Memories From a Kentucky Derby

Derby.jpgThank you, Wikipedia

1951  The time of the Korean War

At nineteen, engaged to my high school sweetie in the Air Force, thoughts were far away when my oldest brother called excited. “Sis, I have two tickets to the Kentucky Derby and you’re going with me.” Just home from Purdue, I didn’t know what he was talking about. I hadn’t even unpacked. But Norm persuaded me and after shuffling through Mom’s clothes, she had the fanciest dresses purchased on Michigan Boulevard in Chicago our home town, I selected two beauties and away we went in his blue four door Chevy. The Kentucky horse country knocked me out. All the fences, horses, other worldly beauty so different from the flat lands of Illinois.

It was our first trip, just the two of us, where he treated me as a peer confiding in me knowing I wouldn’t tell his secrets.The Derby was an exciting event. We had been to Belmont several times and both of us were avid riders.

A few years later we took  another trip together. This time to Bossier City, LA just outside of Shreveport. This time he stayed with me because I was due with my first child and my husband, overseas with Strategic Air Command, was flying back in three days. Norm cancelled all appointments and we had a great time. Bud flew home to me with the band playing on the field; saluting and speeches, applause after three months away. We drove Norm right to the airport. The baby was born that night.

I tell you this because that was our last trip together–just a brother and sister. He died in January, 2013, my beautiful brother.

Thanks for listening.

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