When I was a teenager I used to sing "Que Serra-Serra" to a nervous horse I rode whenever I could save the few dollars for and hour at the stable just over the Connecticut line. It had a rhythm that perfectly matched the pace at which I felt most comfortable.
I was in awe of horses and all things horse. My uncle Dan was a trainer at Saratoga Springs in his youth, and later in life a ticket taker at the Yonkers Raceway. Once we met Eddie Arcaro at his apartment. He was tiny, and very cute. My Mother was a horse player, and even had a bookie to place her bets. She dreamed of being in the winners circle with the elite someday. According to Aunt Mary, everyone had, raised or raced ponies in Ireland. When my family took road trips in our four-door ford, I rode my imaginary mount along the landscape running beside the highway, entertaining myself for the whole journey with how we would disappear into the woods at the curving places, and reappear when the road turned straight again.
I read "Black Beauty" - The Autobiography of A Horse by Anna Sewell, and the other two of the trilogy as well. I also read "My Friend Flicka", and watched the television series. I wanted to be a cowgirl and recall a wonderful outfit I once owned which went the way of other childhood artifacts into the storehouse of memory. I was in love with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans-sometimes wishing I'd been adopted by them, so that, like all their many foster kids, I'd ride the "Happy Trails" of Sunshine Valley with the singing Sons of The Pioneers forever.
After dad's death, we moved to a three room apartment in a complex that had lots of rolling landscape around it. One Summer a pony ride opened up on a hill above the miniature golf course down the way. I volunteered to groom and clean for free. In the absence of the owner, I brought a pony across the Boston Post Road to the complex to give my brother and some friends a ride (I recently sent his son a photo of his seven year old dad sitting bareback atop a painted mount). It was a totally illegal caprice, but I was not caught. I fantasized that we would keep a pony some day. I never became much of a rider due to access and money, but remain a fan of all things equestrian. Life led me in another direction where my fantasies became scripts, and playing them out on stages became theater...where "Don't be so dramatic" evolved into applause and approval. Whatever will be has been.
But, back to Doris Day ,whose passion for discarded animals led her from Hollywood Stardom to Carmel, California where she became the caretaker-savior to many canines and felines, and a lifelong animal advocate. This Year she turned eighty eight.
Listen to this Recent Interview with her.