At the Racetrack in India

On his way to occupied China, Phil traveled through India with some of his friends in the service. (4 mins)

Audio transcript:

We found out that where we were quartered was short distance from a racetrack and since the Japanese never reached Bombay or bombed Bombay, this racetrack was still in operation, so we rented what you call garry – a horse and wagon taxi – to take us to the racetrack and we went to the racetrack and I saw a posting of horses in a race and there was a horse named Silent Dave, and my father’s name was David. Now I don’t know one horse from another, especially in India but I saw Silent Dave and I bet a couple of rupies on him, and wouldn’t you know, Silent Dave won! Everybody thought I was a horse expert and they wanted me to pick horse for them.

Then there was a horse named something Susie – And I said well, I like that horse. And I put some rupies on Susie and we stood by the rail near the finish line and as they came up to us Susie had every vein in its body sticking out because of the effort it was expending and it was frothing at the mouth and the veins were sticking out and as it shot passed us it went past the finish line as a winner and it went a short distance and dropped dead, it died. And I felt very sorry for the horse that gave its all and then died. That was another episode in Bombay.

Photo: Phil and another servicemember sitting on a balcony, photo courtesy of Phil Schneider

1 comment


I was tickled when my dad (who will be turning 94 in January and was raised in the Bronx) forwarded me your article in the Forward. Rang true for me! My mom is 29 years his junior (fortunately, in very good health), and he was 60 when I was born. My dad’s dad was a milkman in NYC, starting off with a horse & buggy. My wife and I are expecting our first baby in 2 months, with the due date very near my dad’s birthday. Best of luck with your parenting journey!

I should really record my pop’s stories. Thanks for the inspiration!

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