Tuesday, December 25, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2007

December 25, 2007

Dear Family & Friends:

At this special time of year, we feel compelled to reflect upon the many blessings bestowed upon our family. In fact, we feel we have been blessed more than most, something you, too, will see as an undisputed fact as you read through this letter.

As the patriarch of our family, Glenn continued his successful reign as Executive Director of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association for another year. In addition, he was reappointed by Governor Tim Kaine (after originally being appointed by Governor Mark Warner, giving credence to his bipartisan appeal) to the Virginia Horse Industry Board. In addition, he was elected as Chairman of this distinguished group of horsemen. His coronation was elegant, yet understated.

He did take a few weeks off in the spring to drive on a NASCAR team. Seems the Pettys wanted a Petty behind the wheel. It made perfect sense. Dad can’t drive as fast as Mom, but those NASCAR Pettys are old school. Just the same, Glenn wracked up a few top ten finishes before heading back to the ole desk job saving the horse industry here in the Commonwealth.

Young A.T. continued her career as a world renowned journalist. Although she was narrowly defeated for a prestigious local award by a ballot-stuffing business reporter for the Warrenton paper, she has been nominated for several major national media awards. We will know the results in early 2008. Please plan on attending the spectacular congratulatory gala. Invitation to follow.

Five-year-old “Toly Hansbrough” enjoyed a spectacular premiere football season with the Fauquier Pee Wee Broncos. Although his playing time was limited, his raw talent (and the likelihood that he will someday stand on stage at the New York Downtown Athletic Club on the first Saturday in December striking that famous pose) was plainly obvious to everyone except his coaches. Next year, thanks to his grandparents, his team will be known as the Holiday Inn Express Broncos, and you can bet our main man Toly will be seeing a lot more playing time.

Imagine our delight, when realized that Toly had super powers. Thankfully, Super Toly uses his power for good and not evil. He was prominently featured in a local magazine, and his Not So Fat Head wall and bumper stickers sold out lickety split. A comic book and movie deal are in the works. That damn Spielberg is hard to get on the phone, but that Scorsese fella calls right back!

A.G. is simply biding her time before starting her modeling and acting careers. She enjoys school, especially art at which she excels winning numerous Elementary School Awards. Last winter, she played basketball and we think a scholarship is inevitable. She’s a dual sporter, and her tennis coach, L. 10SNEONE, believes she has as much natural ability as anyone she has ever coached (including Kerena and Zenus Williams!).

This summer Anna Banana also became a top notch swimmer. Of course she would, being a natural athlete. Even luckier still, A.G.’s first friend C.G.F. Future Hokie has a new pool, so A.G. enjoyed the amenities of a private pool the entire summer and early fall (the pool is, of course, heated.)

Then again, she has shown great talent on an ATV, so maybe we will focus on the Bratz Girl’s Gran Prix of Motocross World Cup Bowl Championship Series 2008…With her talent, it’s a tough call.

This summer we went to Saratoga, where, according to Carly Simon, our horse naturally won! Seriously, our horse won a race at Saratoga which is one of the oldest, most picturesque and prestigious sporting venues in North America.

Sitting in a private box with our horsy friends gave us the perfect vantage point to cheer on OurLifeIsGr8YoursProbablySux (by Perfection, out of Life is Good by Pure Talent). We were fortunate to be staying for the week with another wealthy and powerful family who happily employ a nanny, which basically meant we could ignore the kids while basking in the limelight. That’s A.G. and Super Toly with famous international bloodstock consultant Sir-Lord Knight Patrick Lawley-Wakelin Esq. LLLX and 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide.

Prior to our Saratoga trip, we enjoyed a week in a private beach house with some of our dearest friends – the Bon-Pieja Han Valens (say that three times after a week of sunset cocktail parties on the front porch!). As if it weren’t enough that the waterfront house is both comfortable and charming, membership at three private beach clubs really makes for a nice little vacation. Think of them as country clubs, but instead of a golf course there’s a great big blue ocean! There really is nothing quite like a cocktail with an umbrella in it served on the beach by an uber-polite good looking college kid…Well, there’s the Playboy Mansion, but that’s another story.

The days we spent cruising on the boat were splendid. It was rather hot, so it was nice to have a crew to clean up the boat and put it back in the slip when we were finished. The kids caught fish, flew kites, went swimming and boogie boarding. The adults drank a lot and listened to (some bad and some good) 70s and 80s music. We never knew Jim Croce wrote such saucy numbers!

Our children’s featured role in the Fourth of July parade could only be dimmed by the incredible competing fireworks displays from Morehead City and Atlantic Beach later that splendid evening. Jon Bon-Pieja Han Valen (a world-class pyrotechnician) set off a few fireworks himself as he is wont to do. His injuries were minor, yet painful. All and all, it was a damn near perfect trip. After all, the Pettys don’t let a couple of quick trips to the Emergency Room stand in the way of family fun!

To top of(f) the year, we made a pilgrimage to the top of(f) the world. It was super secret, as we were special guests of the Interior Minister of Tibet. Since there is no actual government of Tibet, it was that much more secret and subsequently impossible for you to duplicate.

We were whisked off by private jet to Lhasa, Tibet, and the Potala Palace to meet the Dalai Lama. Nice enough fellow, but none of us are quite sure what all the hub-bub is about. The palace is OK, but it seems a bit pretentious (over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and about 200,000 statues) for a guy with no material possessions. Based on the robes, we think he might be a USC fan…He did not give us “total enlightenment on our deathbed,” so we don’t have that going for us…Which kind of sucks.

From Lama’s pad, we grabbed a helicopter and headed over to Base Camp at the foot of Mt. Everest. Now that’s a big rock! We hung around base camp and hobnobbed with the greatest alpinists on this Earth…well, at least, the greatest ones that are still alive and not frozen stiff deader than a mackerel up on the Hilary Step.

A very large sherpa, Lobsang Fredegin Sherpa, wanted to take the children to the “roof of the world.” He grabbed Toly, and before we could say “Into Thin Air,” they were off and running up the Khumbu Icefall. Other than Kansas football coach Mark Mangino stalking a breakfast buffet, we’ve never seen such a large man move so gracefully while crossing gaping crevasses on aluminum ladders. Nice footwork, Lobsang.

With hearts in our throats, we finally reached them on Amy’s 2009 i-Satellite PhoneBerry. They were half-way between Camps II and III (over 20,000 feet!), but we managed to convince them to come down. Lobsang Fredegin Sherpa wanted to take Toly to the summit, but we thought that was ridiculous! After all, he’s only five… He summits Everest at five, what the hell are we gonna do when he’s six? We don’t think so…

Next year, at the special invitation of the United Nations’ Middle East Peace Envoy, we hope to visit the pyramids in Egypt (again!). You know they smell like bug spray and dead people (the pyramids, not the Peace Envoy), so the jury’s still out on that one. We’ve included a few other photos of some quick trips we managed to squeeze into our ever burgeoning schedule. Damn lucky we didn’t come home with another kid from our China junket!

In September, Young A.T. passed the “Milestone of Which We Shall Never Again Speak.” She was radiant and beautiful as always. Her party was enjoyed by all, and was ultimately the buzz of the internet. We didn’t even notice PerezHilton.com’s photographer – he/she/it just blended right in with family, friends, politicians, famous sports figures, actors and royalty. De rigueur for the Pettys.

For New Years 2008, Young A.T.’s resolution is to stop calling Duke basketball head coach Mike Krxazjfbvnx4ski any name that starts with or includes the words f*#% or s*#%. The line in Vegas is 2 to 5 she can’t make it through the ACC Tournament. Dad has $100 that says she won’t make it past the second TV timeout of the first half of their match-up on February 6th when the Blue Devils come to Chapel Hill. Toly bet her a Wiii she doesn’t make it to the first stoppage of play…for any reason. Basically, that’s easy money. Bank.

In October, Dad had to have rotator cuff surgery to repair an injury from an ATV accident that would have made Evel Knievel proud. He muddled through a September trip to Ireland in some pain which no doubt preventing him from breaking more than one course record (Ballybunion – 64, damn wind). Thankfully he was traveling with three of his best homies -- Goat Boy Hokie, Orange Rob and Jon Bon-Pieja Han Valen. With a little help from Blaser PT, Dad will be back bench pressing small hybrid Toyotas and juggling chain saws by the time you finish reading this letter.

In December, the boys had to have a little more medical work…Dash suffered the ultimate humiliation – the dreaded “ballectomy.” Ouch. He’s OK, but his stream seems a little weak. Gracie is fit as a fiddle, and in control as the alpha female should be. In November we adopted a cat, CoCo (rhymes with loco, as in la mamá y el papá están estúpidos y locos!). She will appear in a cat food commercial on HBO in the spring of 2008 during the season premiere of Big Love. When informed, Gracie hired an agent and Dash requested FloMax.

GP, who turned “Half-Century plus One,” had to suffer through a “buttectomy,” but, as usual, he came out smelling like a rose! Not only was his colonoscopy absolutely perfect, but upon viewing, the attending physician immediately nominated him for Fauquier Healthcare System’s prestigious Colon of the Year Award!

In closing, we truly hope that your family can hope to enjoy the same successes we continue to have year after year. Among other things, the plan in 2009 is for the kids to start a band— The Semi-Naked Cheetah Sisters Band.

Gotta run, flyin’ the kids up to the North Pole to meet Santa in person!

Peace out,
Glenn, Amy, Anna Galina, Toly, Gracie, Dash and CoCo Petty


P.S. As if our luck wasn’t simply over-the-top already, Mr. John Maako, the secretary to Prof. Charles Soludo (the executive governor of the central bank of Nigeria [C.B.N], the parent bank of all commercial banks there in Nigeria) was instructed to initiate contact with us by his boss, the executive governor of the central bank of Nigeria (C.B.N), on an urgent issue, kindly noting that our funds were re-called and re-deposited into the "federal suspense account" of the CBN (C.B.N.) because we did not forward our claim as the right beneficiary. This embarrassed Prof. Soludo, and required prompt action.

Evidently, C.B.N. (a quality local bank, by the way) had $20 million which rightfully belonged to us! Unbelievable. We sent Mr. John Maako our account info, and he wired us the money! We set up a new company, Loch Ness Monster Big Foot LCC, to give $1,000 of the $20 million to charity! Can you believe that? Those wild and crazy Nigerian banks – no wonder they have so little money and so many flies.

P.P.S. Good grief...We almost forgot Halloween! You wouldn’t want to miss that...

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