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"As far as I'm concerned the greatest common denominator in our country is sports. There's nothing I enjoy more."
COMMON DENOMINATOR (CONT.)
Saratoga's August racing season has been bringing a wager-minded set to the historic old New York spa for generations—and for generations the town's soberer year-round set has watched the goings-on with a mixture of wonderment and resignation. All of which comes to mind because of the experience of an elderly aunt of one of this magazine's correspondents. She owns a house outside Saratoga with an expanse of lawn, and when the young fellows in the fancy new convertible offered her $500 for the use of her place for just two weeks of the racing season, it was more than her New England background could resist. She accepted advance payment and arranged to move in with a niece.
But her conscience bothered her in the days that followed, when she thought of the outrageous rent and the young fellows with nothing to do when they were not at the track. She went to a hardware store and bought the second most expensive croquet set in the place. She left it conspicuously on a chair in the kitchen, and felt better about the whole thing.
Occasionally she drove past her house late in the morning. Every time, there were four men in sports shirts, carrying mallets, out on her lawn. They looked like large healthy children to her, and her heart was glad.
On the afternoon of her guests' departure, she drove over to see them off, and to see that the furniture was un-marred and the crockery intact. She found the young man who had first talked to her busy stowing luggage in the rear of the convertible.
"I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the croquet set," she ventured.
"Some of us enjoyed it," the young man said darkly.
"Some of you? Seems to me you were all playing when I drove past."