Life What Are You Proud of Your Parents For?
I would simply like to announce that my father, Matt Graves, was the number-one handicapper (he picked the greatest number of winning horses—93—of all the writers at the Albany Times Union in Albany, N.Y.) at Saratoga race track this summer.
I called him for comment.
“Why do I have to say I’m proud of it?” he said. He was characteristically curmudgeonly, already on a liquid diet as preparation for a routine colonoscopy. “What the heck should I say? Merry Christmas, everybody.”
He did say that 93 was a far cry from the all-time record for any handicapper at Saratoga, which is 141, and held by … Matt Graves.
It is, by the way, no small feat either that my mother, Marilyn Lance, this formidable, endlessly energetic, and beautiful lady right here (the one on the left), was New York State Teacher of the Year five years ago. She spent her entire, unglamorous career in the teensy, trashy town of West Sand Lake, N.Y., teaching the rural poor, a segment of the population that never seems to get any attention or funding, and she pioneered a team-teaching, social-mentoring project for her kids, plenty of whose parents and grandparents she’d taught, too.
OK, these are big things, so maybe not the most welcoming start to the “What Are You Proud of Your Parents For?” survey. Therefore I will downshift.
My dad can name that tune very, very quickly.
My mom eats lemons whole.