She Knew She Wanted a Horse: Filming a Birthday Short
by Lucia Galloway


Pan on shadowy, pre-dawn passageway, series of stable doors.
Fade to close-up: groom’s hand with curry comb, horse’s neck & nose,
tendrils of steam from nostrils; open newspaper on stall-side bench:
HANDICAP KENTUCKY DERBY WEATHER:
May 4, 1940: minimum temp, 36 degrees.

Cut to hospital waiting room: pacing 33-year old man, hair rumpled,
in wrinkled slacks & vest, smoking; ignoring newspaper on coffee table.
Close up on banner headline: ALLIED FORCES CONCENTRATE NEAR NARKIK.
Fade back to pacer, fingers to his lips, drawing on cigarette, exhaling smoke as a
white-uniformed nurse enters, speaks & beckons.
Cut to nursery window. Pan on rows of bassinettes seen through panes.
Close-up: Galloway bassinette, pink-swaddled infant, eyes tight shut.

(Elsewhere, May 4, 1940) Fade to thematic montage of family celebration:
A banner birthday for 2-year old Billy Bryant globing frosting on his face.
Cut to bride and groom before an altar, innocently glowing
(they couldn’t know they’d be progenitors of a man who’d become President,
nor guess they would go down in history as Tutu & Gramps).

Dissolve and cut to movie set, “The Pinto Kid,” May 4, 1940.
Paul Sutton in a studio chair frowning (he dislikes working on
his 30th birthday, or he’s dreaming of a gaucho on horseback:
Sargeant Preston of the Yukon, his best radio role.)

Reprise opening shot of stable, horse, & groom. Flash headline:
GALLAHADION WINS KENTUCKY DERBY.
Dissolve to flashback of rumpled dad at nursery window.
Dissolve to distance shot of horse and rider approaching the camera at a gallop.
Frame and hold the approach to close up. (Could this be Galloway?
Now her eyes are open.)






Copyright 2021 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.