May 01, 2009

Oaks Day

Well... it is that time again.  Thunder over Louisville is an echo, the Great Steamboat race has been decided, the hot air balloons have soared and dropped the Bluegrass seed on the target, and the Pegasus Parade is just a few hot dog wrappers blowing down the street.  Today is Oaks day.  A day unlike any other in this area.  It isn't a national holiday, but it certainly is a local holiday.  Schools are closed, businesses close early, and the track is the hot spot for the native Louisvillians to gather.  Today.  For tomorrow is Derby Day and only the rich and famous can go to Churchill Downs that day-- unless you want to camp in the infield. :)

There are 2 things that I think come to mind for many folks from other states when they hear about the Kentucky Derby, besides horses that is, and they are Derby Hats and Mint Juleps.  For the record... The hats do cost a car payment if you get them made at the local store.  If you want one from a designer... well... you can imagine.  So those of us here that purchased one, anytime in the last decade, wear it every chance we get-- subsequent Derby Days, church, weddings and funerals, the grocery, while we are putting gas in the car, and occasionally to bed.  :) And, more importantly, no one here that I have ever met has ever said... "Man, I'm parched, where can I get a mint julep?!?!"  Or... "I would like a nice adult beverage bartender!  Muddle together some mint and sugar and top with bourbon and ice and whatever you think would be tasty!"  Doesn't happen... Now, I can almost hear the Mint Julep Anti-defamation League gearing up.  They said... "We are coming to set the record straight and help our fellow mint juleps."  Truth is they just aren't that tasty, wish they were, but they aren't.  Here is a tip for you bartenders, chefs, and everyone else really.  Mint isn't good in everything.  Chewing gum, hard candy, and toothpaste.  That is where mint should be.  And that's why they will sell about eleventy billion mint juleps tomorrow and 9 the rest of the year.  

Whew... I feel better... do you feel better?  For those of you that have never met me... I was trying to be funny in the last paragraph... maybe it worked... maybe it didnt... you decide.  Except when I said mint juleps aren't that tasty and no one that lives here drinks them .  :)  Just kidding... where was I?  Oh Yeah!  BBQ!!

Derby is a great time in our city and most of us just get on with our lives with only a celebration in our back yards.  For me that is exactly what will happen.  Good friends will gather as the day goes by and I cant imagine being any where else.  We have a little larger crowd expected this year; subject to the weather I'm sure.  Some will be early... some will be late... some will come and go.  There will be one constant-- Fun!  It is going to be a lot of fun.  Always is.  We may be a bit more moist this year, but it wont dampen our spirits.
The butts are rubbed, the sauces are simmering, and the marinades are mixing.  Let the Q begin.

Stayed tuned for more on the festivities...  
Happy Derby Y'all!!

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