Saturday, February 28, 2009

history and a horse

recently, i've been thinking about obscure history.

i don't mean history that's been obscured because it was hidden and or suppressed, like the soviet union did when it was in existence. i mean history that's been abandoned or discarded: more or less in the back of the public's collective mind like a box that's been put into storage and then forgotten.

one example of this is the horse seabiscuit. in 1938, according to the book about him by laura hillenbrand, he was the number one newsmaker in the united states: not clark gable, lou gehrig, adolf hitler, howard hughes, benito mussolini, pope pius xi or franklin roosevelt. he went above and beyond sports, much like michael jordan did when he was playing basketball.

as the years passed, few people thought about him. i remember his name was often used in jest about horses and their lack of speed on the race track.

but in 2001, hillenbrand wrote her book. that put seabiscuit's name back before the public. i bought a copy of it and admit i only read half of it before i put it down and forgot about it -- ironically, much like the public did about him.

sometimes i wonder what famous or infamous subject of these days will be forgotten, then, because of fate or chance, is remembered in the future.

addenum, aug. 30: i had some time during the last two weeks, so i read seabiscuit. i enjoyed it very much. i haven't seen the movie, and don't know if i will. i'll see what happens.

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