Time Well Spent

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 21, 2020 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

Nothing beats it. Remember when going to the races was an event? – You dressed up and went out for the evening. – Meeting friends to enjoy the action. Or, maybe it was driving out for the last few races. You still had on your work clothes and made the jaunt to catch some mid-week pony action. – Nothing like it.

I was heading out to work and get there about an hour early. – Sometimes I see a friendly face and catch up a bit. – Friends made at the track last a lifetime. – This particular pal was a long time bookie and over the years.  I got to thinking about making a visit and this was the day. Don’t know what prompted the idea, but sure glad I stopped by. He was there with two older gents where there used to be 10. People lose interest or life just goes on. – We talked and laughed and yacked about the big horse we liked in the feature. It was as if we never left off from my past visits.

He still sits in the back of the Race Book and books the action of the two older pals. – The walk to the windows has gotten tougher and he books $2 to win or place and pays out as soon as the race is official. – I’m sure the track wouldn’t care for the competition, but sometimes we just look the other way.

I offered to buy him a soft drink. ” Diet, my friend. And do you know what would be the perfect addition? – A super dog with mustard and relish.” No problem. – For $4, it was the best time spent with an old friend. – He still uses the program while others have computers and tablets to read their betting info. – ” I couldn’t spell computer much less use one.” – He’s right; as I reassured him he was doing fine. He polished off the last few bites and washed it down with a cold Diet Coke.

He loves to tell tales of how he nailed a big score and where he and his crew went after the races. – The story feels like it happened five minutes ago, but it was before I was able to walk. But, still good talk. – Time spent with old friends is always well spent. – I still enjoy hearing how he took in the day racing at River Downs and jumped in the car and drove ten miles to Latonia Harness for a full card of racing action. – If all went well, he knew of at least three card games taking place that night. – ” Sometimes I would leave at 11am and get home at 5 am the next day. But what times they were.”

The talk of ladies who would meet him at the races, and the friends he still knows to this day makes my heart smile. – He does tell me he wished he would have went out to Las Vegas for daily trips to the Race Book all day everyday. – ” I would have loved that life, but I would’ve missed my grand-babies growing up. Old guys like me have a meeting ground and Vegas is perfect.”

“You know, I love coming to the races. I’d come in cold or heat and love every second. I still have the love, and it’s been my steady gal for over 60 years.” – The look in his eyes would tell a thousand tales, but the time spent sitting with an old friend was worth a dozen exactas. Well, maybe three…

As time was drawing near to head up upstairs, he said it was time to go home. ” It’s getting dark early, and I don’t see like I used to. None of us do.” – I got up and he stood up with the aid of two canes. – We walked slowly to the door and he reached over and shook my hand. ” Babe, it was great talking with you. I always love shooting the bull with you. I think you may be the only one I can out handicap!” – He was right. His old school love of the game was still intact and our friendship continues. – I just picked up the phone and gave him a little ribbing. No racing for him today as he was headed to the doctor. I told him I liked a horse on Thursday and he said ; ” Be sure and call me tonight. What are his odds?” – That’s my old friend. – Known him for years and we’ve traded back and forth the same $100 for what seems a lifetime. After all, any action for a bookie is action eternal.

 

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