I attended a luncheon today with one of my coworkers. We are the major sponsor of a Steeplechase held at the Horse Park in the spring. If anyone knows something about horses then you know it ain't cheap! Horse racing is not called the Sport of Kings for no good reason.
The luncheon was held at the University of Kentucky's private country club. We lunched in the library. A cavernous room with a domed ceiling crossed from North to South, East to West with carved wooden beams. A gigantic chandelier cascaded light on us. The four walls were floor to ceiling glowing polished wood bookcases filled fashionably with first editions Hemmingways and Fitzgeralds. Four windows graced the outer walls with the top quarter covered with a carved lattice of intricate wood design. A fireplace stood unlit but demanding attention, drawing your eye to the looming eight foot portrait of the former landowner, certainly long gone, in a casual standing poise that will last for eternity.
Something about the surroundings made me feel I was somehow transported into Bizarro World. I went through the motions of being nice, attentive and a very good listener. The rich are so different from us.....from me. The conversations naturally were about horses, racing, buying horses, traveling for the horse industry, and all that jazz. Fasinating. The former gentry. Or perhaps current.
My favorite anecdote. A man wanted to buy a horse and asked this particular person for some advice regarding how much to spend. This particular person suggested they take a drive. As they were driving he instructed the potential horse owner to roll the window down and toss out a $100 bill. "Did that hurt?" he asked.
"Good, now toss out $50,000..........did that hurt!"
"Now you know how to gauge how much to spend".
As I said, fasinating.