I think I've now heard from all my Tennessee friends, and all are safe and relatively high & dry. It's crazy out there! Floods in Tennessee, oil washing up in the Gulf, busted pipes & dirty water in Boston, car bombs in NYC, tornadoes in the South... it all makes the noisy thunderstorms that have awakened me the past two nights seem pretty tame by comparison.
* * * * *
Watched the Kentucky Derby yesterday and, as I do pretty much every year about this time, remembered the time I got to meet the great Secretariat. It was about a year after he'd retired. I was a horse-crazy thirteen-year-old, and we took a family vacation to the bluegrass country of Kentucky. After making a pilgrimage to Churchill Downs, we went to the farm where Secretariat was at stud, only to find it had been closed to the public. But my parents made a phone call and pleaded our case, and they let us in and gave us a tour of the stud barn. There are pictures (I need to scan them someday & post them online!) of a nerdy little me standing next to that huge glossy red stallion, touching his shoulder, looking up at him in awe. I also got to meet his stablemate Riva Ridge and several other stallions whose names and histories I knew well. I remember that Secretariat was enormous and stunningly beautiful; though he was no longer in peak racing condition, he'd been off the track less than a year and still looked like the tremendous athlete he was. It was a great, great day for me.
This amuses me greatly: the list of celebrities I have patted on the shoulder consists of Secretariat and Bruce Springsteen. Hee! :)