Amazing colors October 2009


 The end of one year and the anticipation of a new year always brings me mixed feelings.  I personally am not at all sorry to see 2009 end.  It did however bring a lot of good things – new opportunities, new friendships.  Shifting my focus to seriously writing.  Saying goodbye to a number of animals we had rescued and sent along to good homes.  So much happened during the year, that it would be impossible to write it all down.  I began my blog in January.  It has been fun, and I liked showing others a tiny window into my world.  I got to show off photographs as well, which really was a first for me.  Somewhere, in boxes packed to move in the last few years (yes, we are still going to move, but it depends on a number of things still)..anyway, in the boxes are envelopes of developed 35 mm film.  Hundreds of rolls.  That is one thing, the advent of digital photography has been a wonderous boon for us who love to take photos.  No more boxes of developed film, no more griping about paying for developing  bad shots, and no more guilt for not making up photo albums.  My dad was the photo album KING.  I have lots that he put together, and he would always include things like charge card slips from special eatery, or brochures from places that we stayed as a family, or later when he traveled with mom.  He was not just good at it, he was amazing.  He would put the scrapbookers of today to shame.  He was an offset printer by trade, which I know gave him an edge on laying out pages.  One day, I will go through all my old photos and frame some of them.  I worked with and around a lot of top Thoroughbreds during my time at the track.  My camera was never far from my hands, even when I was working with the horses.  I had a locked drawer in my trainers desk that I could leave my camera for safekeeping.  It worked well for both of us, he got good candid shots of his horses, and I was able to do my job, then after work go on taking photos of horses in training – or in the afternoon at the races.  I likely took  more photographs of the last Triple Crown champion Affirmed than any other human on the planet.  Exceller, Ferdinand.  John Henry.  Great Lady M, the dam of the superlative Lady’s Secret.  So many many great horses, and it hit me last night…….they are all gone now.  Exceller and Ferdinand to death in slaughterhouses, in Belgium and Japan respectively.  The others to disease, injuries and a few lucky ones to old age.  The condition lamanitis has claimed so many horses – Affirmed, Secretariat, Barbaro to name just a few.  Once the research for lamanitis unlocks the cure for this dreaded disease, it will save so many lives.  I hope I see it in my lifetime.  Racing has changed so much since 1970, when I first began my fascination with it.  So many memories of such wonderful horses, and people as well.  This last Saturday, was opening day for Santa Anita.  It is always the day after Christmas.  There was a special event planned for after the 4th race.  In the paddock gardens, which is home to a life-sized statue of the immortal Seabiscuit, there is now another occupant.  There is now a new  life-sized statue of a friend of mine – John Henry.  John loved peppermints, and he would even tolerate you nearby IF you had those magic sweets in hand.  Once he had consumed all you had, that was it, he was done visiting.  He died October 8, 2007  at the Kentucky Horse Park at the ripe old age of 32.  I hope they have peppermints in heaven, or there is some serious attitude going on up there ! Enough reminiscing, best get back to business here ! Have a nice evening all !