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By Judy McCarthy:
Many institutions of Southern culture are vanishing. Moonshining, barn-raisings, hominy-poundings, quiltings, fox hunting, homecomings, and hog-killings are but memories. For 135 years, however, the Kentucky Derby has been a sustaining, if sometimes tawdry, vestige of Southern life. Its appeal, of course, extends far beyond the Old South. A few years ago, even the Queen of England visited the Derby.
I first saw the Derby on television as a young girl nearly 60 years ago. The picture was in black and white, but the Derby was in splendid Southern color. Beautiful women. Beautiful hats. Beautiful horses.