It was the new normal, but almost normal.

Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce convened its first in-person membership meeting Tuesday since March, and the session apparently went well.

Bobby Clue, executive director of the chamber, and his staff were there, at the podium as usual. So was Troy Lovell, president of the chamber's board of directors. Many familiar faces, regular chamber luncheon attendees, were around.

COVID-19 rules were in effect. The Center for Rural Development restricted luncheon attendance to 175 people, 33 percent of capacity compared to the usual overflow crowd at the monthly event. Only four people were allowed to sit at each table, and box lunches, prepared by Karen's Catering and Event Planning, were served instead of the normal buffet.

Tables in the massive ballroom where the chamber meets were separated 15-20 feet, well beyond the six-foot social distancing requirement. Many tables had four diners, others had less. Masks were not required but a scatterings of attendees took the precaution anyway.

Body temperature measurement cameras, set up by Modern Systems, checked the temperature of individuals as they entered the luncheon hall. Seating was on a first come, first serve basis.

At the stroke of 12 noon, the chamber session became normal -- yesterday's normal. Pastor Jeffrey Griffith of Denham Street Baptist Church gave the opening prayer. Lovell went through the normal routine of recognizing sponsors and July's Two-For-Tuesday's featured Modern System's Blake Morris and American Heart Association's Dustin Phillips.

Kentucky Chautauqua presented a portrayal of Roscoe Tarleton Goose, who, on Donerail, won the 1913 Kentucky Derby. The race odds were set at 91:1, the longest odds of a Derby winner, a record which still stands.

As a child, Roscoe Tarleton Goose took a job riding horses for a blacksmith in Louisville to help his family's finances. By autumn of 1910, Roscoe Tarleton Goose was the leading money winning jockey at Churchill Downs and was one of the top riders in America.

A few years later, he had attracted the attention of trainer and farm owner Thomas Patrick Hayes. Hayes had a horse called Donerail he wanted Goose to ride in the Kentucky Derby. It was a stunning victory.

Alton Blakley Family of Dealerships was corporate sponsor of Tuesday's chamber membership meeting.

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