Arlington Park, Arlington Heights, IL, Summer, 2005

The wedding of Bonny the Bugler to Sam the Bugler
Earlie Fires best man; Tony Morgan bridesmaid

"Remembering the Miracle".

That was the "official" theme of this year's Arlington meet, 20 years after the fire, and the Miracle Million. And it WAS a cause for celebration. Or should have been. But here I am writing this on September 13, with one week of the Arlington meet left, and all I can remember is boredom. I'm struggling to remember even one moment that would be anywhere near as memorable as the Miracle Million event. I can't. Powerscourt's victory in the Million comes closest. That was pretty okay. But I watched that one via simulcast from Texas.

Okay there was an oddly colored llama in the petting zoo one Sunday, and it looked like a baby giraffe. I'll probably remember that a few years. And a storm blew down a tree. That was news.

A blown down tree
The stump of the blown down tree

Spotted a GUY wearing peg pants one day. Eeeeeeewwww! Oh well, it IS The Land Beyond O'Hare after all. Anything goes.

McChump #2 stopped by Illinois for a few days on his Neverending Journey and we went to the track where he swore he saw a cheesy Elvis coming in, but that was never independently verified. And I met LetItRide Mike from the Internet one day. And saw all my usual friends out there ... and ...

Oh hey! There was one day I just HAD to go, the giveaway day when they were handing out Bonny the Bugler bobbleheads to the first 8 million paying lucky customers. I knew I just had to get me a Bonny to marry up with the very lonely Sam the Bugler bobblehead McChump #2 had brought me from Saratoga. Little Sam had been raising quite a ruckus from his perch atop my desk, and something had to be done. So it was. My, let me tell you, there were some tears shed, for sure, at McChump Industries HQ Midwest the day those two tiny buglers locked their little bugle-puckered lips and vowed to stay hitched till tarnish do them part. And it has been quiet ever since. More quiet, anyhow. Two tiny bugles playing reveille each morning at 5:00 a.m. does tend to get old.

But still, bottom line: I hardly attended. Just couldn't. Purses for part of it were even lower than Hawthorne's, and the horsemen responded by staying away from races in droves. 4-5-6 horse races after scratches were the norm, and favorites won everything in sight. Impossible to get interested. Impossible to bet. Impossible to justify burning 1/4 tank of gas for the trip out and back, just to sit there and pass race after race. You know me I rarely pass races. Well, this summer I did. I passed A LOT!

Too bad, too. I really do like the track. Oh well. Maybe next year. Maybe.