Attending the Kentucky Derby has always been one of the things on my bucket list. Not so much for the race itself, but for the hats and fashions. Somewhat a southern belle myself, I have always loved seeing the ladies at this race “dressed to the nines,” sporting beautiful, unique hats of all shapes and sizes.

While I haven’t made it to Kentucky YET, I recently had opportunity to experience the next best thing … Kentucky Derby Day at the OC Tavern in San Clemente, CA.

The opportunity presented itself one morning in early May 2011, as I sat sipping coffee and reading the SC Times.  Suddenly I spotted my publisher’s wife pictured in the winning hat at the first OC Tavern Kentucky Derby Day. Totally unaware of this new event in town, my competitive juices began flowing. I saw and was determined to conquer. I would attend the event in 2012 and do my best to win the contest.

I had a vision … white hat, race tickets, horses, roses and trailing ribbons. First step: secure the race tickets. A pre-visit to the OC Tavern for a little off-track betting solved that problem … I left with more losing tickets than I needed.  Next stop: the local Wal-Mart where I found just the right hat (for just the right price) and a bundle of pretty pink roses. Then: a quick trip to Michael’s craft store nearby provided me with the final accoutrements. Glue gun in hand I set to work.

Upon viewing the finished product, I must admit I was quite proud of myself and quite confident that I had created the winning chapeau. While confidence is well and good, reality hit me right between the eyes when I entered the tavern and discovered about 25 women with the same idea I had.

As you probably guessed, I didn’t win the contest. A very lovely lady sporting her father’s antique, silk, top hat, elegantly adorned with netting, ribbon and feathers, took home the coveted prize. Being a jolly good sport and all, I must admit that if I had been judging, I probably would have voted for her creation.

All was not lost, however. On Derby day I played a horse named “Lil Mike” (after one of my sons), and it came through paying a handsome price.  And …. on a recent flight one of my sons sat beside the retired Jockey Gary Stevens, who now announces races all over the country. Stevens has invited my son to attend the Derby, and things are looking very good for mom. Checking the Kentucky Derby off the bucket list may be a reality in the very near future.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

et cetera
%d bloggers like this: