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Random Observations by Pat Ostrye

The Week That Was!

     As I write this, the Kentucky Derby's 134th "Run For The Roses" has just completed its annual two minutes of breathtaking and magnetic horseracing, as the Sport of Kings mesmerized a crowd of 150,000 at Churchill Downs one more time.  No matter how many years we have witnessed this colorful parade of beautiful horses strutting around the one-and-a-quarter mile track, it is always inner panic when they finally break through the gate to prove which one has what it takes to start a run for the triple crown, although it hasn't happened since 1978.  

    Today's winner was Big Brown, the presumed favorite, 5-2 right up to the starting line.  This was his fourth win, making him the 7th to be unbeaten so far.  Right along, his trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr. maintained that he was the best and fastest runner and bet on him "heavily".  Jockey Kent Desormeaux also proclaimed that even his position in the 20th spot was an advantage, having noone on the right to distract him as he left the gate and then he, the jockey, could really survey the situation before taking action.  Well, it worked and was thrilling to watch.

    However, always the unpredictable will surface.  Finishing 2nd was Eight Belles, collapsing just past the finish line with two broken ankles and had to be euthanized immediately.  Rounding out the top three was Denis of Cork, rated 20-1. The Preakness is next in two weeks at Pimlico.

     That was Saturday.  Moving backward to Thursday, Monrovia held its Annual Volunteer luncheon which is always a grand affair with the VIPs of the city doing the serving and  presenting awards for the past year.   Mary Finkle, a lifetime Monrovian, won the Senior Volunteer award.  Many will remember Mary from her days as owner and director of The Foothill Developmental School in Monrovia for forty years.  Included in her many volunteer activities: working as a docent at the Museum, also as Secretary for the New Horizons Senior CLub and being a member of Quota International/ Monrovia for 34 years.  An enlarged fictional check in the amount of $722,000 was presented to Mayor Hammond, the equivalent amount that Monrovia's 400 volunteers have saved the community in one year.

     Then, moving back another day or two was The Fire!  I live on the west side of Sierra Madre so was not in any danger.  However, the wind has no boundaries so I have had a very thick carpet of oak leaves, acorns and ash completely covering my patio which sports a canopy of oak tree branches from a neighbor's 150 year-old Oak Tree.  I finally took the bull by the horns and shoveled it all up, discovering that all of my large pots of greenery  (nothing else will grow under the oak tree) are now growing small oak trees, firmly imbedded in with the other stuff.  They aren't easy to pull out either so i'll leave them alone until the roots break the crockery and that should take about ten years?

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