Saturday, May 18, 2013
Watching The Preakness on TV with My Mother
"So, Mom, did you ever go to Pimlico when you lived in Baltimore?"
"Where did you sit--in the infield or in the grandstands?"
"Wherever it was that the poor people sat."
"So you were in the infield."
"Except that time when we went with the bookie. That was marvelous. He kept hinting for me to bet on a certain horse. He kept singing a song that had the horse's name in it. But I didn't get it and the horse won!
"How did it happen that you went to the races with a bookie?"
"Millie and I were always looking for a ride there. Or we'd have to take the bus. He gave us a ride."
"But how did you meet the bookie?" She gives me a look. The look that says I'm a tad bit dense.
"We worked in bars," she says.
I like to imagine my mother in Baltimore. The dirt poor girl from the Iowa countryside. I like the Iowa stories. But the Baltimore stories are a horse of a different color.
Photo credit: Winslow Townsend USA Today Sports