Clive Ullswater surveyed his office as he stood up from his butter soft leather chair. Out the windows on one side of his office, he scanned the San Gabriel mountains as a backdrop for the lovely racetrack, a look over his shoulder showed the European style saddling paddock and the grave of Emperor of Norfolk, the best horse that racetrack founder Lucky Baldwin ever owned. Statues of Seabiscuit, George Wolfe and legendary trainer Charlie Whittingham and his dog Toby were all within his gaze. He’d been General Manager of the track for going on 14 years now and as the track looked to change hands again, it was time for him to think about his next career move. Pity that as this post had served him well. He ran his fingers along the giant cherrywood desk, smelled the afternoon brew of espresso coming from the small kitchen that connected his secretary’s office to his.
At 54, his trim midsection was still tucked neatly into the waistband of his meticulously cut Wilkes Bashford trousers. His linen shirt was pressed perfectly, perfumed slightly with French Lavender from his favorite cleaner. His pewter cufflinks belonged to his grandfather. Racing had been good to him. He liked the pace of five month racing season and the weather at the sunny California track. He’d surrounded himself with management that gave him the respect due a general manager. He’d weeded out the ambitious, the troublemakers and the clever. His office was a calm and cultured place where a man could discuss important things – like golf and the economy. Where he could put his feet on the desk, pour himself a 3pm tumbler of a fine scotch whisky and watch the races go by. There were a few things he needed to do before he left, but yes, he would miss this place.