Elite Racing Club gets their Equinics baptism by fire

                                                                        ELITE  RACING  CLUB   –  EQUINICS  DIARY

OK.  It’s our maiden voyage competing in the Equinics,  specifically the Summer Equinics of 2016 and I have to make sure I don’t post “stupid stuff” (or maybe that’s all I should post ??? ).  From the Pastures Of Green residency  the Equinics torch gets passed onward from the Green Mountain state of Vermont,  home to our ever gracious hosts and site of all the dirt events.  The torch has been divvied up amongst the participating residencies,  and since seniority mattered most (or so we were told and believed),  we wound up with a mini-Bic lighter to represent our share.    
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Now,  we’re a relatively small group;   luckily some are from the northeast so we can get the torch traveling agenda off from Vermont smoothly.  Many club members are from around the globe;   so it should be a gas meeting and greeting our fellow members.  We envision a timely and error free handoff to the torch’s,  errrrr,   lighter’s final destination.  Many of the club members,  refugees from another time and place that needs no elaboration,  are looking forward to putting ERC on the map with some competitive Equinics entries.  
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With eager anticipation I awaited the arrival of the torch from Vermont,  in Providence R.I.,  stomping ground of one of our founders and fearless leaders,  jbcri09 (JB,  or John).  Mightyforego (Dave),  visiting his youthful haunts across  Long Island Sound,   docked his speed boat to join the beach fest to begin the celebrations.  JB pulled out all the stops at the clam bake he prepared for us.  A selection of beers from  the area  (well,  Sam Adams this and Sam Adams that …) flowed all night long and the lobster was excellent !  In order to get the complete diary details,  ric480 (John) had flown to Rhode Island from Northeast Pennsyltucky to meet the “torch” and chronicle its trek to the start of the Equinics.  Mighty headed back across the Sound as the sun set and said we may see him yet again.  
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The next morning (well it was closer to noon than morning)  JB and I  ( yeah that’s right,  we were the only two left after  the clambake – I did say we were a small group) got on the road for our next destination,  Louisville,  Kentucky.  We made it to  Williamsburg,  PA where drhet58 (Don) put us up for the night.  The good doctor provided some terrific “sleep” aids as me and JB were afflicted with a tough case of “Sam Adams’ revenge”,  We convinced the doctor to come on down to Louisville and beyond with us (we figured it would be a smart thing to have a doctor along for the rest of the trip).  
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We arrived in Louisville ready for action,  where we met up with club co-honcho amir1605 (Amir),  who flew in specially from the island nation of Mauritius;  tees (Rich) who flew in from Northeast England;  from the Southeast U.S.,  tygereye (Lauren ?);  harrylan (Harry) who motored down from Indiana;  and the Left Coast contingent came together from the airport – dontbetonme (Andy) and huddybuddy (Hudson) from sunny California;  and from Arizona  gryphon (Gayle),  who was happy to escape the Arizona heat.
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Amir gave us the royal treatment,  with a private box at Churchill Downs for the day’s racing,  (from which we all departed with a handsome profit).  Let’s not forget the medley of Kentucky bourbons at the dinner party later that evening,  after a meal of regional foods,  like rolled oysters,  hot browns,  and fittingly for dessert,  thoroughbred pie ( no equine ingredients we were assured).  This party was positively raucous as the club members got to know one another in between bourbon shots,  and we found we all have much in common in addition to our devotion to the almighty “SIM”.  Harrylan,  dontbetonme,  huddybuddy,  gryphon,  tigereye and I had a spirited game of bourbon pong.     Your humble,  bumbling correspondent accidentally set something on fire (I can’t remember what)  when “inappropriately” swinging the “torch” around after being unable to pick a favorite bourbon after many tastings.  No offense JB,  the clambake was awesome,   but this Amir guy knows how to throw a shindig.
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After a sumptuous breakfast including a whole lot of the hair of the dog,  the southern leg through the U.S. of our long journey headed for N’awlins (that would be New Orleans, Louisiana for the uninitiated).  Amir had arranged for a luxury touring coach,  loaded with all the right things for a road trip.  What a ride !  Later that day,  we arrived in New Orleans and met up with summerset (Mike) who informed us we were going to nearby Slidell for that evening’s festivities and that we would NOT be boogieing down Bourbon Street.  But our disappointment quickly faded when we reached bayou country.
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We got a true taste of southern hospitality as summerset hosted a wild,  Cajun influenced celebration.  The fried alligator was especially delicious,  though we all thought it was chicken until summerset clued us in after it was all gone.  Mightyforego did say we might see him again,  and there he was after driving up from Florida in his Corvette – this guy likes and owns many fast things  – including his racing stock .  After attending to our hangovers the morning after with a marvelous bayou concoction that summerset refused to reveal the contents of,  everybody readied themselves for the pub crawl back north and west and south as the torchbearers (Amir and JB) readied themselves for the final destination,  Rio de Janeiro,  Brazil.  Tees was going to fly back across the pond from N’awlins to make his “Brexit”,  but decided to stick around when he learned most of us were going back to Louisville – something about those Twin Spires gets to horse racing fans.  
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We all went to the airport to bid farewell to Amir,  JB and me.  In true club spirit,  we descended on the airport bar to toast ourselves and the “torch” bearers when we learned all flights were delayed.   Finally,  it was time to go and we settled in for the long flight to Brazil.  Lots of conversations among the passengers centered on this damn Zika virus thing;  I guess that’s why drhet58 was not leaving the U.S.,  “no way,  no how”,   but he did slip us a little something that he said would be “helpful”.  

Surprisingly,  the rest of the flight was uneventful as we caught up on some much needed sleep.  Amir and JB continued on to the torch lighting ceremony and handed off our share to ROYS,  who had an amused look on her face.  My BTB credentials somehow didn’t get me past the first security checkpoint  – that seniority thing again I surmised.  JB and  I then flew back to Louisville to get JB’s car  while Amir went in the other direction on his way back home to Paradise on Mauritius.  
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JB and I split the driving duties and eventually made it to my neck of the woods;  I offered to put him up for the night,  but he wanted to get home pronto so he peeled out of my driveway towards New England.  
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I sure hope our results live up to the partying we’ve been doing;  if not, we’ll be back again in two years,  undeterred,  ready and willing.  Thanks to all the club members for their releases for this story ( I fortunately collected them at “opportune” moments).  
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P.S.  We figured out that the Comedy Central crew pulled a fast one on us when JB went to Vermont to get the torch – here’s your Bic lighter newbies,  now deliver it to Brazil !  Way to go out with a bang,  CC. 

ric480

Retired from telephone company 2003, was partner in claiming outfits on New York circuit from 1995-2001.

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