I go out of town for one little week, and look what happens? Casey Abrams very nearly gets sent home from American Idol all because I didn't vote. Luckily, the judges saved him. Speaking of judges, I met Steven Tyler once a long, long time ago. And no, he's not the father of any of my children.
Anyway, last week I trekked to Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Last year, as an Oaklawn maiden, I was completely gobsmacked by the racetrack - oozing with rich racing history and a festival-type atmosphere. A return engagement was required. So my only objective on this particular Friday afternoon was to enjoy the ambience, drink a little beer, and make a little money.
As I perused through my 2011 Official Program, I noted an interesting blurb published below the 2nd race's past performances:
Join Terry Wallace for Friday's Seventh Race Stretch
Oaklawn Park's legendary track announcer, Terry Wallace, now has a "meet and greet" following the sixth race on Fridays. If you recall, back in January he ended his record streak of consecutive race calls at 20,191 and enjoyed watching his first race on the apron. Well, apparently after 37 years, he's decided that handing over the microphone and mingling among the railfolk isn't so bad after all and now he does it on a weekly basis.
Legends are not to be ignored, so like a bubble-headed groupie, I hunted him down for a photo op. At first, I went to the wrong place and the only notable individual I could find was a guy working food service. However, I eventually located Terry - just as he was wrapping up his meet-n-greet in the Arkansas Sports Tavern. I requested a photo, drafting Miss Texas Torilla to snap the picture.
"Just pretend I'm some long lost girlfriend," I told Terry.
Unfortunately, there was no time for chit-chat. No opportunity to ask hard-hitting and fact-finding questions, like "What kind of pace can we expect to see in the Rebel?" or "What's up with your prominent display of the Beulah Park Twins' bobbleheads?" or "Do you know if Bob Baffert is going to be in town this weekend because I met him once. And I've met Steven Tyler. And now I've met you. Kinda like a pretty weird trifecta, huh?"
In retrospect, it's a good thing it was time for the 8th race.