Sunday, May 08, 2022

Memories and Mother


Front Row:  Laurie Tibbs, Marianne Love, Tricia Dickens, Boston Bode. 

Back Row:  Jean Martin and Barbara Tibbs. 


We almost missed the Derby.  We were having too much fun yakking and reminiscing. 

Derby Day party 2022 is complete.

Weather did not cooperate, but that didn't bother us. 

Happenings on the TV and in the living room and kitchen kept the bunch of us, who all share history, telling stories, listening, laughing and even eating for nearly four hours. 

A few highlights:  an unpredictable ending to the Derby---as unpredictable ever in history, probably.

Oops, guess there was one more unpredictable in 1913 when Donerail at 91-1 finished first.  

To my friend, Kevin West:  too bad you weren't there in person this year to see that astounding finish.

Here's to the "Seabiscuit" nature of yesterday's Derby!  

I sense a new book and a great movie detailing the story of Rich Strike, the horse who entered yesterday's race at 80-1 after another horse had scratched. 

As for other highlights, our little group of Derby watchers kept an eye on the TV occasionally but mostly on each other as stories from the past and of past horses and past horse experiences going back more than 70 years dominated the conversation. 

 Jean Martin, a youthful and amazing 86-year-old, came with gorgeous hat that she had fashioned herself. 

In another realm, Jean has a distinction of being one of the first ski instructors at Schweitzer. In fact, she taught my brother Kevin how to ski so he could work on the ski patrol way back when. 

She also has been a family friend forever.  Jean and my mother spent quality time on the telephone over the years and around horses. 

That horse connection continued as Jean's daughter Lorna and my sisters were contemporaries in local horse activities. 

I taught Jean's kids.  Bill was Jean's son James' scoutmaster. 

Jean and I also resurrected the story of how I came over to her place on Lakeshore Drive years ago, looked at and bought a black horse on a dark night.

Mrs. Black's (she traced back to Man o' War) progeny were amazing--my Rambo, Barbara's Tellie, our friend Mary Chambers' horse and several belonging to Carolyn Culley Brown after I sold Mrs. Black to Carolyn. 

Lots of good stories, and they got even better when Tricia and Boston showed up, fresh off from their trip to Florida where Boston competed in the Extreme Mustang Challenge last weekend. 

As introductions took place, Tricia was quick to remind the group that her association with the family began with my mother.  

Tricia was Mother's ER doctor on a hospital visit, and when Mother learned that Tricia had trained at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich., right next to her alma Mater Nazareth College, she was thrilled beyond belief.

Over the years, the horse connection has continued with Tricia's daughters and our family.  And, Tricia is from Kentucky, so what better day for them to come over and celebrate! 

Hats yesterday were most impressive, but we agreed early on that the hats could take a rest while we talked, but, of course, they came back on for the group picture. 

Can ya tell in that picture that we were trying to avoid getting wet?  It was a hoot, as was the whole party and that Derby ending topped it off. 

As always, Derby Day at the Lovestead did not disappoint in spite of the dreary weather.  

Derby Gang, 2022

Below, the lady who posthumously served as a common denominator in our Derby Day party yesterday. 

We felt your spirit, Mother. 

In 1921, the year our mother was born, the Kentucky Derby winner was "Behave Yourself."

When Mother learned that years ago on a trip to Louisville, even she agreed that the name was appropriate.  

She didn't always behave herself, even though she expected us to do so. 

When I posted this photo on Facebook earlier this morning, another voice whose name was mentioned a time or two during yesterday's reminiscing, piped us with a comment that says it all and states it so poignantly. 

So much so, you brought on the wistful and nostalgic flood gates, Susie. 

Even the little girl down the road remembers this mother as always having a warm meal and household for kids.

                                                                     --Susan Sky Baldwin

Such a poignant reminder of the legacy we establish and leave behind for others to remember, one day at a time. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the special women out there who nurture, inspire, protect, teach and love others, be they two-legged or four.  Doesn't matter.

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