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Steeplechase Wrap Up

Seeing as it was just going to be Donna and I attending the Steepelchase, we concocted a plan to just walk over. This would make getting out at the end of the day much quicker, there would be no car to have to drive out one of the only three exits, along with the other 10,000 vehicles at 4:15 PM after the last race.

That plan promptly fell apart on Thursday afternoon when we realized that our Little Red Academy Sports Wagon was over 50% full with just our small gas grill in it. After stacking the two small chairs on top of the grill (the other two, optimistically for guests, would be carried by the person not dragging the wagon) there wasn’t any room left over to take all the other items we needed. There was still a tray of chicken shishkabobs, a bag of hot dogs, cookies, brownies, and chip & dip, and another bag with the tablecloth, condiments, paper plates, bowls, and utensils. Don’t even think about adding the styrofoam cooler with ice and drinks on top of that.

Plan B was implemented. On race day, Brian packed up the gas grill, the 4 chairs and the bag with the tablecloth, condiments, paper plates, bowls, and utensils into the Big Red Mini Cooper Wagon and drove over right at 9:00 AM, when the gates opened. He parked the car and walked the mile home. At 11:00 AM we walked over with cooler and food in the Little Red Academy Sports Wagon. Then maybe after the 4th race they would pack everything into the Big Red Mini Cooper Wagon and drive out the gate with maybe tens of cars.

After we walked over and set everything up, we started eating. Hard not to, with the once or twice a year treat of chips and dip staring right at us. Didn’t help that the tent next door was grilling chicken on their grill. After our pre-meal we walked over towards the finish line to the rail side spot of the company (ASCO) we used to work at, to bring them some of Donna’s chocolate cookies in trade for a drink and to sample some of their bountiful spread. When we got back to spot #471, its owner Tom Varallo, was next door chatting up with the the chicken grilling crew. He talked with us a bit and said he’d probably be done working somewhere between 2 & 3:00 PM and would stop back over for a longer visit. We promised to save him some chicken and a hot dog.

The rest of this timeline and details are hazy, might be old age or it might have been the Moscow Mule I got at the ASCO spot, but two women popped into our rail side spot and asked if we knew a so and so. They were supposed to meet them at spot 471. We of course didn’t because as far as we knew we were the only ones from the Club coming, so we told them maybe they got the number wrong. They hustled off texting madly.

A minute or two later a couple showed up and said their names were Renee and Allen. They had run into this nice man called Tom and explained that they had purchased Guarantor tickets to the VIP tent but were supposed meet someone, but those folks couldn’t get in to the VIP tent. Tom, knowing it was just Donna and I at his spot, told them to meet their friends at #471. At this point in the story we said, “I think they were just here.” “Two women, one older than the other?” we asked. “Yes” We said, “They just went that way maybe you can catch them.” But they didn’t.

Sometime after the first race, two women did show up, a mother, Shirley and her daughter, Kate. The daughter is Renee’s dressage instructor and was accompanied by her boyfriend Eric. They brought with them a couple kinds of chips, a couple kinds of dip and some potent potables. We welcomed them to stay. Eric and Allen were sent across the street to their truck to get some more chairs. Then another mother/daughter team joined our group, Randy and Katelyn. At this point I’m not sure which duo was the one that showed up first. The second pair brought some chicken wings and cookies to add to the smorgasbord. After the second race, Donna and Renee walked across the street to get a cooler that had wine and cookies out of their truck (stuff the guys should have brought.)

This is where Plan B dematerialized. We were having too good of a time and the weather was too nice to go home early, so Donna and I stayed with our new found friends until all 6 races were through. Everyone pitched in to cleanup and started packing up. Renee and Allen left. Randy and Katelyn drifted off. Finally then Shirley, Kate and Eric left, leaving Donna and I to wait out the thinning crowd. To kill some time waiting for the roads to clear we made a loop of the inside of the track stopping in at the ASCO tent again for a few minutes. We then tried to stop in at Donna’s Yoga teachers spot to say hello again, but they had already gone.

I guess because this was (supposedly) a Masters Miata Club event, I should mention that Chip Cunningham dropped in for a bit of a chit chat and Tom Varallo did make it back in the afternoon, not to eat though as he was still driving around on a golf cart solving event issues.

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