Derby Continued (part 3)
May 6th, the day before Derby day is called "The Oaks", It begins with a fabulous brunch at Churchill Downs with much high-falutin' food and eye-openers. This is when the fillies races are run. Women haven't put on their big guns Derby outfits yet, but they look beautiful and extremely well put together at the brunch. You can tell some of these girls have been planning their outfits for several years.
Tracy and I don't have hats for The Oaks day. Back in Seattle we hadn't heard it was required, so we do our best with the hair on our heads. We look ladylike, but rawk. We sit at the table in the Jockey's loungue and start betting. We have been given $1000 to wager with for the two days, so we start slow. We soon find that Tracy has a talent for picking them. We consult on each race, and that day we end up winning every race we bet on. The combination of the juleps and the winning has Tracy in a state. Her hair is standing on end and fire is shooting out the ends of her fingers. I'm very happy too of course, but I don't have the gambler's fever as much. My friend, on the other hand takes it very very seriously. By the end of the afternoon we are up $1700 and ready to party.
The night before the actual Kentucky Derby Race, Louisville is full of partying; from barefoot kids in their shorts and tank tops selling smoky bones on the sidewalk, to ladies in sparkling evening gowns getting in and out of long black cars. Music pours from all the bars, and there in the sound of big motorcycle engines revving, caught in traffic. Our hotel is right on the Ohio River, and the riverboats tied up there play their calliopes adding to the surreal romance of the May night.
Up in our sumptuous two bedroom suite, Tracy and I have taken some short naps and are now dressing for the Barnstable-Brown Gala, a black tie/formal affair given by our hosts to benefit the Diabetes Foundation. We are told that just EVERYONE will be there, and that exciting because this isn't a hollywood event, or a rock or hip hop one. Literally ANYONE might be there.
We dress carefully. Tracy chooses a floorlength black dress with a plunging neckline, blood red Marc Jacobs heels and red roses in her curly black hair. I put on a floor length silver gown with a short tailored black velvet jacket over it. Tracy styles my hair so that the cobalt blue and black pieces hang shiney and orientally straight. Some shiney Etro flats and we are ready. The big purses are left behind. Only a little sparkly clutch will do for this party. Lipstick, credit card.
Then our security person, Marianne knocks on the door and sees us. Her eyes get wide.
"Y'all sure look purty t'night " she says. We know we've arrived. Off we go to the ball with our very own policewoman!
To be continued...