Talk Derby To Me

May 5, 2015 at 7:11 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

As someone who grew up in the Louisville area, I’m familiar with the Kentucky Derby. Down there, it’s a BIG damn deal. The whole festival kicks off with an insane fireworks display/huge outdoor party and then the partying just doesn’t stop, not even after the last horse has crossed the finish line roughly a month later. People take the Derby so seriously that we never even had school on the Friday before the Derby because it’s Oaks Day, which is just another big excuse to place bets and party down. So many people would skip class to attend the festivities that they just closed the school down altogether – every year.

It’s kind of a big deal. At least in Kentuckiana.

So I know the Derby.

It was strange to move away from that area and realize most people outside of that little bubble don’t celebrate like I do – in fact, some of them don’t even know what the Derby is. For shame. Luckily, I’m still able to celebrate most years even if I am a couple of hundred miles away and this year was no different. A lovely married couple I’ve been friends with for years (also Louisville-area transplants to Chicago) host a Derby party every year and it gives me a great excuse to get dressed up and knock back a few mint juleps. This year was another great bash and I was, as usual, quite impressed with their hostessing abilities. Seriously, the snacks were delicious and perfectly displayed and their drinks were strong and tasty. I wish I could have stayed there all afternoon but alas, I had a second Derby festivity to go to and wild horses couldn’t have kept me away! (And now you probably have that song stuck in your head. You’re welcome).

My second Derby-inspired event of the day was a pub crawl benefitting the food pantry I work with. They needed someone affiliated with the pantry to give a thank you speech at the end of the day and since I was already going to be out and about wearing a fun Derby hat, I rose to the challenge. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous. Not many people truly love public speaking but luckily a few of the drinks I had helped to take the edge off, though I had to walk a fine line between removing that edge and leaping well beyond it. The speech came after the end of the two minute long Derby and they had me stand on a chair to get the attention of the fully-packed bar. I also had to watch out for a ceiling fan that threatened to both remove my hat and my head but I obviously managed not to be decapitated. Anyway, I think the speech went well (at least, that’s what Scott told me) and everyone there was much drunker than I was so even if I bombed it no one would remember anyway. Plus, the pantry raised $1,300 so that’s awesome! I also got to take a picture holding one of those giant checks, which was doubly awesome. However, they wouldn’t let me carry it home on the bus. Apparently a real check will be sent to the pantry at some point because they don’t trust giant checks to slightly inebriated young women. Guess I can’t blame them for that.

All in all, a super fun Derby – and I didn’t ruin my hat so I’m prepared for next year! But no more speeches for me. I’d rather talk Derby than talk in front of huge crowds!



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