20 February 2009

Aaron Gryder says: READ

After decades as a cable-free household, as part of our recent move, the Quinella Castle finally joined the world of many channels. And it turns out that we've arrived in the cabled world just in time for Jockeys, the Animal Planet reality show that has been critiqued on numerous sites throughout the blogsphere.

While many others have critiqued the series, and others have focused on the awesome hit-generating power of female jocks Chantal Sutherland and Kayla Stra, here at Turf Luck, we know that inquiring minds really want to learn more about that bookmark featuring Aaron Gryder.

Yes, you know what bookmark I mean. Surely you noticed the irrepressible Joe Talamo holding a book during tonight's episode, "Foul". Joe seems rather impressed that Gryder actually appears on a bookmark, and, for a nanosecond, Talamo points said bookmark towards the camera.

Immediately, I'm sure, you said: "Hmm, can't afford the horses, the cars, or even the damn silks. But, by gum, I'm wondering, where, oh where, might I find such a useful and fashionable bookmark?"
Aaron Gryder, not Chantal Sutherland, READ poster
Wonder no more, pilgrim. Your friendly neighborhood librarian has tracked down the source of this gotta-to-have-it item. You'll find Gryder grinning next to Captain Sparrow on a bookmark produced by Arcadia Public Library -- with some assistance from Santa Anita Park. You can even see pics of the photo shoot on the library's blog and Flickr stream.

And yes, dear readers, I understand that you're dying to know just what book Gryder is reading to the sanguine Sparrow. It's Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral by Kat Shehata, a book for the mid-elementary set that captures the feel of Depression-era racing by telling the tale of perennial favorite Seabiscuit. Back in 2005, I remarked upon the odd yet effective use of the actual call throughout the book, and though the illustrations by Jo McElwee are a tad murky, they do capture the feel of the great match race. The book is out of print, but used copies may be purchased through Barnes and Noble and Amazon. And of course, you can always check with your local librarian to borrow a copy for free.

And now, as author and poet Julia Alvarez knows so well, it's time for me to disappear.

Why I Am in Love with Librarians:

I love how they know things
only to pass them on,
how they fade into the faux-wood-paneled
walls of the reference room,
their faces hidden between the covers of books,

how they look up only to help you:
What is the capital of Afghanistan?
How do the Maori bury their dead?
Who invented Barbie? How many were murdered in Guatemala in '84?

—every query worthy of their attention,
any questioner taken seriously,
curiosity the only requirement.
I love how they listen, their lined faces opening,
their eyes already elsewhere:

scanning a plain for the lights of a distant city,
hunting for bodies in the highlands,
searching the web for Barbie—
their minds like those flocks of little birds in winter
swooping over a landscape, looking, looking.

And always when they get back to you,
that sweet smile on their faces,
pride and deep affection for what can be known,
as if Barbie's invention
or the tally of the massacred

could save you, could save the world!
And who knows if Stalin or Hitler
had spent their youth in the library,
history might be rewritten,
re-catalogued by librarians?

Curiosity sends us out
to a world both larger and smaller
than what we know and believe in
with a passion for finding an answer
or at least understanding our questions.

That road is paved with librarians,
bushwhackers, scouts with string
through the labyrinths of information,
helpers who disappear the moment
you reach your destination.

-- Julia Alvarez, as reprinted in Library Journal.



SaratogaSpa said...

Nice catch on the bookmark. The show is way overproduced and the race call dubbing is very annoying-but I must admit, you can catch me every Friday watching the show.

Teresa said...

And this is why we have missed the only turf-writing librarian over the last few months. Poetry, jockeys, bookmarks, and a review all in one post...I'll that Mountie guy misses you already.

gib. said...

I am forwarding this email without asking for permission. I'm sure that I am violating some privacy law, but I doubt that the guy will mind. It is a very interesting story, if true.

Perhaps even the jocks have fallen for the "unreality" of reality TV.

"Last Friday's Jockeys program included a story about Aaron Gryder, trainer Roger Stein and Gryder's daughter Grace.

The way it was presented on Jockeys, Stein and Gryder had a good relationship. Stein was fond of Gryder's daughter Grace who he described as very bright and pleasant to be around on his radio this past Saturday.

Because of his fondness for Grace he asked Aaron and his wife if he could name his unraced filly after her. They agreed and thus the filly was named Grace Gryder.

This is where it gets interesting. Stein mentioned the situation on his radio show because he was not happy with how the incident was portrayed on Jockeys. The Jockeys version mentioned he had named the filly after Grace Gryder, which really pleased her. But then the Jockeys version stated Stein
asked Joe Talamo to ride the horse instead of Gryder. Grace Gryder was at 3-1. Meanwhile Gryder had a ride in the same race that was at 12-1. Talamo won the race, and Gryder mentioned that his daughter was rooting for her name sake instead of him. Talamo wanted to present a photo of his win to
Grace with his autograph but Gryder refused it and was visibly unhappy about the whole scene.

Now here's Stein's version of this incident. Once named, he was preparing the filly to race. Gryder worked the filly in the AM and told Stein he was not happy with the filly, she was not very good, was slow. When the filly
was ready to make her debut, Stein called Gryder's agent to arrange for Gryder to ride her. The agent told Stein Gryder was already booked, so he rode someone else. The filly lost. He again tried to get Gryder to ride its next start, same thing, Gryder was already booked, filly lost, repeat again,
but I am not sure if this was once or twice.

However, the situation changed
once the filly broke her maiden. Then Gryder's agent wanted Gryder to ride the filly, but Stein had already committed to Talamo. Which led to that unhappy scenario on Jockeys you may have seen if you saw the show.

And now you know the other version of the story. According to Stein it was Gryder's agent who fluffed off his attempts to put Gryder on board... while the filly was losing."

Superfecta said...

Good detective work! The fair state of Pennsylvania made a bookmark celebrating one of the ladies whose papers we preserve at work (and it was quite nice to see someone I 'work with' on said bookmark, even if she's been dead for the better part of 140 years). But it's very cool to know the story behind a bookmark with one of the living on it!

Gina Alessia said...

This is very good, great article.