My Parents with Grandmother
As I was going through a bin of old snapshots, the one above appeared along with one of me at an early age, dressed in a too-small winter coat and stocking cap, standing with a group of men holding a horse. With my little hand up, I was reaching to the enormous animal, who seemed to be regarding me with the same indifference he gave everything but grass. (That picture does not appear here because in a fit of genius, I hid it from myself. We continue to search every day; meanwhile, enjoy some horsey pictures from our green-pasture days.)
That picture is the only surviving picture of "Why Not?," the racehorse my father bought on a bizarre impulse. Daddy had a gambling addiction, going off on occasional benders to places called "Jamaica, Pimlico, Bowie, and others; one never knew where he was because he failed to mention he'd be leaving. On his return, my mother would pelt him for days with rounds of verbal artillery. I would assume the position: eyes closed, fingers in ears. When it all blew over, all parties would become their former selves and life went on until the next time it happened.
Baby Sis on Taffy; CBW Leading
After one such trip, my father accepted delivery of the rather large four-legged parcel already named "Why Not?." I was too young to remember, but I have faith that my mother could be heard for miles, weather permitting. Daddy believed he had struck oil, finally tapping into the mother lode of wealth to be had in horseracing. I always had a sneaking feeling that the name gave indication of our horse's true capability; but then it is a rung higher than "Why?," who could only have been a dog, as the racing people say.
Being an incurable animal lover, Mother came around and "Why Not?" had a friend. Daddy, however, had no such luck. After much consideration, all my "surprise" gifts from Husband (i.e. the drill, the wood-burning furnace, etc.) are probably a lesser sin than surprise-racehorse gift. I take comfort in this.
My Horse "Jubilee," (who was anything but; he stepped on my foot and took off with my hand in his halter, snapping me like a rubber band. He's dead now and I'm kind of sorry. CB Woman's pony "Thundercloud," seen with him, regularly kicked him silly).