A Cup of Coffee--Friday, August 10, 2001

By Sean Clancy
From The Saratoga Special, reprinted with permission

So what's my day like? That's the second most popular question (right after, where's my paper?).

Here goes.


Wake up and realize first, I overslept, and second, I spent the night on the office floor. It's a little before six and the paper lady is already past her first four stops. Damn. Get going. Pull another Saratoga Special shirt out of the box and across my back. Rustle around the floor for a pair of khaki shorts (clean?). Stagger around and look for the pile of today's papers.

Wonder what I wrote yesterday and how pictures printed. Was I too hard on the establishment? I think I brush my teeth and out the door, backpack in tow (packed last night). Throw 300 papers in the car and call Nancy, the paper lady. I get a man's voice. I have no idea whose. Bad time to be calling wrong numbers.


"This isn't Nancy. I'm looking for my paper and I'm spitting mad."

Oh man, I hope he's kidding but I have no judgment left. OK, OK, I'm on my way.

"Hey, it's Mark."

Yeah, yeah, I'm on my way. Find the paper lady and hand off 50 papers, tell her Mitch Friedman's a new subscriber and try to comprehend who needs papers.

Rice, Freeman, Howard, Hennig. Got it. Rice, Freeman, Howard, Hennig. Rice, Freeman, Howard, Hennig.

There's Hennig. "Sorry, sir, here's your paper." He laughs first from the earlier conversation (evidently he was on the phone), second by the way I look. I don't want to look down. Am I even wearing shoes?

Another subscriber, Toadie Taylor is there, hand the paper off to him. I have a feeling they said something smart about the way I look but can't remember processing anything at all.

Off to the kitchen stand for a cup of tea. Please, please, a cup of tea. Please. Milk and sugar? Yes. Yes, milk and sugar.

Hand a paper to Carl and Wanda Nafzger, "I don't know if you got one yet or not but here you go."

I think I say hello to Rick Violette, maybe it was him. Get the paper to Neil Howard at the gap, give Billy Badgett one on his pony. Look around for the next reader. Wendy at the gap, here you go, Wendy at the gap.

Cup of tea, please, please, cup of tea.

Does the paper lady do Frank Alexander‚s barn? Oh man, all the way inside Clare Court.

Better call paper lady. What about Frank Alexander and Nafzger?

"No, Sean just take care of those four I told you."
Right, right, Rice, Freeman, Howard, Hennig. Rice, Freeman, Howard, Hennig.

To the receiving barn, drop the paper off at Freeman's, say hello to Boot. They think I'm drunk.

Check on Chip's horse Popular Gigalo. Just the horse.

Back to the car, back into traffic, Pinkerton says stop. My first yawn.

To 144 Nelson, Kip Elser's drop off. Drive. Drive. That chair in the trash looks comfortable. Want to sleep. Damn, I went past the driveway. Back up, nothing coming, back up. Turn NPR down, roll the paper and put it mail holder.

To Ken Ramsey's. George Street. Right, George Street. Paper in the basket. Paper in the basket.

To the sales, 200 papers spread around. Some in the sales office,
some at the breakfast counter. Some to each consignment. Keep moving. Keep moving. Walk on the right side.

To the track again. Oklahoma side. Watch a few horses. Know I need to get out and see people. Sell, sell, sell. Have no energy no alacrity in my bones. (Look up alacrity in the dictionary). Sit, sit
in the car.

These sales are killing me. One more night. Oh, man we wrote Tuesday night in today's caption, supposed to be Wednesday. Damn, damn.

Oh, they parked me in. Big Mercedes blocked my view. Thank you very much. I need to nap.

Hey Gary, here's today's. Hi Braxton, here's today's. Hi Tom, here's
Today's. Hi Bates, here's today's. Better go, better go. Back to the Annex to find Matt McCarron for tomorrow's story about the stakes.

Not around, nine o'clock flight. Nine o'clock flight. There's John's Call. Talk to Todd. Massage a quote. Today's race. Lots of speed. Well, we‚ll see. Better go. Doughnut thanks, ooh, not much left. Damn flies. Better go. Better go. Write this story. Where are the papers? Phone rings. Can we show the office? Sure, sure. It's 10:00 already. Better get to the sales. Better sell, need to write. It's already 10:00. No time for the rest of the day, better go, better go.

That's how my day goes. At least the first four hours of my day.

Contact Sean Clancy via e-mail at sean@thesaratogaspecial.com or telephone at 518-581-1947.