Dave Contarino on the Cost of Training a Horse for the Kentucky Derby

Thoroughbred horseAccording to Dave Contarino, the odds of owning a horse that participates in the Kentucky Derby are extremely slim. Dave Contarino has rooted for both leading contenders and long shots at Churchill Downs in his lifetime. Here, Dave Contarino provides insight into the enormous undertaking of training a horse for this prestigious event. [Read more…]

David Contarino Describes Lake Cabins as Retreats from a Busy Life

David ContarinoNear Danville, Ky., lies picturesque Herrington Lake. For David Contarino, the lake is the perfect place to get a sense of peace and solitude. As a busy political strategist and consultant, David Contarino likes to spend the lazy days of summer at Lake Herrington. Today, David Contarino explains how the lake serves as a retreat during the busy moments in his busy political life.

A Gathering of Experts: Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to talk to us, Mr. David Contarino.

David Contarino: It’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

A Gathering of Experts: The charm of Herrington Lake lures vacationers year in and year out. Tell us a more about the area.

David Contarino: Herrington Lake is a playground for many outdoor and recreational sports. Visitors can water ski, and swimming, tubing and even cliff jumping is popular. Great fishing is also abundant. Herrington Lake produces some of the finest fish.

A Gathering of Experts: What types of fish?

David Contarino: The lake contains catfish, bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass and some others that I can’t think of right now.

A Gathering of Experts: What do you like about coming to the lake?

David Contarino: My family and I have a cabin on the southern part of the lake. The house sits on a steep slope overlooking the water. We’ve been coming here for years and every time a similar feeling always hits me.

A Gathering of Experts: What feeling is that?

David Contarino: I always know that it’s going to be low key, peaceful and relaxed. Everything we want is right here at the lake.

 A Gathering of Experts: What is your favorite thing to do at the cabin?

David Contarino: I often sit on one of our decks—either off the house or down below on the edge, sipping Kentucky bourbon or smoking an occasional cigar. I can just sit outside and take in the nature surrounding me.

A Gathering of Experts: As a political strategist, you have played a critical role in many successful campaigns over the last 25 years. Is the lake a getaway from your busy political life?

David Contarino: Absolutely. I can fully relax at the lake and just enjoy the simple things in life.  My smart phone does not even work there! We go on hikes, fish and swim. It’s far from the craziness of political life.

A Gathering of Experts: Give us one interesting fact about Lake Herrington.

David Contarino: Herrington Lake is the deepest lake in Kentucky. It’s maximum depth is 249 feet.

A Gathering of Experts: What do you look for in a vacation?

David Contarino: I prefer a relaxing, not too touristy vacation. I’m more interested in atmosphere and quality than quantity.

A Gathering of Experts: Describe one of your best moments at the cabin.

David Contarino: I have a few, but landing a 15 pound catfish with my daughter’s rod from Wal-Mart was one of the best.

A Gathering of Experts: How does a good day end for David Contarino at the lake?

David Contarino: Returning from a day of kayaking just as the stars come out. I know how good that feels.

David Contarino is currently president of Contarino & Associates, LLC, where he consults with small and large companies, political campaigns, and other organizations. David Contarino is based in Louisville, Ky. According to David Contarino, Kentucky is known for a lot of things— Herrington Lake and the Derby are among the most special.

David Slone Talks about His Fascination with Root Beer

David Slone

David Slone

Today we talk with David Slone, Sales Manager and Used Car Manager of Weld County Garage. David Slone has a rather interesting hobby: collecting root beer.

Q: David, when did your fascination with root beer begin?

David Slone: Well, I guess it was about twelve years back when I got a package from one of my vendors. Inside were samples of Henry Weinhard’s® Root Beer.

Q: What made Weinhard’s® so special for you?

David Slone: It was such a great combination of yeast, sassafras, vanilla, licorice, black cherry and other flavors, all together.

Q: A complex combination.

David Slone: Yes, very much so, but they all work together on the tongue.

Q: I guess you could say that you were hooked?

David Slone: (laughs) Yeah, I was hooked. I had to start trying to find as many root beers as I could!

Q: Tell us more about the history of root beer.

David Slone: Sure, I’d be happy to. Root beer really goes back to Colonial times, when they referred to it as “small beer.”

Q: Was small beer alcoholic?

David Slone: Sometimes, yes, sometimes, no. It would include whatever ingredients they could find, really.

Q: I had no idea it went back so far.

David Slone: Well, you have to figure beer goes back about as far as cultivated grain does, and small beer would follow.

Q: Ingredients like what?

David Slone: Early recipes might include sarsaparilla, juniper, dandelion root, burdock, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, molasses and more.

Q: Fascinating! Who had the first commercially-available root beer, though?

David Slone: Commercially-bottled root beer started in the 1870s with Charles Hires. Hires was a Philadelphia pharmacist who fell in love with a herbal tea recipe.

Q: What did Charles Hires do then?

David Slone: He started putting ingredients together to develop a beverage derived from the tea. His drink used over 25 herbs, berries and roots, and made its debut at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial.

Q: Hires’ Root Beer has been around as long as I can remember. What other brands date back for years?

David Slone: Well, I found out that A&W® Root Beer had its debut back in 1919. A&W® was a partnership of Roy Allen and Frank Wright. Today, the brand is part of the Dr Pepper Snapple® group.

Q: Well, let’s get a little closer to what it is that makes root beer so appealing for you and others.

David Slone: No question, it’s the combinations of ingredients. There are so many recipes and varieties out there.

Q: What’s your current favorite?

David Slone: It’s hard to pick out a favorite root beer, there are so many good ones, but recently I got a case of Goose Island® delivered to my place of business.

Q: What was that like?

David Slone: Oh, I loved it! Had a nice spearmint sort of aftertaste.

Q: Isn’t there a Root-Beer-of-the-Month Club?

David Slone: Yes! It’s for real aficionados!

Q: What does membership in the club get you?

David Slone: You can find out more about root beer lore, regional root beers from around the country.

Q: Wow, what else?

David Slone: Well, you can even have sampler packs or sixes of the Root Beer of the Month delivered to your house.

Q: Thanks so much for taking some time with us today.

David Slone: Sure, and I hope you know a little more about root beer now!

David Slone is Sales Manager and Used Car Manager at Weld County Garage.