Kentucky Derby 2005 - The Last Bash
The race is over...but Tracy and I are not
quite finished partying. We have been invited to a party at the home of
movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer and his wife in the countryside
outside of Louisville. The invitation says " southern
hospitality...good music...southern food " and nothing sounds better to
us after all the crowds and excitement than some country air.
Marianne drives us through the warm darkness
for nearly an hour out of town till we find ourselves truly at the
gates of Tara. We are received on the front porch with smiles and
softer voices saying ' please make yourselves at home...'. It is a
beautiful place, a big old southern house lovingly restored to period.
From glistening hardwood floors to 19th century-era paintings on the
cream colored walls, the place is elegant, understated and respectful
of another age of design. We wander through the main part of the house
admiring the attention to detail. There are groups sitting around
tables deep in conversation, erupting into laughter, everyone is
sipping bourbon. We wander outside across the lawns. There are settees
and chairs set about on the grass for the guests. There is an R&B
band playing by the food tent where fried chicken, waldorf salad and
other tasty things are being served. The mood is relaxed and romantic.
No one is people-watching, it seems people are just breathing the night
air and enjoying each other's company.
Tracy and I find some friends from the table
at the race and join them for a glass of local bourbon (very fine!).
Soon we all wander over to the big cedar barn where yet another group
is playing, this time acoustic blues, and coffee and dessert are being
served. The sounds, the smells, the flavors all mix to make us feel
wonderful and very greatful to have been invited here to end our Derby
weekend. A little creek runs alongside the barn and ducks splash in the
water or waddle along the banks. We meet the barn cat who is as relaxed
and serene as we are.
Too soon we realize we must get back to
town...it's a long drive. Thanks to our hosts and farewell to our
friends and Marianne is driving us back along the dark country roads
twinkling with fireflies toward soft pillows and dreams of horses.
The next day we are back at the airport headed
out for Seattle. It seems impossible we've only been gone three days.
We've made a friend in Marianne and when the time comes to leave her at
airport security I don't know whether to give her a brisk handshake or
a hug. I do both. She has helped us so much and played a big part in
keeping us safe. We turn to go and a few moments later Tracy and I sing
"I see my Marianne walking away....." Bye bye! Thanks!
Last scene; two big hatboxes floating down the
jetway on their way back to a city where people barely wear anything