By FRANK DESORBO
While reading the morning newspaper and having the TV on, the news was filled with statistics, misery and pestilence of the virus and pandemic that we all endured in 2020. Trapped in my Mind was another overdose of pandemic news. As I read the horse racing results and entries, I wanted to accentuate the positive. Next it First Dawn on me that I needed to write my January article for Family Now. Also my wife of 51 years is definitely a First Dawn.
We own, and Dawn still rides, a pleasure horse, I was part owner of a race horse at Finger Lakes Race Course, and I bet more often in my younger days, so the horse’s names brought optimistic and memorable feelings into my world. I want 2021 to be A Life That’s Good for all of us. Hopefully, we will be able to free ourselves of appearing like Five Star Bandits.
In July and August 2021 we can Jump For Joy at Saratoga Race Track. This summer may bring some new Summer Brew and think of Life On Top again. It’s A Gamble to bet or own horses or go to a casino. Not being a big gambler is the key, and Kenny Rogers music came to mind.
Some of the horse’s names reminded me of my youthful experiences. A horse I bet, loved and followed in the 60’s was Favorable Turn. I won a few dollars and remember the Jockey Bob Ussery. My Officiating career for 25 years entitles me to Tellaperfecttale or two. Apex Predator reminded me of Apex Printing, a team in the Albany Twilight League where I umpired for many years.
There were patriotic references in some of the names, such as Stand For the Flag, Courageous Girl, Wasp and Forgotten Hero. I don’t understand how you can ever forget your true hero. Too many times today we confuse an idol with a hero. We may have many idols but only a few true heroes. A very dear memory arises about Johnny Choppy. He was a WW II Navy Veteran who served on the USS Wasp, a U.S. Aircraft Carrier that was sunk and he survived. I worked in construction at the ripe age of 18 and Johnny as my foreman. He was very instrumental to me and I never realized it so much until later in my life. We all Have A Heart for all Veterans then and now.
I’ve always been interested in sports and the horse’s name seem to fit very well. In 1969, the New York Jets with Broadway Joe made history, and I won a bet by taking the Jets and 21 points. Frank Sinatra sang and if you Make It In NY you can make it anywhere. Many a young basketball and baseball player had the King of Dreams in the belief Ifihadachance and had Another Shot, I could have made it.
When I was 8 years old, I spent three weeks in the hospital and some horse’s names brought me back to youthville. Comic books of cartoon characters were big in the 50s such as Lulu (Eye Luv Lulu), Mutt & Jeff, and my real favorite was Sad Sack. Some of the TV programs I watched and loved were “Leave it to Beaver,” “Amos and Andy” and “You’ll Never Get Rich” (Phil Silvers Show).
Our children’s and grandchildren’s education now enters a new realm. There is so much to learn with digital books, smart phones and all the technology advancements. I worked in education and I was told in the early 90s of the 3Ms of technology – it is driven by the Medical, Military and Money industry. However, I wonder with all the online education and how many people would rush to their smart phones to know what Manifest Destiny was.
In this new world, we need to keep some basic horse sense about us. The memories may get vague but remain valuable. However with Gods Will we can look forward to A Life That’s Good.
Happy New Year to all for 2021!
The author is a Capital District resident and freelance writer and guest speaker. Contact him at [email protected]