The Trotterbury Tale

First let me say in this brief introduction,

That I’m listening to a BBC production,

Of the Canterbury Tales, by Chaucer, Geoffrey,

Who wrote in Middle English, which is all Greek to me.


This poem in High School, I surely did dread,

Because I couldn’t understand a word that he said.

But now this story gives me great inspiration,

Thanks to Burton Raffel and his fine translation.


Now I can follow this ancient old song,

And understand why it’s lasted so long

I’m enjoying the story and so I will show it,

By writing this blog in the way of a poet.


The Harness Racing Fan’s Story


Last week, three friends they had a notion,

To visit the upstate town of Goshen.

A place that bears a biblical name,

And is home to the Harness Hall of Fame.


The trip was my idea, as I am a big fan,

Brother X and friend John went along with the plan.

It was my birthday, which is why they agreed,

They’d rather watch Yankees than any old steed.


Please do not poke the driver

So we packed up the car, and were on our way soon.

We reached the museum a little past noon.




On the walls I saw pictures of drivers so mighty,

They only recognized a guy they called Whitey.


We toured every exhibit and every space,

And inside of cutouts our heads we did place.

2017 Humbletonian

Our favorite spot was a place where we could act,

Like we were driving a Trotter on the main track.


Johnny went first and just like he oughta,

He took to racing like a duck takes to water.


I mentioned Ducks, because on the previous night,

We saw The Long Island Ducks really put up a fight.

They beat my poor Stormers on a night filled with rain,

But it was still nice to see some old friends again.


Linda and Jimmy from the old Sutter crowd,

Were cheering for Ducks and rooting quite loud.

Brother X and Christine, the home team were backing.

And nephew DJ and wife Stacy were all busy quacking.

Ducks vs Stormers

Now back to my story about our Goshen trip.

It was my turn in the sulky but with my bum hip

I needed some help to climb in with my pain.

If truth be told, I needed a crane.

20170819_151125Then, finally, I got it right,

But to get me out, it took all night.

I didn’t care; I was having my fun,

And in the picture, it looks like I won.


At the end of the day, we were ready to eat,

My friend Sally told me a place that couldn’t be beat.

So, we took her advice, and it couldn’t be finer,

We all enjoyed the food at the Goshen Diner.


Goshen DinerBefore we left I took a picture of the track,

And we agreed that someday we’d all go back.

But there is one sad note about this town.

Two days later this old barn burned down.



But when they saw the flames and smoke,

This sleepy little town really awoke.

The people came from everywhere

To save the horses that were there.

Goshen Fire

An historic barn is now gone,

But, thankfully, the horses all live on,

Thanks to the people with courage true.

Oh, Land of Goshen, how I love you.


Peace & Love, and all of the above,



M-m-m-m-my Corona…

Butch Hobson - 01Keith Castillo - 01Reegie Corona - 01


I received an invitation in the mail to attend a little birthday party for the Manager of the Lancaster Barnstormers, Butch Hobson. R.S.V.P.

Then my brother called. What were my plans for celebrating my birthday?’

“Right now I’m planning on going to a ball game and having ice cream with Butch Hobson on his birthday, which is on the 17th, just two days before mine. Close enough.”

Then I started singing, “They say it’s your birthday…It’s my birthday, too, yeah…

“You want me to go with you?”


I called Maureen Wheeler at Clipper Magazine Stadium, explained my situation and asked if I could have my invitation “plus-oned.”

“Sure,” she said, “Bring your brother.”

The ballpark seats about 15,000, but the only time it is more than half-full are some Friday and Saturday night games when they have free fireworks. The rest of the week, they give out free T-Shirts, reduced-priced food, prizes, anything to try to attract customers. They’re very accommodating.

I was in Long Beach a few days later telling my friend Margaret about my plans.

“It sounds good,” Margaret said. “It would sound fabulous if you were only nine years old.”

I thought about that for a moment. “Margaret,” I finally replied. “I will be going there like a nine-year old. I’m going to the game with my little brother.”

BeelzeBro X (formerly Brother X) arrived on Saturday afternoon. We had a drink in The Social Butterfly Saloon (formerly my back yard). Then we went to The Alley Kat for Dinner. After a while there we just came back to my place to chill. We watched a few Harness Races on the computer, because I’m a big fan of Harness Racing, and we watched a little TV, because we’re both big fans of closed-captioning.

He got up first on Sunday. He had to go to mass.

Myself, I’ve been going to services at Saint Mattress for nearly 50 years. I stayed in bed.

When he came back two hours later, he was an expert on my neighborhood. He knew more about it than I did. I suggested we have breakfast at the Onion Café. He said that it was closed on Sunday, but that the Fractured Prune was open and they had great coffee. We went to The Fractured Prune, which was just a little past the Onion Café, which was closed.

He even knew how The Fractured Prune got its name. I’ll leave that story for him to tell someday.  It has nothing to do with fruit.

It was then time to go to the ball game. We used to go to baseball games together back when we were Cub Scout age. We even had Yankee uniforms. He wore #8 for Yogi Berra, and I wore #7 for Mickey Mantle. Magically, as soon as we handed our tickets to the usher at the Barnstormer gate we were both that age again. Only this time we could drink beer. Hey Margaret.  We could have even more fun than 9-year-olds.

The day was dedicated to helping homeless Veterans in Lancaster County. The players wore special patriotic caps during the game, which were auctioned off during the 4th inning. After the game, whoever bought a hat went onto the field to get their hat from the player.

I bought Reegie Corona’s hat. (Reegie, pronounced Ree-Gee, is how he spells his name).

I bought it for several reasons.

He’s #19, and my birthday is the 19th.

His last name is a beer, and that’s one of my favorite beverages.

He just joined the team from a Yankee farm team.  So, nobody knew him, and the bidding wasn’t very spirited.

I got his hat for $30. That’s more than I ever paid for a hat before (unless you count enlisting in the Navy). And it’s certainly more than I’ve ever paid for a Corona, but it was a steal. He scored the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning.

At the birthday party we all got presents. I got a game ball signed by Keith Castillo, a catcher who used to be a Long Island Duck. BeelzeBro X got a game ball signed by the birthday boy himself, Butch Hobson. He gave it to me as an extra birthday present. We had our ice cream and then he drove back to New York.

Suddenly, as he was driving away, I was no longer 9-years old, but, at least, I could still drink beer. I went to the Alley Kat and had a Corona.  M-m-m-m-m-my Corona….

Peace & Love, and all of the above,


Richard Scott wins the Handicappers Association of North America Contest


For Immediate Release

FFI – Contact Allan Schott at


Richard Scott Named Champion of 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge


December 15, 2013 – Despite attempts by other contestants to execute  ‘Hail Mary’ wagers in an effort to seek the payoff positions, Richard Scott is the winner of HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA,  Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs.

Scott’s victory seemed assured as far back as July 21 when he exploded for a profit of $1,023.40 at Tioga Downs that weekend which created a lead which would never be challenged as no other handicapper was able to get that ‘big hit’ to put them back in the running.  Scott’s final winning margin was $743.67.

However, in the last event of the season, Rusty Nash was able to use the Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park to earn a weekly profit of $51.60, allowing him to sneak into second place, pushing Earl Paulson into third.  The only other handicapper which showed a profit for the week was Scott with a profit of $0.60.

The prize fund for the contest reached $3,250.  As a result of the final results, Scott’s horse rescue, Changing Fates Equine Rescue will be a recipient of $1,250.  Nash’s rescue, Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals is slated to receive $875, while Paulson’s third place finish results in a $375 donation to Heading for Home.  In addition to these donations, additional donations will be made in honor of Scott’s victory by the Illinois Harness Horseman Association and Red Shores Charlottetown to local standardbred rescues.  Those organizations which handle more than standardbreds have committed to using these proceeds solely for the benefit of standardbred rescues.


Here are the final standings for the contest.

Final Standings



Week Gain

Net Profit


Last Pos

Days Missed


Richard Scott






Rusty Nash







Earl Paulson







Ann Stepien







Dennis O’Hara







Garnet Barnsdale







Gordon Waterstone







Mark McKelvie







Sally Hinckley







Ray Garnett






Ten grace days permitted.  After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race.



HANA Harness would like to thank all our sponsors, the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, and Red Shores Charlottetown for not only being sponsors of this year’s contest but their commitment to help standardbreds seeking a second chance.

Twelve Trees Fell in the Woods

tree in woods jason bergsieker

A recent Geico add humorously showed that when a tree falls in the woods it does make a sound.  I doubt that commercial will put an end to the philosophical argument, but it did give me something to think about, though.


If something happens, but it is not reported in the news, did it happen?  Does something lose its value if it doesn’t make the papers, radio, or TV?  I wish the answer was No, but I think the answer is Yes.


Fortunately, today we have the Internet, and stories that are marginalized or ignored my mainstream media can be found by those willing to dig for those stories.


Last week, twelve trees fell in the woods, the woods of the Pocono Mountains.  They were not heard on CBS, NBC, or ABC.  They were not of interest to the Liberal Left, so they were not heard on MSN.  They were not of interest to the Conservative Right, so they were not heard on FOX, either.  These twelve trees were heard on the Internet, though.


Those of us who enjoy the sport of Harness Racing have been marginalized and ignored by the mainstream media.  Even ESPN didn’t cover the 12 races of the Harness Racing Breeders’ Crown.  Close to $6,000,000 in purses was distributed at Pocono Downs last Saturday.  The 12 Breeders’ Crown races are often the deciding factor in the voting for Horse of the Year, Pacer of the Year, Trotter of the Year, the best 2-year-olds, the best 3 year olds, and the best aged horses and mares, but they got no coverage on the major networks.  You have a better chance of seeing Hurling on TV than Harness Racing.


Whose fault is this?  Probably the majority of the blame can be given to the sport of Harness Racing itself.  Do you know who won the Thoroughbred Triple Crown races?  Orb, Oxbow, and Palace Malice.  You’ve probably heard of them, even though none of them won more than one leg of the Triple Crown.


Do you know who won the Pacing or Trotting Triple Crown races?  Not likely.  You probably don’t even know which races are in the Pacing Triple Crown or the Trotting Triple Crown.  Actually, many fans of the sport don’t even know.  They are not well publicized, and only The Hambletonian at The Meadowlands gets any national attention.  That is the fault of Harness Racing.


Twelve trees fell in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania, World Records also fell.  Championships were determined, and Breeding Farms paid close attention.  But those twelve trees did not make a sound to anyone who wasn’t right there at Pocono Downs.


Harness Racing.  Please get your act together.  Market your product.  I know that you are an exciting sport with an amazing history.  Let other people in on the secret.  I’d like to be able to watch my favorite sport on TV once in a while.  Like the fallen tree pleads in the Geico commercial, “A little help here.”


Peace and Love, and all of the above,