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For my Grandfather, Poppy

Day at the Races

Every time I see a horse race I think of how much it meant to me that you would sneak me into racetracks when I was only 14. Perhaps it made me feel older, and this was good because I was getting a lot of teasing about having a coarse beard and hairy legs when most of the boys were still pre-pubescent. But it was more about you giving me the full Racing Form and asking me to make suggestions. You were the first adult that recognized my talent for numbers as something useful and of value. You'd even risk a $2 bet on my analysis. You may not know it, but this small gesture, a $2 bet, moved me in the direction of a career that's fulfilled my life. Not much has changed from those hot days and brightly lit nights at Aqueduct or Roosevelt; expect that instead of horses its stocks, and when I analyze and pronounce, people listen and markets move. I wish you had lived long enough so that I could have taken care of you with the same generosity of soul you showed me. Your untimely death as my career was about to take off left me feeling cheated of the chance to satisfy a debt that could never be repaid. I will Love you always, Poppy

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