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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/6/07)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Two familiar Arlington Park personalities – former director of communications/television hostess Lynne Snierson and longtime Chicago-based trainer Michele Boyce – have become hot news items themselves after recently providing invaluable assistance in the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, the junior United States senator from Illinois.
Snierson, a New Hampshire native who now serves as director of communications and marketing at Rockingham Park, hosted the Obama family and staff in her Salem, New Hampshire, home on August 20, and her close friend Boyce made a quick round-trip to New England to help out.
“I got a call from an Obama staffer on a Friday asking me if I’d be interested in hosting an event in my home,” said Snierson, a Democratic activist in the Granite State. “I asked when, and they said on Monday, so I literally had about 72 hours to get the house ready.
“Naturally, I was so excited I called Michele just to tell her the news,” Snierson said, “and she graciously offered to catch a plane to New Hampshire the next day to help out.
“The Secret Service came by to check out the area and they approved,” Snierson said, “so there Michele and I were Monday morning serving breakfast to about 25 VIPs while anticipating Sen. Obama’s arrival.
“When his bus got there I walked down to the end of my driveway to greet him and his wife Michelle and their two daughters, Malia and Sasha,” Snierson said. “I walked them up the driveway to my house and introduced them to the VIPs inside.
“Later, Sen. Obama, his wife Michelle, their daughters sat down to a private family lunch,” Snierson said, “and I seated about 25 of his staff including Secret Service members for their lunch. The Obamas are wonderful people. Sen. Obama and his wife both have very engaging and charismatic personalities.
“After lunch, Sen. Obama went upstairs to my den for one-on-one interviews with media from the New York Times, Associated Press and Washington Post, while his wife Michelle stayed downstairs on my deck giving interviews to the broadcast media on my lawn.
“I think his staff really appreciated their lunch,” Snierson said. “I told them they were in my home and my mother (the late Muriel Snierson) would never have forgiven me if I didn’t entertain all the guests in my home.
“Sen. Obama, his wife Michelle, and my late father (District Judge Bernard Snierson) all graduated from Harvard Law School – my father in 1938 – and he was very interested in my father’s graduating class,” Snierson said.
“Of course, in those days, there might have been only one or two women in the class, and no minorities,” Snierson said. “In fact, my father would have been one of only a handful of Jews, so we talked about how much times have changed for the better since then.
“A few days later, I got a very nice note from Sen. Obama, and another one from his wife Michelle,” Snierson said.
“I also heard later through someone else that his staff said that nowhere during the campaign had they been treated so graciously and so well,” Snierson said. “That meant a lot to me and, of course, I owe a big debt of gratitude to Michele for coming up here from Arlington to help me out.
“Obviously, in New Hampshire, we see politicians all the time,” said Snierson. “In fact there’s an old joke about the pollster who asked someone from New Hampshire if they were going to vote for so-and-so, and the person answered: ‘How should I know? I’ve only met the man five times.’
“But seriously,” the whole event was a unique and very exciting experience for me,” Snierson concluded. “The Obamas certainly wowed the crowd, and they are very warm people when you meet them in person.”
Arlington guests are reminded that post time for the first race on Friday – and again next Friday on Sept. 14 – has been set back a half-hour to 2:30 p.m.
The earlier post time will allow for 10-race programs on the two remaining Friday racing programs this summer despite the waning daylight hours.
Arlington’s 2007 racing season comes to a close on Sunday, September 16.
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