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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Patriotism at the track

Give me liberty or give me a boxed exacta: They are really kicking it up a notch in the patriotism department at the track this year. Two weeks ago, it was former POW Jessica Lynch presenting the winner's circle award. Yesterday was "Proud to be an American" day at the track - active military personnel got free admission, and sky divers jumped onto the inner turf course holding an American flag [man are they firm with the infield ban! -ed.] Additionally, a naturalization ceremony was held in the winnner's circle and 35 immigrants became U.S. citizens:
Taking their places in the winner's circle at Saratoga Race Course before an adoring crowd of friends and family, 35 immingrants became American citizens Monday. The group was made up of young people from 19 countries, aged 2 1/2 to 25.
Lest you think the track is a wierd place to become a citizen, Gary Hale - who is in charge of immigration and naturalization for this area - likes to keep it fresh:
Hale said he looks for unique places to hold the ceremonies other than a government office. Once, he gave the oath aborad the Comet roller coaster at The Great Escape in Lake George. "When the roller coaster pulled away they were aliends, when it returned they were Americans," Hall said.
No word on whether any of the new Americans hit the pick 6, or whether someone suckered them into drinking from the Big Red Spring.
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