Friday, October 24, 2014

BREEDERS CUP: Win, place or show for these local favorites

The famed Breeders' Cup turf race will be run at Santa Anita Park, California,on Saturday, Nov. 1, and the Nielsen ratings will be sky-high around here, given that two horses with deep local connections will be vying for the $3 million purse. Main Sequence, trained by Graham Motion at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Maryland, was undefeated this year and has won seven of his 17 starts. Hardest Core, trained by Eddie Graham here in Unionville, was the upset winner of the Arlington Million ("Million" as in a $1 million purse) back in August, making him eligible for the Breeders' Cup. He is owned by Andrew Bentley, son of Greg and Caroline Bentley; his exercise rider is Jody Petty and his groom is Brianne Slater.

NEWLIN: Fallout continues from the new equestrian ordinance

A friend who sees many people from the Unionville equestrian community on a daily basis as part of her job asked me for details about the controversial ordinance regulating equine operations that the Newlin Township supervisors approved on Oct. 13. She said she's asked many of her clients about the specifics of the ordinance -- but they get so angry that she's given up on the idea. She knows I'm not a Newlin resident and don't own an equine business, so she figured it was safer to ask me.

WHITEWATER: Combat-injured vets visit the Grant Canyon

Henry "Hank" Detering of Cochranville, a former Octorara High School principal, is helping to organize a Colorado River rafting trip for 24 combat-wounded, ill, and injured, active-duty U.S. Marines. The 10-day adventure is set for the summer of 2015 and is being run by the Grand Canyon River Runners Association. Hank, a retired Marine, is looking for donations to support the program; the cost to sponsor one of these brave soldiers is $3,500. There is much more information on this program, including Hank's contact information, at the website

MEMORY: Y staffers have a good memory for names

Back in college my friend George felt a sudden need to improve his memory and, for a few weeks, every time you'd see him he'd be carrying his little brain-training book. One of the tricks, I recall, was to create a vivid narrative to associate people's names with their faces. You could see him trying to do this at parties -- he'd stare at people fixedly. I never noticed that it had much of an impact; maybe he didn't practice enough.
In contrast, whatever the front-desk people at the Y are doing to improve their memories, it's working. They greet me by name every time I walk in, even staffers I don't know and would swear I've never seen before. Very impressive! I don't think Google glasses or face-recognition software is in play, but maybe they have a stash of ginger tea in the break room.

RIVER MUSEUM: A non-Wyeth landscape painter on display

The newest show at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, "Exalted Nature: The Real and Fantastic World of Charles E. Burchfield" was reviewed in the Oct. 7 "Leisure and Arts" page of the Wall Street Journal. The reviewer, Lance Esplund, writes, "On the museum's second and third floors, where foliage and tree limbs nearly press against the glass, one has the feeling of being suspended within the upper reaches of a forest." He finds this "a fitting perch" for the "charming" collection of watercolors and drawings. The show sounds mysterious, compelling and well worth a visit before it closes on Nov. 16.

MEETING ROOMS: Meetings rescheduled to accommodate the election

Municipal meetings are askew for the first week in November to accommodate the Nov. 4 General Election (perhaps you've heard some talk about it). In West Marlborough the monthly township meetings will start at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3, instead of Tuesday. In East Marlborough the supervisors will meet for their regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5 (and as a bonus, according to the township's website, "immediately preceding the meeting, the Supervisors will hold a public hearing to take comments regarding the Zoning Ordinance Amendments under consideration").

Sunday, October 19, 2014

FAREWELL: Service for Marcus Macaluso

Just a reminder that the memorial service for Marcus Macaluso will be at London Grove Friends Meeting at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25. Marcus died on Oct. 3. I'm told a large crowd is expected because he had so many friends and loved ones in the community.