Saturday, May 2, 2009
Dreaming of the Kentucky Derby
I’ve always wanted to get one of those big hats and drink Mint Juleps.
My mom and grandma have always wanted to go too.
We watch it every year and as fun as it is to see the hats and the beautiful horses, it is also somewhat melancholy for my mom and grandma.
You see, my grandpa (papa as I called him) raised race horses in Kentucky on the family farm for most of my childhood.
He had horses in various races, but never the Kentucky Derby. When I was a kid, the whole thing was boring to me. I didn’t care about the racing part of it, I just wanted to pet, feed and ride the horses.
We were never allowed to ride. Only the jockeys could ride those horses.
After my papa died, my grandma sold all the horses, which broke my heart. It made his death all the more real to me. The farm was desolate. No horses. No pigs. Silence.
He’s been gone for 20 years now, but every year when we watch the Derby and they play “My Old Kentucky Home,” my mom and grandma get emotional, which then causes me to get emotional.
For years, I have wanted to take my mom and grandma to the Derby. The money has never been there, though. It’s not cheap. Hopefully, things will turn around and I can take them in the next couple of years.
Until then, I will just dream up the perfect hat and practice sipping those Mint Juleps.