French Sabbatical

My family's year in France…

Day 130 (7 November 2010) – A Day at the Races

Today’s photo is a perfect representation of one of MY wonders of the world. The rest of you can have your statues, temples and monuments. I have my father at the racetrack. Here he is, positioned perfectly in the restaurant at the Nantes Hippodrome watching the horses come down the stretch. I can’t script something better than this.

Back in 1988 I spent a full racetrack season working at Longacres, the legendary racetrack in Seattle. I had just graduated from college, was considering grad schools, and wanted a summer doing something I loved but knew wasn’t my “calling.” I got a job working for the Daily Racing Form. I was at the racetrack every morning and evening, working long hours noting the entries and charting the races. My father attended pretty much every race day as he was working for a couple of national horse race handicapping magazines. Spending that time with him sharing something we both love is among my most cherished and prized memories.

So 22 years later, here he is in Nantes sharing a day at the races with not only me but with my mom, Melinda, and our dear, dear French friends Laurent & Frédérique. It was the merging of so many of my wonders of the world that I can’t describe to you how perfect it was. You just have to trust me.

One more note… I told the story in yesterday’s post about my dad and me trying to figure out how to place bets on the Breeder’s Cup. The second of his two bets came in. He correctly picked that a horse named Blame would upset the amazing Zenyatta in the Classic. He told me his rationale early yesterday, couching his explanation in terms as only an English major could. A great horse named Man o’ War lost only one race in his life, he told me, that to a horse aptly named Upset. Yesterday morning my dad said to me that by nightfall in Kentucky the great Zenyatta would have lost only one race in her life, and that we would know who to “Blame.”

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November 7, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. […] Kind Action : Hang out with your dad Book Recommendation : Picking Winners Website Inspiration : French Sabbatical : Day 130 (7 November 2010) – A Day at the Races […]

    Pingback by On My Father’s Shoulders « kind living blog | June 19, 2011 | Reply

  2. […] Kind Action : Hang out with your (or someone’s) dad Book Recommendation : Picking Winners Website Inspiration : A Day at the Races […]

    Pingback by On My Father’s Shoulders « kind living blog | October 31, 2012 | Reply

  3. […] It was a big day in Nantes two years ago yesterday. Why? Because two years ago Melinda and I, along with my visiting parents, took Frédérique and Laurent to the racetrack. Sitting across from my dad at a racetrack in France, one that was a short walk from our house, was as close to a dream coming true as I can imagine. Go take a look at the blog post I wrote for that day. […]

    Pingback by Hippodrome de Nantes « Chat With Andy | November 8, 2012 | Reply


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