Oh, the Derby This Would Have Been!

It is 75 degrees Fahrenheit under a cloudless sky, a warm/cool breeze gusting up from the south. The lawn is mowed, the bushes trimmed, the flowers are a-bloom…the dog is ambling in the dappled shade of the dogwood tree. My friends, there has never been a better day for the running of the Kentucky Derby.

Only…you know.

Which won’t stop us Pastrys from making the most of the sun and the weather. I can hear the girls out in our semi-gentrified shed, doing what young teenage girls are famous for: giggling and singing along to the radio (I think the song is Heart by Nick Lowe’s brilliant 70’s New Wave band, Rockpile). I can hear Mrs. Jo through the open windows, chatting with old friends on her phone. And I’m on the porch, coffee in hand, surveying the scene and feeling like a king among men.

Shortly I shall go polish the julep cups, make up some simple syrup, pick a little mint, and prepare for the festivities. So what if they’re only showing an old Derby on local TV? We watch it on TV anyway, even though we live barely three miles from the Downs (those tickets cost a fortune). Come evening we’ll watch the hat-and-bad-sport-coat shenanigans, sing My Old Kentucky Home, and raise a frosty cup to October, when the 2020 race will finally be run.

To better days! Though for my own part, I have to say that this one, all current events aside, ain’t half bad.

4 thoughts on “Oh, the Derby This Would Have Been!”

  1. Earlier this year at an MLK Day party, I met a wonderful new set of friends who all love celebrating the Derby. They’re all transplants from your neck of the woods to SF and have been crowding into a local dive bar (in enormous hats) on Derby day for decades.

    I was delighted to be invited to join them this year – repeatedly and enthusiastically – so I am particularly sad to miss out.

    Fortunately, I have a vigorous mint plant in the garden and Kentucky bourbon in the spirits cupboard. I’ll look forward to joining my new friends next year, and drink to them in the meantime.

    1. Pin them down for the Fall party, essbee. As of now it’s rescheduled for October (when bourbon tastes just as good).


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