Revisiting Seabiscuit

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Seabiscuit statue at Santa Anita

I love America literature, so I’m excited that Mitchell is reading Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit as the first book in his 11th-grade English class at Ghidotti Early College High School with Mr. Bishop. I am a lifelong L.A.-area thoroughbred horse racing fan; lover of California “place names” (from historic Santa Anita to the owner’s ranch in Willits, California); and lover of Laura’s good writing — and this book is all of that.

As kids growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, we used to ride our Schwinn Stingray bikes out to Santa Anita Racetrack from our homes for the ninth race (it was free).

We’ve been to Santa Anita numerous times since, and stood beneath the wonderful Seabiscuit statue there. Laura herself is a champion, suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research Center at Stanford University.

I found our copy of the book on the bookshelf this afternoon, and its bookmark was a Passport Declaration Form from when Shannon and I first read it: On a trip to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, and our friend Jan D’Esopo’s The Gallery Inn. Ha! All told, an exciting and memorable beginning to school. I hope Mitchell and his classmates like the book as much as we did.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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