I learned a lot at the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby.
I learned that one can study and study and study the horses and still come out a loser.
I also learned that you could trust the experts, but they basically know about as much as you do, except in finer detail - and they can still be wrong.
I learned that 167,227 people can all get together and cheer a common cause, but still feel anxiety and angst for their own personal agendas.
I learned that the people of Kentucky (or at least Lexington and Louisville) are extraordinarily cheery and nice to outsiders.
I learned that there's some really good food in Kentucky, which just happens to go very well with mint juleps.
Which of course meant I learned that my wife doesn't like mint juleps.
I learned about bourbon, about distilleries, about exceptions to the law and prohibition.
I learned that Ohio (our table mates were from Ohio) has a huge concern with opioids and heroin addiction, perhaps more than most other states.
I learned that horse jockeys are in a very hazardous occupation and have their own rules, regulations and insurance programs that are workers' compensation, but take things a bit further.
I learned that there is an enormous amount of money in the horse racing business.
And I learned that all that money is because it takes a lot of people to make something like the Derby an event.
I learned that if I parlay my gambling smartly and stick with the statistics that there is a better chance of holding a winning ticket.
I also learned in that same lesson that you may not know until the very end if you made the right decision, because it can look very dire but someone, something, somehow, someplace, somewhere, could pull it off...
I learned that Dwight Johnson's shoes (and ties and hats) attract A LOT of attention and even more so when I explain that they are made by a double amputee, the result of two separate industrial injuries just 18 months apart.
I learned that the Shakers were probably some of the first to embrace equality among the genders.
I also learned that sometimes just a day or two off from the daily grind can be enormously refreshing.
Thanks to Cindy Whitehouse and her impressive team at Ascential Care in Lexington, KY for putting this all together for me.