I told you about working at the Dog Track when I was in college. Well that “experience” led me to an opportunity to work at Arlington Race track during the summer. Arlington Race Track was the biggest, nicest horse track in Illinois. It had burned down and the owner spent 10s of millions of dollars to rebuild and make it into a gorgeous facility. But there was a problem. Behind the track were hundreds of workers, maybe a thousand, that lived in the back track . There were living quarters back there and they weren’t very good. The hot walkers, caretakers of the horses, and assistant trainers and their families, lived there in poverty. The wages were low but with free housing it was a life. They generally traveled with the season and went to another warmer season track during the winter. That poverty led to a lot of drinking and general problems. The employees needed something to do.
The owner, Dick Duchossois, who I believe is still alive at 97, wanted someone to create some activities for the employees at night. Busy peopel have less problems. He hired the Vice Principal of my High School to run a sports program and other activities to keep them busy. My Vice Principal knew me from High School and knew my parents, but he really got to know me from a detention I had gotten. I honestly don’t remember what I did to get in trouble but it was bad enough I was supposed to stay after school for a week or two. But I had soccer games that I didn’t want to miss and my coaches didn’t want me to miss, so we negotiated a 6 am to 7am before school, doing chores around the school.
While I was at home during the summer he asked if I wanted to run a soccer league at Arlington Race Track. I would also help with bingo night. My job was to form an 8 team league, hire refs, schedule games and playoffs. It wasn’t something I had ever done but I had played in 100s of them and knew guys to ref so I took the job. And it paid $10 an hour…Cash. Which was pretty good when the average summer job was $5 an hour back then. One thing I didn’t anticipate was most of the people didn’t speak English but my Spanish was really good back then (I’ve since forgotten how to conjugate my verbs). The teams came in quickly, I made up a schedule and looked for refs. I couldn’t find a one. And 99% of the people on the teams spoke little English so they were a little scared to ref a Mexican soccer league. So ended up reffing every game of the league. By the middle of the season they hated me. I was pretty much booed or in this case, whistled as I entered the pitch. I think I let out a few Un momentos instead of Un minuto when I was trying to say there was one minute left and that didn’t help matters.
All in all it was a great experience. Great for raising college money and I really got to understand the life of people that worked at the track. Many of them would invite me to their home for dinners and got to know the jockeys well because I played on their softball team. Legends like Shane Sellers and many others that would go on to ride Kentucky Derby winners would stop to say hi even when I would see them at tracks 1000s of miles away. There was one problem with the experience.
I was paid in cash. I treated it like cash. I didn’t declare it. Four years after the last time I had worked at the track, I get a letter in the mail from the IRS. It said that Dick had been audited and it had come to be that maybe I was paid a substantial amount of money in cash over several years. I could be audited or I could just pay what they thought I owed. I looked at the number and it seemed to be in my favor. A mighty big number for a guy that was now making nothing at his Dad’s nursery ,but not wrong. I set up a payment plan that lasted 5 years. It was like a college loan payment plan is how I looked at it and broken down over 5 years with no interest it wasn’t that much per month. It was a car payment. But I had made the money and spent the money so right is right. I way paying the Piper as they say.
But all of it led to some very memorable summers, some of which extended in to post graduation. I needed it because making under $1000 a month as a phone clerk. My rent was $800. That job, working at a bar, and working the track let me live in the city and eat. So despite the consequences it let me live in the place where I met my wife. And that is as happy of an ending as can be written.
Quote of the Day: “But how could you live and have no story to tell?” ― Fyodor Dostoevsky
Domain of the Day: Geode.com short and the goal of every young kid looking through rocks
Namejet, Sedo, Snap, and other Names Up for Auction
BoyFan.com Some girls are. Not all. No bids, 18 years old
AlphaBetz.com Decent gambling name and Alphabets isn’t going to be cheap
4K.net I think this has been up before but either way, it’s here if you want a CC.net
ILoveChina.com Some do. Now lets see how much the love it
SeasideResort.com in last list I said this was a great name but the first bid came in pretty high. Someone thought it’s worth more
RBed.com That would be a cool bed name, just “R” for Rest
Benka.com Nice 5L.com and the word is registered in 33 different TLDs
HigherSATScores.com Good marketing name for a prep company
Godaddy Domains With Bids
PopTower.com The most bids on the Godaddy board today. Was a pretty good size celebrity site. Wish the social media handles came with
MercuryCard.com This is a huge price considering there is only one buyer. MercuryCards.com
Plomp.com A word in French and Dutch
TheCoconut.com A good bar or restaurant name. But of course it could be anything
WebGlimpse.net Another old site getting a great price
CoderManual.com Learn to code, Heard there were a few companies looking for coders
ApartmentRentalGuide.com A bit long but describes pretty well
CoolFish.com People like fish names
ZoomWallet.com there was a point a few years ago that people bought pretty much any wallet name out there. Still goes today just at a smaller price
DirectForex.com Same with Forex names. The affiliate money was so great. But with brokerage fees going to zero the affiliate money is not nearly as good. But still there
RedF.com Easy logo. Big Red F
Hydration.net Great name at a dot net discount
Prairieville.com 20 year old name. A city in Louisiana
CabinSize.com Pretty much every results has to do with available space in certain plains for carry on luggage
Guangdu.com A city in China. That’s usually good for 4 figures
AmazonMedicine.com People are hoping to sell it to Amazon but you can pretend that a lot of life changing medicines come from the Amazon
Seeth.com Seeth the Lord
Faize.com An Arabic male first name
RoofingAndSiding.com Thousands of companies do exactly this
Godaddy Names With One of No Bids
The Rest of the Godaddy Names With Bids
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