The Best Shortstop I Ever Saw

A Gatorade cooler dumped on my head moment of clarity regarding my diminishing skills as a shortstop happened one summer evening in the hole between short and third as I reached down across my body for a grounder and caught a bit of dirt and air turning a routine out into a single. I turned and watched that ball roll into the left field grass carrying my confidence along with it like Terrence Mann walking into a field of corn never to be seen again. The Patriarch Shortstop as a boy, Thomas Emory Mason, Jr. I married into a family of … Continue reading The Best Shortstop I Ever Saw

1967 World Series

Tonight the Red Sox, my favorite Junior Circuit team, and the Cardinals, my favorite all-time baseball team, square off in Game one of the 2013 World Series. Don’t tell MLB, but it’s really just the Championship of the U.S. since we don’t invite the rest of the world or other planets. Anyway, in 1967, I was a died-in-red-wool Cards fan emulating Bob Gibson’s pitching mannerisms in my back yard and Orlando Cepeda’s eccentricities in the batters box of my young mind. We were fortunate to see one baseball game per week on NBC’s Saturday Game of the Week and perhaps … Continue reading 1967 World Series

Building a Golf Course in My Backyard – part 3

Golf balls litter our course like orphaned Easter eggs. There is a bucket of balls sitting on the first tee and I’ve noticed my Dad and Mom and Karen whacking shots from the first tee to points distant. They hit balls with corporate logos, balls beaten into shapes more closely resembling eggs, neon lime balls and balls so old they’ve weathered to a dusty tan, creased and beaten within an inch of their life. Guess I need to hire a range boy to shag the balls. They say the world is round and those behaviors spun out into the orbital … Continue reading Building a Golf Course in My Backyard – part 3

The Boy The Man & Gravel Baseball

I’ve always loved baseball. Even though it’s a team game, I found solitary ways to embrace it’s poetic rhythms. I was a baseball Walter Mitty, transported to Busch Stadium in St. Louis. I straddled the mound glaring at the batter with annoyed disdain. I emulated Bob Gibson, throwing a rubber baseball against the brick wall of our house, aiming at a strike zone drawn with a chunk of sandstone. My heroes were perfect, immovable blocks of granite, statues without flaws. But I soon learned that heroes turn to piles of stone, and from piles of stone, perfection rises once again. … Continue reading The Boy The Man & Gravel Baseball

Limestone School part 2 paying attention to things we love

My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Karbosky, brought a new element of deportment into my informal midwestern upbringing, an air of dignified carriage replete with reading glasses strung around the neck with a silver chain and an erect and sometimes stiff posture. It was my first brush with the imagined upper class whom I’d never met personally but had read about in books like the Great Gatsby. I didn’t know if Mrs. K had any money but was sure that the rich folk acted like her. My stern opinion of her softened one early spring day in 1969 shortly after my … Continue reading Limestone School part 2 paying attention to things we love