(Nathaniel Grann/The Washington Post)

Kamran L. Smith

53, Middletown, library assistant and small-business owner

My horse’s name was Drip Dry. He was always ready to run when asked. Drip Dry didn’t balk at adventure.

I rode him out West, where we galloped through silver-green sagebrush, my hands firmly gripping his mane so I wouldn’t fall off. Once, we went to Wyoming solely because I was enchanted by the state’s name: Indian for “large prairie place.” And Wyoming was indeed that, with undiscovered areas perfect for us to explore.

That was, until my mother would call me and I would reluctantly dismount for dinner. Then, with a sigh, I’d roll Drip Dry across the linoleum floor to my bedroom, my dreams temporarily quelled.

Tucked into my room, Drip Dry became a toy horse propelled by pedals. He was a Mobo Bronco, a pressed-metal “mobile” created by D. Sebel & Co. Outgrown by the neighbor children, he earned his name by “drip-drying” in the sun after my mother turned the hose on him.

I still have Drip Dry. His repainted white coat gleams, and his metal mane, painted black, is as thick as ever. His saddle, molded on his body, is a bold red. I’m too old to saddle up now, of course. But I remember the places I went on Drip Dry. Back then, I was a little girl riding her horse into the wind, holding on with all her might to something precious.

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