From: "David DeMuth, Jr." |
Date: May 10, 2012, 10:08:03 AM CDT
To: David DeMuth
Cc: Anita Stevens
Subject: Re: Derby
Fun does not describe it, extraordinary more like it.
I arrived Dennis' house on Thursday night near 11 pm, then we woke at 7 am to go in the direction of the track, when to my great amazement, and appreciation, Bruce Thompson calls declaring he is just 5 minutes away from the house.
After errand running, and establishing that the Oaks Day Infield was really open, we set off on foot packing on a two wheel luggage cart, the (heavy) canopy, a cooler, and four chairs. Dennis' declares, "Stop, they will pick us up, watch...", sure enough two golf carts furling down the road stops and says, get in.
The three of us arrived at the track near 9:15 am, We appreciated that security did not find our stashes, and made it through the check-in line time to score a fence-side camp site, setting up and enjoying your canopy system from a previous year.
The weather cooperated nicely, and on several occasions were gifted by the presence of beautiful, happy woman to share in a conversation, two of which ended up camping in a reserve space that we later realized was brilliant as we established our initial footprint, marking our territory with borrowed cord from another new neighbor.
I seem to be able to win in the early races on a given day, then I go bust, hard to pick out the best from the best.
Steve landed at Standiford near 1 pm, and arrived at the track shortly there-after, his first infield experience, but had been in Louisville for Dennis' wedding. He was beside himself! Secretly, he and I enjoy our large scale people parties, traveling great distances (e.g. Sturgis) just to see a rare act (e.g Guns & Roses).
As the day progressed, my attitude on betting, and therefore winning waned with no doubt the effects of a first relaxing day, being with three of my brothers Dennis, Bruce, and Steve. Another, Tom, enjoying last minute tickets from the office, made a cameo visit to the Infield near race 10, retreating quickly thereafter to enjoy his box for the big race #11.
In a bizarre twist, as clouds threatened, we were told that we were to evacuate, "Evacuate, Really, Humbug!!", as a flood threatened veteran would indeed say, "Evacuate on my own terms..."
Let's just say our exit was slow, as molasses, we did dismantle, we packed, and started out, but really, we were not going anywhere, as the storm seemed to be going both south and north of us.
As the infield tunnel was steeped with exiters, the jumbotron sign, flashed, "Racing will commence shortly..." when we returned to the fence line and scored an even better location, setting up our camp, canopy and all, again.
We stayed through the last race, Bruce and Dennis had some nice wins throughout, not real sure how Steve did, I burned through the $100 I budgeted for the day.
Food was a priority, as we did not do so well with preparations for the day, Dennis picking an excellent (we all agreed afterwards) Mexican restaurant which was both close to home and affordable.
Despite near exhaustion (end of semester, Lawrence KS interview, and 6 days at Ash River...) Steve and I elected to take a tour of the area, as we did, stopping only once at a place Dennis' recommended we not go, without him...
Sleep, then wake, 7 am again, I leave Steve behind at his hotel (enjoying a second bed, the first night on Dennis' couch), arrive to discover Bruce is still hanging, and we more directly pointed our scope to the track.
Today's line was massive despite showing up at least an hour earlier, we making it through the line, but today, clipped of one of the two elixirs (Woodford), them not spotting the Vodka poured among the water identical water bottles in the ice-laden cooler.
NOTE TO SELF, PUT BOOZE ON BODY NOT IN COOLER OR CHAIR - SECOND NOTE TO SELF, SEND LEAD AGENT AT 7 AM TO GRAB SPACE, PACKING ONLY TWO OR THREE CHAIRS AND SOME CORD, ALLOWING A DELAYED ARRIVAL FOR THE BALANCE OF THE PARTY.
We still had fence, but this time, opposite of the "jail" from yesterday, and previous year. This jail allows for the police a place to stage from in case of a massive threat, or to stash drunks, or the occasional Santa Claus who was caught doing who knows what. Something about a jail experience that sobers one up quickly, so as we watch the busted, its hard to imagine what they did...
The day even more blessed, the sun penetrating, the people exciting - they say, the Oaks are for the locals, and the Derby is for everyone else, okay, that made sense.
Hurting from the day previous, alcohol was not by beverage of choice, Bruce and I sitting, enjoying a morning coffee. The Infield is really a lot about conversation, sort of like how it is with golf (and the cart). I had not seen Bruce for nearly 20 years, he being the same, telling story after story about his International experiences, triggering Steve's interest, having has similar focus in his life.
We wondered if we'd be gifted by another prolonged conversation with the two teachers from Georgia, the one, in the poked dotted dress, but sadly not. Other joined our party however, almost all a delight.
Near Race 5, a young brother and sister sit on the grass nearby, broasting under the sun, awaiting the short glimpse of the running horses. Naturally we invited them to sit under the canopy, where they shared with us through the eleventh race; east coast sorts, he working in international business, her a fresh graduate, in a year holding pattern before entering medical school, both of which delightful, their first Derby weekend, driving from PA.
Betting was getting becoming challenging, lines long, and it was dumb not to bet two even three races at a time. Finally the derby came and went, another long shot taking first.
Derby 138 now behind us, we stayed for another race, then began the pack out, and departure during the last race.
The march out through the tunnel was long, and a lot of hooplas, amazing day!!
That about gets it, Steve and I took a longer tour of the city on Saturday, Dennis and Bruce opting for sleep...
On Sunday, Steve and I talked about a Directors position he has at his campus, something that I will apply, and then parted, then driving to the Sleepy Hollow Golf Course near Prospect (evidently adjacent to your niece's farmstead).
Tom was there first, then I, Dennis joining, then Bruce, the foursome complete. Another blue-sky day, we golfed, Dennis and I, Tom and Bruce pairing in the carts, I sharing the golf bag with Brother.
We lasted 15 holes before being scorched out, really, and that Tom had a birthday party to go to, we packed it in, then went our separate ways.
My direction afterwards uncertain, committing only to being at Fermilab at 10 am the next morning, something I honored, after, let's just say, an interesting encounter on the northern bank of the Ohio...
How about Derby 139?
On the fence line
On the porch afterwards
Wish You Were Here, by Bill Sutherland, recorded July 24, 2013