Thursday, January 21, 2010

Odds and Ends: Jacksons (Feline, Equine, Human) and Lautrecs and Durers, OH MY!


Ahhhhh, Paris. After my New Year feast of Croque Monsieur and French Onion Soup Gratinee (all homemade, thank you very much!) I thought I'd probably sated my Parisian cravings for a while. Yeah, that was wishful thinking on my part.

I have two big Atget and Brassai photo books that are in a pile of oft-perused books that I thumb through when I am in need of inspiration. Nothing gets my thoughts back to where they need to be like the wonderful art photo books...trouble is, they also can distract me to a ridiculous degree. It's a fine line, for me, the one between distraction and inspiration, apparently.

Imagine my joy then when I was reminded that I still hadn't been to the well-received Lautrec exhibition at the MFA in Boston. (This is another example of the days getting away from you when you are a freelancer.) So I am off to Boston tomorrow for a day spent at one of my favorite sources of inspiration, The Museum of Fine Arts. Happily there's also a very nice room full of Durer prints that I've seen once but can't wait to see again, so it'll be very good fun. I also hope to pop over to The Gardner, if there's time, as it's another great spot to soak up some inspiration.

So that's the Lautrec/Durer part of the piece...what, I can hear you all (both) asking is the Jackson reference about? Surely you are not writing about the King of Pop, I can feel you thinking...and heaven help us, you're not going to pontificate about Jess Jackson and Rachel Alexandra, are you??

I am not. I am speaking of VERY different Jacksons.

We're (and by mean WE, I mean all the horse folks out there) are looking at the newly minted three-year-olds to see who might be on Derby Trail. Horses will come and go from the "trail" and some of the prep races are viewed more intently than others, certainly.

Last year, at a time when my mother had given away my piano (yeah, I'll need therapy for that for a while) I saw I Want Revenge run a stunner of a race in the Wood Memorial. He had a horrible start and rallied to win beautifully and it just seemed a perfect fit...I did, after all, want a little revenge for my mother and the piano fiasco and this horse was amazing...so I Want Revenge became my Derby horse. I was of course sad when he was injured, and then really was horrified to hear the whole story behind his injury.

Needless to say, in addition to the normal way of looking at a horse race, i.e. past performances and pedigrees, I also like a horse that catches my imagination in some way.

Flip the calendar pages forward to today. It's Stonewall Jackson's birthday--and I know that because (a) an old museum boss of mine who had worked at VMI would always alert us to the day and (b) my beloved tabby cat was named Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson Moscowitz Davidusky Schmenckmann--so it's just stuck in my head.

Thus it is, on Jackson's birthday, that I am made aware of a horse, a terribly game one, too, named Jackson Bend. Yup...Jackson Bend on Jackson's birthday. Turns out, after watching a video of his race at Calder, he stumbled out of the gate just like I Want Revenge did...and he's a goer. He's being pointed toward the Holy Bull stakes...here's a link to the Miami Herald piece about the highly regarded Jackson Bend. How can I not make him my Derby hopeful with all these coincidences and hunch possibilities?

(Thanks to @wowhorse who is better known as Ghostsnapper--http://ghostsnapper.blogspot.com--for her link to Jackson Bend this morning!)

And now, a shameless photograph of my beloved Jack Schmenkmann, whom we lost on September 11, 2008. I miss his Rolling Rock bottle green eyes and mischievous little furry presence every day.


1 comment:

sidfernando said...

Did you know that Lautrc/Durer were also racehorses?

Tesio, who had a penchant for naming horses after artists, bred them: Toulouse Lautrec and Durer.

There's also a 3-year-old Durer by Smart Strike this year.

And, ironically, the horse that defeated your (and my!) Jackson Bend was Winslow Homer!

btw, if i can shamelessly plug my kids in social media, you are allowed your late cat -- who, btw, reminds me of my late, great childhood tabby Nick.