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January 10, 1997     Cape Gazette
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January 10, 1997

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16 - CAPE GAZETrE, Friday, January 10 - January 16, 1997 CAPE LIFE Milton couple adopts "living legends" Vegas, Midas By Michael Short The Bureau of Land Manage- ment likes to call them "living leg- ends." Bill and Marcha Groton have a pair of the &apos;!legends," wild horses rounded up amid the sage and desert flats of Nevada. The pair of horses were adopted by<he couple as part of a major adoption effort for wild horses and burros by the Bureau. Because of competition for grazing and overpopulation, the ,-Bureau routinely rounds up wild mustangs and offers them for "gdoption." The Grotons, who have four acres of pasture outside of Milton, adopted .two of the' horses in September. "My intentions were to get a nice saddle horse," he said. "This adoption program came up and I thought that sounds like a chal- lenge. And I like a challenge." Vegas is an eight year old mare heavy with foal. With a beautiful white blaze standing out in con- trast to her chestnut color and two white stockings on her rear legs, she is expected to foal in February. Her pregnancy was one reason the couple selected her. "We're look- ing forward to that," he said of the new arrival. Vegas is the most hesitant of the two and she still tends to keep her distance. Midas is the opposite. The two- year-old was captured July 24 and is already 15 and a half hands high, a full hand bigger than Vegas. She will take food from the Milton couple's hands while Vegas stands in the background and comes to eat after everyone leaves the Corral. The two are named for where they were cap- tured. Vegas was found outside Las Vegas and was captured July 7 while Midas comes from Midas Valley, Nevada. Both have clean, sleek lines. Neither look scruffy or small, like a wild horse might be expected to appear. They were offered for adoption at the Harrington Race- way Grounds, with ten burros and several dozen other horses. A December 10 letter from the Bureau of Land Management to the couple described the herd one of the horses came from as being very impressive and attractive. "As you know, your horse came from the Rock Creek Herd Area. The Rock Creek Herd Area cur- rently supports a population of approximately 562 horses. The Ellison Ranching Company, which is the holder of the public lands grazing permit in the area your horse inhabited, historically turn out large draft and work hors- es. Many of the horses gathered with your horse were very large, well conformed and colorful. We saw many red roans, blue roans, blazes, stockings and other mark- ings." Bill Groton thinks age and the fact that Vegas is pregnant may be the reason the older horse remains standoffish. But the couple are patient. "I believe in gentling horses," he said, saying the idea of breaking horses has no appeal to him. He lost a bet that he would be riding the horses within a month, but says that he is in no hurry. He prefers to let the animals gain trust in them. "I think you need to let horses gain confidence in you," he said. Their patience was put to the test soon after the animals arrived after being adopted. Vegas leaped Michael Short photo Marcha Groton feeds'Midas, one of two wild mustangs adopted by Marcha and her husband Bill last summer. The two mustangs, Midas and Vegas, have adopted well to their new home in the Cape Region. the fence and would not come back when she was startled by a crop duster flying nearby. With no chance of catching the still wild mare, he simply bided his time. She Stayed nearby, near Midas who remained in the corral. The local coffee shop crowd was full of helpful advice, everything from tranquilizer darts to electric fences. None of those ideas appealed to the couple, so Groton simply waited for Vegas m return. One morning at 3 a.m., she wan- dered back into the corral and Groton simply nailed the boards back into place. The adoption is not final. The BLM allows couples like the Gro- tons to keep the horses for a year. After that, if the federal agency is satisfied that the horses ai being well treated and cared for, the adoption will become final. The extra caution is needed because some unscrupulous peo- ple previously tried to adopt the animals simply as glue factory fodder. But the BLM is very cau- tious these days, putting out a video for prospective adoptees and offering advice on feeding and care of the animals. "Providing a home for a wild horse or burro is a challenging and rewarding responsibility," accord- ing to a pamphlet from the BLM. "For qualified individuals, this is a unique opportunity to care for, then own, a symbol of American history--a living legend." Mark Davis of the Delaware Chapter of the American Mustang and Burro Association said about 38 adoptions have occurred in Delaware. He said he is encour- aged by the interest and believes the Delaware Chapter will contin- ue to grow. "It is a support group mainly to support each other and to encourage people to adopt," Davis said. Although Vegas remains stand- offish, both horses have come a long way since September. 'q'hey were scared to death," Groton Continued on page 18 Super Bowl Sunday gives ladies leeway Yes, it's Super Bowl time.. And all over America women are gear- ing up for what they call "The Day You Can Get Anything You Want Out of Your Husband." Women achieve this by leaving husbands alone with the remote control and disgusting food with names like kielbasa, and enough beer to keep any decent urologist in business for a year. They are left in this comfort zone to watch the Super Bowl where two unarmed gangs of men the size of some countries knock each other senseless into another stratosphere over a ball wrapped in pigskin. You want the checkbook? Here! You want a credit card? Here! Just don't both- er me today! This attitude is understandable considering the tremendous stress men have been under during the regular football season. And women share this tension. "Why are you wearing sunglass- es and a wig?" I asked a friend of mine. "I have to pick Herb up after the Eagles game at the stadium," she told me. "So, what's with the disguise?" "How would you lik to pick up AROUND TOWN a 42-year-old man," she answered, "who has painted half his face green and the other half yellow and then drive home with a Styro- foam hand that has a finger point- ed skyward strapped to the top of your Car?" I felt selfish and uncaring as I watched her drive off, ducking her head whenever a neighbor passed by. It never occurred to me that someone was actually married to those men shirtless and drinking beer in the stands, waving thos Styrofoam fingers and shouting "we're number one". And I thought it unusual to be married to a man who studied centerfolds of aneurysms. Maybe I could bake a Prozac meatloaf and send it over later. Even the day of Super Bowl, the men are subjected to all kinds of senseless pre-game interviews, analyses and statistics by aging football players and coaches who have been fired. "So tell me, in your opinion, with all your years of experience, even though they wore leather hel- mets the last time you played, what exactly does San Francisco have to do to win the Super Bowl?" "Well, I think what San Francis- co has to do is to get the ball in the end zone and score a touchdown." "Brilliant strategy" "And in your opinion, what does San Diego have to do to win the Super Bowl ?" "Well, I think San Diego has to get the ball into the end zone and score a touchdown." "And there you have it folks. The team that scores the most touchdowns wins. This is Mario Cuomo live for Fox Network at the Super Bowl. Now back to you Ann Richards in the booth." But you don't have to go through all this tension alone. There are couples who go to what's known as Super Bowl par- ties. This is where the men sit in one room and yell things like "idiot, moron, he was in, he was OUt of bounds, anybody could have caught that pass" and a really long list of expletive deletives whenever there is something called pass interference. The women sit in the other room and say things like two no-trump and show me again how you weave that straw through the top of the basket and bring it out the "other side. Either way, Super Bowl is a complicated day that starts early and goes downhill fast once you're out of disgusting food. So, have a little compassion for those who will have to put their Styro- foam fingers out in the trash the next day. Nancy Katz