(NOTE: Please note that this article was written on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.)
If I didn’t have Vertigo, I would be going to the races today at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Every year, Aunt Mary invites us to sit with her in her box at the races sometime during the week of the Delaware County Fair, home of the Little Brown Jug. If I didn’t have Vertigo, I would be out the door in about an hour to pick her up and go have lunch at the Buckeye Valley building. I will miss having one of their fish sandwiches with the two or three little packets of tarter sauce that make them taste so good. What is it about eating outside that makes everything taste so much better? And, I will miss seeing and hearing one of the high school bands as they walk past the tables, toward the midway. It’s always great to get to be near a live band while it’s marching past!
I have had Vertigo for about 17 days now. I remember reading once that having Vertigo is like hanging onto the floor, because you are afraid you will fall. (Yes, that’s right, the word is “floor.”) In case you have not experienced Vertigo, this is the definition from my Webster’s New World Dictionary: “a condition in which one has the feeling of whirling or of having the surroundings whirling about one, so that one tends to lose one’s balance; dizziness.”
The very first time I had Vertigo, I had a prescription filled for it at the old Revco store on the east side of North Sandusky St. That medication was the first I tried, and after just one pill, I was not dizzy any more. That’s because my whole body turned to stone and I couldn’t move at all! The medication for it has improved over the many years since.
Back to what I would be doing today, if I didn’t have Vertigo. I would get to sit in the shade, up in the grandstand, and read a racing program with the interesting names of the over 100 horses that will be out on the track to race today. Such crazy names as “Getonmybikenride,” “Golden Gottawyn,” and “Icingon De Cupcake.” I would plan to take a walk around the track because you never know who you might run into. At this time in our lives, we aren’t as familiar with as many horsemen as we used to be. We still miss getting to see Bob Davenport, and Doc and Frankie Todd. We also miss a couple of the retired drivers who were out on the track a lot, too. They are LeRoy Stults and Billy Walters.
Getting to sit in the box seats near the finish line is always like old home week. If you have been going to the races for 20 or more years, you will have seen the same families and/or friends, sitting in their same places. I used to always see the Henry Wolf family up there, as well as knowing the ushers who faithfully turned up to show people to their seats. When I managed to get together with some of my classmates from Willis recently, the guys were talking about their old days of skipping school to get to usher at the fair. And, of course, we always see the two guys who use their rakes to smooth over the tracks at the finish line before each race. Some of those tracks are made by the horses as they cross the finish line, while others are made by the people who run down from the grandstand to get in the win pictures. Instead of getting blue ribbons, race horses will win either a blanket or a trophy. Or, they could win both, if they have the fastest time. An owner, who’s a friend of ours named “Freddy,” won both a blanket and trophy last year at the Delaware fair. Since I know he is racing again today, I will be interested to see if he wins again. Happiness is getting to be in somebody’s win picture, whether you are the owner, the trainer, the driver, the groom, or a friend of the owner.
I have been in a race of my own today. I want to get this article finished. If I didn’t have Vertigo, I wouldn’t have to stop, here and now, to go lie down. That’s because “MyDizzyVertigo” is winning.
Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.