He wanted to know what we were talking about. I answered, "Ice cream and horses."
As I entered my favorite little country store, I could tell that something unusual was going on. Two men in suits were standing on either side of the door and a classy luxury car was parked out front. The owner of the store looked at me and pointed down the center aisle. Phil was smiling, so I let my curiosity lead me in the direction he was pointing. There was a woman digging through the ice cream freezer with one hand and holding a Coke with the other. I drifted in a little closer. She straightened up with her choice-a Nutty Buddy. When she turned toward me, I recognized her and couldn't help but beam a big smile at her and say hello. She shrugged her shoulders and said, "I really shouldn't be eating both of these." We both laughed and I suggested that she trade her Coke in for a diet soda. "This way," I continued, "you'll eat only half the calories." Nodding and laughing, she agreed that trading her drink would be a smart choice and then she added, "I don't imagine there's such a thing as a diet Nutty Buddy?"
Knowing that she loved horses, I asked her if she knew about the Point to Point Race that was being held at a nearby estate that weekend. She smiled and said she hoped she had time to go to it. I told her that I was planning on going with my six-year-old son and some friends.
I watched her leave and waved to her when she looked out her window from the back seat of her car. The two gentlemen were with her-one was the driver and the other was probably her body guard. She waved back and gestured a toast to me with her soda.
Phil was surprised that we chatted for as long as we did. He wanted to know what we were talking about. I answered, "Ice cream and horses."
The races are held in March when it is still cold and windy. Lots of hats and scarves dotted the hillside on that sunny day. I was looking around to see who I knew when I spotted her behind me further up the hill. When she looked my way, I lowered my sunglasses and raised my drink in a mock toast to her. She smiled and pointed toward my son who was standing next to me. I nodded and patted the top of his head. She placed her hand over her heart. My friends saw me toasting her and asked who she was. "Oh," I answered..."it's just someone I met at Locke's Store. Her friends call her Jackie O."