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A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Derby

On the morning after Derby, Mary Beth Campisi stood in my living room wearing brightly colored pajama pants and a black t-shirt with "ADELE" written across an image of the singer’s face in white. She folded my pale, multicolored sheets and placed them on my orange couch. She was getting ready to call an Uber to head to the airport.  

Fifty-something-year-old Campisi is from the D.C. area. And there’s one thing she always wanted to do: attend the Kentucky Derby.

“You can die in the shower tomorrow,” she said. “So for me, I’m just gonna enjoy today. And like I said, you’re never promised tomorrow."

Spoiler alert — she doesn’t die in the shower tomorrow. But as I would later learn, her wish was a little more urgent than I initially thought and attending the Kentucky Derby was on her bucket list.

“I’ve bet on it but I haven’t been here, so it’s on my list,” said Campisi. “With a few other things like the Great Wall of China, 10 new stamps in my passport."

The Kentucky Derby brings thousands of people to Louisville every year…and last weekend was no exception. A lot of these people pay high prices to stay in hotels and rent out private homes around town. But Campisi got the deal of a lifetime: a Derby weekend couch rental — my couch — for just $35. By accident.

And just how did this stranger end up in my 600 square foot apartment? Listen in the player above.

Roxanne Scott covers education for WFPL News.

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