Video Story by Mackenzie Behm
“I love finding deals,” Art’s wife, Beth, glows.
She points at three couches, a cat litter box, a table and armchair lining the walls of their home. “This one I got for free, this one I got for free, this one I got for free” she rattles off.
The couches are different colors and styles and all wear a thin layer of dirt. At the kitchen table, a black garbage bag serves as a tablecloth.
Seven people live in the two-bedroom home — Art, Beth and her parents, his two grandchildren and his daughter, Brittany, who also works at the Sanford-Orlando Kennel Club. Art and Brittany are both losing their jobs at the greyhound racing track at the same time.
They are the main sources of income for the home.
Until Art finds a new career, the only option financially is to burn through his retirement fund he has saved. At 46, Arthur Marcoux has to reinvent himself.
In the November 2018 elections, Floridians voted in favor of Amendment 13, which bans
greyhound racing in the state.
The track held a watch party on the day of the result. Art had just flown back from New Hampshire after burying his mother to discover that his career was gone. When he thinks back to the day, his face twists with sadness. This was his life’s work.
Dog racing had been in decline before the state decided to shut its doors permanently. The
track was still frozen in time to what it looked like in its heyday.
Inside Sanford-Orlando Kennel Club, the lobby floor was carpeted with a vibrant neon pattern and plastic seating areas faced rows of tiny TVs. An announcer’s voice boomed over grey-haired regulars chainsmoking outside in the Florida heat.
Time had caught up to dog trainers like Arthur Marcoux, who looked much older than 46. He joined the smokers outside, sucking on a cigarette as he gently closed his eyes.
The years carved dozens of lines in his face. His glassy blue eyes stood out against his leathered skin. His round belly hinted at the decades of bacon cheeseburgers and Philly cheesesteaks he savored for lunch. He guzzled sweet tea from Styrofoam cups in between races. His smile revealed only a few remaining teeth. He slumped on the blue, metal bench outside.
Art’s parents started taking him to the dog track every weekend when he was seven. He still remembers being a kid, awestruck at the power and athleticism of the greyhounds, which can hit speeds up to 45 mph.
Naturally, it seemed like the right fit for his first real job at the young age of 14.
He never stopped.
His job was to take the dogs back to the kennel after their race.
The regulars, hunched over their betting cards, shuffled over to ask his opinion on the dogs. Which one will win?
His life hasn’t changed much since the vote on Amendment 13. It hasn’t truly hit him yet. He still wakes up every day at 4:30 a.m. to go feed the dogs at the kennel and drift through his daily routine.
Every once in a while, he lets himself feel. He’ll stare glossy-eyed with a half-smile at the dogs, like he sees life in slow motion, and thinks about how different his life will be when this is all over.
The day it will finally hit will be when he goes to the kennel and the doors are empty.
Then, he will have to restart his life.
Take a 360 tour of the fading rooms
of the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club
Using 360-degree photographs, this project utilizes immersive technology to take the audience inch-by-inch into the last images of a greyhound racing institution and landmark in Orlando, Florida. It promotes journalism as a historical archive, as 11 of 17 U.S. dog tracks will shutter by the end of 2020 due to the passing of Amendment 13, which banned greyhound racing across the Sunshine State.
By using this 360 technology, the photographer aimed to preserve the atmosphere of the track, industry and people in perpetuity. The panoramic photographs, captured with the Samsung 360 Gear camera, were made available to a global audience through Google Street View.
Grandstands sport box
Vintage odds board
The Finish Line Club