Sunday, May 2, 2010

Derby Weekend.

"Regret", the first filly to win the Kentucky Derby in 1915.

I spent a truly wonderful and memorable Derby weekend up in Louisville with new friends. I have never watched the Kentucky Derby before, and I was tickled by the sweet and friendly energy it sends out into the neighborhoods of Louisville. I heard about a hundred people brightly say, "Have a good Derby!" while toodling around town with my friends, and I got swept into impromptu parties and dinner outings. I even made my first bet and got my first win on a horse race: I bet one dollar and won 5 after Super Saver and charming Cajun Calvin Borel whizzed past the finish line. Even though I only picked Super Saver out of a hat and had no wisdom about the race, I felt really drawn into it all by my lucky win.

I found the whole thing to be surprisingly moving and lovely, actually: the interviews on TV with lovable Calvin Borel (his frequent "yes, ma'am" and "baby" to the interviewer; his hard-for-me-to-decipher accent), the afternoon mint juleps at a beautiful house in The Highlands, the bourbon-soaked conversation and laughter, the flowers blooming everywhere, the lounging in yards and on porches between rain showers. Perhaps part of the reason this weekend felt hyper-emotional and super-saturated was that I've been virtually alone in my cabin for about a month--and venturing into society for a whole weekend was like eating the first blueberries of summer. Intoxicatingly delicious.

(Also, M sent me a link to a sweet thread between Derby Time in Louisville and Home in Red Hook: Le Nell's Mint Julep Recipe. Something about the timing of it made my heart overflow a little.)

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