Tag: horse racing

Home Stretch

by gwilson on Sep.16, 2010, under A Day in the Life...

When I was a college student and later teaching high school, my grandfather, James Wilson raced horses at Sunland Park, a racetrack in southern New Mexico just across the border and Rio Grande river from El Paso.  He owned a ranch on the Mexican border (the location where Chuck Norris and others filmed “Lone Wolf McQuaid”) and got into racing as a tax write-off and because he loved the animals.  He would purchase horses, sometimes in claiming races, and feed them his special diet until they were strong and healthy and ready for the track.  My friend Bob and I would talk with him and then head to the track on Friday nights to make modest bets for cheap entertainment.  We would bet until our $20 stake was either gone (after which we just watched the races) or grew into a modest gain.  We felt successful if we came away with enough money to pay for our post-race meal at Denny’s.

One horse in particular was my grandfather’s favorite – Reigh Reed.  The horse loved distance and James would give us this insight into the horse’s style:  he will be the last horse the first time by the finish line and the first horse at the end of the race.  It was a bit disconcerting to watch as he trailed the pack the first time past the grandstands, but it was pure excitement when he left the other ponies behind and owned the home strech.

We are in the home stretch of construction.  The furniture is being installed on the new floors this week.  Then, connecting the plumbing and installing the electrical fixtures will begin to signal the final steps needed to bring this project to a close.   Once the 60″ monitors are installed in the labs and the 47″ displays are put in the hallways, and once the card entry system is in place, we will be ready for business.  A $2.5 M renovation project of 8,000 sf of instructional and research space from beginning to end in five months.

We hope you will join us in celebrating the completion of the labs during October, whether at a special public open house to be announced soon, or during Homecoming Saturday, October 16th.  Come see why the operative word for the project from all who see it is “WOW”!

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Scrambled Eggs

by gwilson on Aug.11, 2010, under A Day in the Life...

When I was growing up, I was often told not to “put all my eggs in one basket”.  This phrase is meant to convey the idea of risk management – being sure changes in circumstances could not ruin all plans.  Even as a young adult watching my grandfather’s horses run at Sunland Park Racetrack, I knew that hedging my bets (literally and figuratively) was probably a wise strategy.  Rarely did I bet on a horse to win – it was usually more lucrative to “baseball” a quinella.  If luck was not on my side, after my $20 for betting was gone my friend Bob and I would become spectators for the remainder of the evening.  If we hit a race or two, it meant we went home with more than we came with.  Relatively cheap entertainment, punctuated with support for my grandfather’s stable of horses.

The BIMS program is now looking at the reality of not having our labs ready for the beginning of school.  Our $20 in wagers is gone and now we are spectators as walls are built, cabinets are installed, and equipment arrives from suppliers.  Did we put all our eggs in one basket, with the expectation that all work would be done by August 23?  No.  Had we done so, all those eggs now would be broken.  We began contingency plans for teaching in alternate spaces before the summer began.  Yesterday, science building faculty met to complete the details of what might be taught where and when in order to deliver our programs without compromising quality.  We took those broken eggs and scrambled them to make an omelet – to rescue a delightful outcome from an unwanted one.

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