It’s Derby week in Louisville, in Kentucky, in the United States, and in the world! What a history this one horse race has.
Dating back to 1875, the Kentucky Derby is the longest running sporting event in the United States. During two world wars and the Great Depression, this race was still run by three-year-old Thorougbreds.
Meriwether Lewis Clark, the grandson of William Clark – famous for the Lewis and Clark expedition, attended the Epsom Derby in England. This horse race had been run since 1780. He then traveled to France and hobnobbed with the French Jockey Club.
Returning to America, he brought back a dream for a spectacular horse race in America. John and Henry Churchill, two of his uncles gave him the land to develop a racetrack. The Louisville Jockey Club was formed, and they raised the funds to build the racetrack. Fifteen horses, on May 17, 1875, raced one-and-a-half miles to the cheers of around 10,000 spectators. Aristides won, and the rest is history.
Traditions have multiplied through the years, as has the popularity of this event. Beautiful hats vie with the magnificent horses. Mint juleps are mixed and sold by the thousands; silver and pewter mint julep cups are listed on bridal registries. Standing to sing “My Old Kentucky Home” by Stephen Foster is a stirring and enthusiastic activity. Red roses crown the winner.
This Saturday we will gather in our home to watch the most exciting two minutes in sports. As Daddy taught us, we will stand to sing “My Old Kentucky Home.” There will be red roses on the table. Leaning forward, we will wait for the words, “And they’re off!” And after the race, we will celebrate the winner with Derby pie.
Family traditions are varied. For us, we are now teaching the fourth generation to enjoy the Kentucky Derby.
Aren’t family traditions the best? Yesterday, for lunch, I served my grandmother’s spaghetti casserole, Mom’s lime pie, and my banana pudding. On the table were my great grandmother’s pink peonies. Family traditions help to define us and give us a sense of being a part of those we know and those we don’t know.
Cookie Monster loves cookies, and I like what he says about friends. I believe this applies to families, too.
May 10 – Kings Mountain Chapter NSDAR
May 12 – Star Fort Chapter NSDAR
May 24 – Mt Ariel Chapter NSDAR
May 28 – Colonial Faire in Fountain Inn