Old Friends

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 29, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

 

Image result for old racing fans at the Derby pics

 

 

Two men walk into a race track. – Now before you think it sounds like the start of an old joke; it’s true. – The two older fans have been walking into the races together for quite some time. – For many, it’s not an unusual trek from the car to the gates. But if you’ve been doing it for over 60 years. That’s something special.

Carl and George met shortly after the war. They were born in Cincinnati and didn’t meet until Korea. – They had both had the day away from camp and stumbled onto an ancient race track that was long over-grown. – They were walking around the old grandstand area and met by chance. – This chance meeting of looking for an old race track was the beginning of a friendship that would last a lifetime. Sinseol-dong was a track that was in operation since the early 20’s. During the war, they took a break from live racing and it didn’t take long before the track was over-grown.

“Imagine meeting another race fan from your same hometown. Kinda’ odd if you think about it.” – It’s a real race tracker that wants to visit an old track covered up by the jungle surroundings. – It would be the first track they visited, and have been going ever since.

“We’ve made visits to: Beulah Park, Thistledown, Ascot Park, Lebanon, Commonwealth Park, Miles Park, Keeneland, Ellis, Latonia, Dueling Grounds, Turfway, Churchill,Mountaineer, Indiana Grand, Hoosier Park, Praire Meadows, Belmont, Saratoga, Aqueduct, Arlington, Washington Park, Bowie, Arlington, Hialeah, Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay, Birmingham, Santa Anita, Del Mar, Bay Meadows. Now, we didn’t keep track of dog tracks as it would last 100 pages. – We married, raised families, and are two old bachelors who still love the races. – There hasn’t been a venture we really didn’t enjoy except the Las Vegas Jockey Club. We did an RV trip with the wives and hit a few small fair circuits along the way. When we finally made it they had canceled after a very short run. – ” Too damn hot anyway, but we did pretty well at the Flamingo making it a good visit.”

It’s rare to have this much in common over the years. – We like to bicker and bitch about each other, but at the end of the day, we still make plans to come back the next day. – Not bad for the length of time we’ve been tolerating each other. – “Belterra Park is home now. The trips have gotten to be a memory and the little track has everything we need close to home.” – “We’re talking about making the drive down to Keeneland in a few weeks. Not too far away from home and if we win we may even stay over to go the next day. Hell, the walk from the car gets us more exercise than many old farts our age.’

As I walk in daily I see the boys hanging out early under the covered tables. Close to the action but out of the sun. – This has been a friendship that endured the years, and one as rare as finding a unicorn. – “We’ll keep coming as long as we can. But that’s years away,” chuckled Carl. – Who knows, we may even make plans to go see the Derby again.

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