When I was little I was a very good runner. I think that this is due to the fact we didn’t have air conditioning and the inside of our house was just as hot as the outdoors. We lived on around 20 acres or so, right next door to my grandparents’ Standardbred horse farm. (For those who don’t know what type of breed Standardbreds are, they are the ones that race pulling a two-wheeled racing bike behind them.) Because I was enamored with horses and harness racing, as well as having to be outdoors for a majority of the summer months, I spent my time pretending to own my own Standardbred racing stables. I would run all day long imagining that I was a chestnut colored horse, mane flying in the wind, with wings on my feet.
Well, all of that running helped me become a very fast little runner. For a majority of my childhood I was in the top 3 runners in my age group in Illinois and Indiana for the 1500m run. The picture above is one of us on our way to a regional track meet, (Illinois and Indiana,) up in northern IL. I believe that I won the race that year.
You’re probably wondering why we are standing next to a “Whiteside County” sign. It’s because an ancestor on my Mom’s side was a Brigade General in the Blackhawk War. The county up in northern IL was named after him. Once again, the connection between horses and our family! The Whitesides were the first to bring the Janus line of thoroughbreds to Illinois. As far back as I can remember, our family has been connected with horses, whether racing, training, or breeding them. It hurts me to see my kids’ generation not having that same connection.
Anyway, that is what this picture tells me when I look at it. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed my travels back to my youth.