Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 39 - Big Red, Penny and the Coin Toss

We watched the movie Secretariat the other day.  It started and ended with a quote from the book of Job

"Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting? He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray. He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword. The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds".

Job 39:19-24 (NIV)

I learned so many things from this movie that I hadn't remembered or hadn't known about the owner's story and Secretariat.  Penny Chenery married into the Tweedy family.  Because her mother died about the time Secretariat was about to be born, she left her kids in Colorado with their father to follow her heart.  She traveled back and forth from Virginia to Colorado to be at school functions for her kids.  She also knew that her dad had paired Something Royal who had stamina with  Bold Ruler who was known for his speed. A coin toss of a silver dollar determined the fate of this horse and Penny was left with Secretariat because she lost the coin toss.  She had originally named him Big Red for his color.  But it seems that the name of a racing horse has to be approved by the committee of haughty-ta-name-approvers. Big Red wasn't good enough.  So the secretary to Penny's father who had stayed on and became her secretary submitted the name of Secretariat and thus his now infamous name.

I never understood why people want to change their names.  Nor have I understood why someone would want to change somebody else's name. You've heard the examples:  Cassius Clay becomes Muhammed Ali, Stephen Victor Tallarico becomes Steven Tyler, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta becomes Lady Gaga. These people all chose to have their names changed either for religious reasons or fame. Big Red didn't have a choice, the committee made his choice. Yet he stood as a giant of fame because he ran his race.  Not only did he win the first Triple Crown in twenty-five years, he won it by thirty-three lengths! A record time that no horse has come close to ever.  He ran his race.  The right thing to do is to run our own race. When people tell you your name isn't good enough and therefore you aren't good enough, leave them in your dust.  Run your race.

My cousin Anne knew this.  She died in a car accident at the young age of twenty-one.  At the grave site, the church pastor read Anne's bible.  He said he always read the passages of the deceased at his or her funeral.  It was odd that in this case, Anne only had one passage underlined in the entire bible.  [Anne had a strong upbringing in the church so it wasn't like she never opened her bible.  Her sister went to Seminary school and her mother went to church with Anne every week.]  The pastor read her underlined verse from 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Such profound words from such a young soul.  What will be read at your funeral? We know what we would like to be said about us, but this is one way to ensure that loved ones know what we wish to be read. The words we found important enough to underline in a chosen book because we wanted to remember them and thought others should know them too.

Penney knew she had run her race when she made it from the Kentucky Derby to the Preakness and now finally to the Belmont (the third leg of the Triple Crown). Getting to this beginning of this race was her race.  She had a silent moment with Secretariat before the race and told him, it was his turn, "I have run my race, now it's your turn. Run your race." During the Belmont, the sportscasters incorrectly called her by her maiden name Penny Chenery and not her married name Penny Tweedy.  So her name was changed with no choice also.  Maybe she should have underlined it on their FAQ sheets with a Big Red Marker!

"Three things tell a man: his eyes, his friends and his favorite quotes.”

~Quotes Daddy

Updates: Olive Garden sent an email telling us they forwarded our e-mail to the local store where Frenchie works and they are going to recognize Frenchie.  

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