I knew today wasn’t going to be easy. But I’m not sure I was fully prepared for it to be this hard. I did the radio show over at Skidmore last night. There were a few moments that felt really good, despite my being covered in radio rust. Usually when I finish a show, I feel exhilarated. But tonight, I just felt tired. I think planning the show was a bit of a distraction from the powerful emotions I was sure to be feeling tonight. I tried to sleep but it didn’t really take. I did all the dishes (yea, Suz, I was that desperate), handicapped today, still no luck. So here I sit at 4:18 in the morning, looking for a little blog therapy.
My father would have been 67 years old today. I can remember him sitting here with me, several years back, on this very day, at this very table where I type, and telling me that he had just then reached an age his father didn’t make. I think it was 62.
We had a lot of fun up here over the years. He was always good for a visit a summer since I first started coming up. Dad was good luck. We didn’t win every year, but we did better than par when he was around. Last year was a particularly good one. We sat up in the Turf Terrace for the first half of the card, with very pleasant company, then made our way down to the Paddock Bar for the late Pick Four. We cashed pretty good on Sanagas in the John’s Call. I called a friend who worked for Team Motion at the time who wasn’t able to see the race live, “There’s good news and bad news,” I told him. “The good news is that you won the John’s Call. The bad news is you probably would have won the Sword Dancer.”
This must have been right around my birthday because Dad wouldn’t let me take any money and wouldn’t even take his share of our winnings. Towards the end of the day we went over to Mike Francesa’s box to visit with him for a bit. Mike has always been a great friend to my family and both me and my Dad have been guests on his show over the years.
Another random memory from that day was introducing Dad to my friend Teresa Genaro, and chatting with her awhile. Dad asked her if there was someone famous who people told her she looked like. After a little cajoling, Teresa admitted that from time to time, people told her she looked like Sandra Bullock. That’s exactly who Dad had in mind. He explained to me later, “You have to be careful when you want to make a comparison like that. It sounds strange, but some people get offended pretty easily. If you start with that question, and they come up with what you were thinking, you know they’re not going to object.” Thinking back on that, two observations come to mind. 1) The man was good at asking questions. 2) He could also be very smooth.
So many people have said so many amazing things to me since Dad died in April. One observation I keep coming back to is that this isn’t the kind of loss you can ever hope to truly get over. It’s just something you learn to live with; a hole in your heart that doesn’t refill, but will eventually scar over. That feels about right to me. I tried to articulate something at the end of the show tonight but I didn’t quite nail it. Damnit, Jim, I’m a writer not a disc jockey. The idea was that even though he’s gone, my Dad lives on, specifically in the music he loved. The music introduced to so many of us. He also lives on through the uniqueness of the medium of radio, with its ability to connect, communicate, and comfort in ways that can’t be replicated by other technology. So do me a favor today. Put on a record, switch on the dial, queue up your iPod or even just click the link below. Enjoy some great music and send some good vibrations his way.
Race 5: $50 win and place on #6 BUNDESTAG
I know, I know, this horse doesn’t like to win. I mean, he really doesn’t like to win. But I’m going to give him the proverbial one final chance going long today against a field that doesn’t do much to get the blood pumping. I thought the last was better than it looked, closing into a speed favoring FLOW on a speed biased turf course. Maybe, just maybe, he gets an OK set up here and the extra ground helps him to get up at a price. We need to get a number or two in if we’re going to get out on these blog picks.
RESULTS: Made $140 yesterday to reduce the deficit to $691.25