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07.20.2005
Kentucky Derby 2005 - The Last Bash
Posted by: Ann Wilson

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.

Love, Ann

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.

Love, Ann

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.

Love, Ann

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.

Love, Ann

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!

Love, Ann

Last scene; two big hatboxes floating down the jetway on their way back to a city where people barely wear anything but polarfleece.

Love, Ann

Go figure.

Love, Ann

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