby!” she said, before she told me about her annual Derby Party in Daytona Beach.
I grew up loving horses, I enjoy the track, and I swear there are no hard feelings between us whatsoever. I can croon along with The Run for the Roses by Fogelberg as well as the next gal. I am a Wayne Lukas girl. I have won Derby Trivia contests before, although I’m not any kind of expert–I just have all kinds of random info in my head. I bow my head at the mention of the name Secretariat, man. I’m legit, I swear.
Somehow, though, despite being a journalist and having tons of journalist friends covering the news on FB, I always miss out on Derby events. It’s like I’m not meant to be there, for some reason. I like Thunder, but most years I am working in my yard hearing jets overhead before I realize I’ve whiffed it.
What about you? Do you have some kind of mental block about Derby? Have you in the past? Will mine ever recede? I kind of suspect it has something to do with managing all these kids, and books, and life. I’m just overwhelmed, I think. Not much leisure time.
And that’s too bad. Maybe next year I’ll make a point to hang outside the Barnstable Brown party and rubberneck again. Or see the airshow. It’s been decades since I’ve gone to the Chow Wagon. Does that still exist?
Oh, yeah. And I might even catch a horserace. Might have to work it into a birthday party theme for my son, but what kid doesn’t like offtrack betting as a birthday activity, huh? C’mon. A little julep-flavored punch, anyone?