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Thursday, June 18, 2009

HOM: Derby Day

We left Boston just after the first of May, well past the point where fish & visitors stink, but the Francis family still acted sorry to see us go. Well, to see Becky go, anyway. They loved that first Grandchild. I don't remember the route we took, though the old AAA TripTiks we used might be kicking around somewhere. I know we bypassed the Big Apple, swung by Harrisburg, PA, for a glimpse of the notorious Three Mile Island, and wandered through the Blue Ridge Mountains in Maryland and a corner of Virginia and on into West Virginia. Somewhere in there we stopped for a tour of a glass factory and ended with a lighter and ashtray as complementary gifts. Since neither of us smoked and they were never put out where they would be handy to throw, they are still in mint condition. The next burned-in memory is Lexington, Kentucky, home of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. The Derby is run on the first Saturday in May, and in 1979 that was May Fifth. I was there. Well, sort of. I heard on the radio that it was Derby Day, so we headed into Lexington so I could at least say I'd been to Churchill Downs. I should have looked at the time: I was almost at the track when suddenly there were roadblocks, cop cars and big black limo's EVERYWHERE. The Derby was over and the big shots were leaving. The first chance I got, we made a (probably illegal) turn and got out of there. It was WAY too crowded for this Montana Hillbilly. Spectacular Bid was the winner. I wish I could have seen the race. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)