The globe-trotting Countess du Lau d’Allemans returned to the bay area after an extended stay in Europe and then a joyful romp to Bora Bora for a Polynesian respite. Comfortable in and around the San Francisco bay area, Texas-born Joy Ford was joined by a tall Brazilian polo player with chiseled profile and an athletic build and a couple of teammates who made a mid-week run north from the Santa Barbara Polo Club where they had been competing for the summer.
The swarthy good looks of the South American were a stark contrast to the 6’ 1” bond beauty, but her sun-kissed skin made the two of them a seemingly comfortable match. All heads turned on Joy and her three companions as they enjoyed a dinner at Sundance the Steakhouse in Palo Alto before hitting the town for some late-night dancing. It wasn’t long before Joy and her Brazilian dinner partner were left on their own to dance on into the night as their two companions left in the company of a couple of locals intent on showing them the town.
Standing well over six feet tall, the world-class model and her dance partner were the hit of the late night crowd as the music droned on. Her dark brown eyes and agile gyrations to the music kept him hypnotized as the time disappeared. Her lithe body swayed to the music and his eyes were riveted on her. A two am closing sent the happy couple on their way. Holding hands in the car on the drive back to Joao’s hotel was complimented to a single kiss on the cheek that ended the night with a promise of a full day together tomorrow.
Eggs Benedict the next morning at St. Michael’s Alley were devoured by Joy and Joao while Facundo and Jeff straggled in, trying to shake off a very late evening. Polite morning conversation guided the secrets of the previous night’s activities, with Joao and Joy exchanging flirting glances at one another. Facundo and Jeff hungrily wolfed down their breakfasts and the crew was on the road.
With the romantic backdrop of the Pacific Ocean to the west, capturing the morning rays of the sun, the foursome started the drive north to the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton. Menlo is home to one of the country’s oldest polo clubs, dating back to 1923. The attraction was a cross between business and pleasure as all three of the polo-playing contingent were in the market for additional horses.
A pleasant lunch in the club’s airy dining room and a stroll through the equestrian area saw the California sun sparkle through her long blonde as one after another, the players got on and off of a number of horses that were paraded out for their inspection.
“What are your thoughts,” Joao asked her as the tall Brazilian dismounted. “Do you think she has the heart for the game,” he smiled. Joy wasted little time as she took three strides over to the chestnut, scooped the reins out of his hand and threw her right leg over the English saddle. A heel to the horses side and she was off at a gallop, racing down the field before collecting the horse in a controlled stop, spinning around its hind quarters and racing back to the stunned threesome.
“Yep,” Joy said, “I think she’ll be just fine.”
Joao was smugly silent for most of the trip back to Palo Alto but was noticeably proud of her horsemanship skills. His two teammates couldn’t stop asking Joy about her childhood, how old she was when she started to ride, how often she rides now and why she wasn’t playing polo with them.
She dropped them off at their hotel before returning to her friend’s house where she would get changed for a dinner in San Francisco. She had certainly made an impression on her polo-playing friends, but then she always made an impression wherever she went and whoever she was with. She was looking forward to tonight.