Spring Is Coming

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 11, 2009 in General Discussion | 1 Comment >>

Today, I ran into a longtime patron of our track. She let me know that spring was coming. I asked was it the beautiful sunshine outside, or the 65 degree weather? She said no you dumb fool, it is The Louisiana Derby.

I should have known as Anna was named after the Cajun race. Her parents attended every race, and even got married in 1933 on the way to Derby….

She loved her state before relocating, and this is how she knows what time of year it is.. The name she really called me rhymes with num-bass…. I should have known. It was my fault, and a lesson I will not forget.

After I wiped my eyes, I loved hearing the stories of how she and her family would go the track. She then added a husband and three children along the way.  It was right of passage… The race was a signal of how true lovers of the sport measured the season.

It wasn’t the bad beats, the big payoffs, and the time her husband got so drunk and fell asleep in the sun, which made the race special to hear. I love listening to older players, as they offer the truest perspective, and this is something you could never get in any focus group.

I could sense she missed the old days. Her family is married and moved away, and her grandson is in Iraq. But he did write her and ask for her tip for the race. She really loves Giant Oak. He was killed last race out, and did not have a chance. This will jack up his price and make him the wiseguy horse to play. It was at this time, that she asked me to go head-to-head for a $5 bet. I didn’t have the heart to let her know that I liked Giant Oak as well, so I took the chalk… I’ll pay her on Monday……

The best part, was listening to her regale the times of going to the races.  Nothing about how to handicap, how to bet, or even losing her shirt $5 bucks at a time. It was about gathering family and friends in old Cajun land. After all, this was the kickoff for spring…..