The Jack Benny Perspectiv
I'm not even sure who Jack Benny is. My only familiarity with the name is because I now get to show my horse in that class at the horse shows. There's an age restriction that you have to be 35 years old or older to participate. It's called the "Old Fogey" class, or the "Old Fart" class. Just a bunch of old ladies riding around on their pretty horses. So I ride my young horse in the Jack Benny Walk Trot class because he needs the practice, and because I am now old.
My horse rode through the class perfectly. I thought there might be a good chance that this young pup in the Jack Benny class would win it. I was listening intently as the announcer called out the results.
The announcer called the first place winner.
She didn't remember her number. Not an unusual problem in the Jack Benny class. The announcer continued by saying her name. It didn't quite register with her yet. Then she recognized her horse's name over the loudspeaker.
"OH, THAT'S ME!!!!!!!!!!!!", she cried out as she rode out of the line up.
"I WON!!!!!!!!", she screamed as she threw her arms into the air in a celebratory wave. "WHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!"
She collected her trophy at the exit gate, then jumped off her horse and proceded to bear hug everyone within five feet (even her horse). There were huge smiles. There were big (happy) tears. She took off her hat for just a moment to wipe away those tears, or perhaps the sweat off her brow from the heat of the day.
In that moment I saw why this little win was so big for her. She was bald. The kind of bald that cancer brings. The kind of bald that doesn't let you do a lot of horseback riding, much less horse showing. The kind of bald that means you are lucky to be alive. The kind of alive that you feel when you win the old fogey walk trot class at a horse show.
The perfect ride I had on my young horse earned us second place to number 47. A red ribbon. And a big reminder to never take anything for granted.