IN 1960, a classmate’s dad decided his farm supply store needed bigger quarters. So at about 5th and Cherry Streets in Chico, Jack Vanilla had a huge building constructed out concrete slabs. The slabs were poured flat on the ground, as I recall, and then tilted into place. We see this all the time, now, but back then it was something to behold. “This is going to last a hundred years,” classmate Cheryl said with pride as the thing rose from flat to vertical.
On this day, the Mets looked not too far removed from the team that everybody loved to watch fail. An exception was Jose Reyes. He made three sparkling plays ranging far to his right at shortstop to snag sharply hit ground balls and then fire absolute missiles over to first base to nail the speedy runners: all in the same inning. (This happened while I was in line trying to buy a beer, which more or less substantiates my loser-ness of yore.)
The Mets didn’t seem to have their heart into this inter-league game against the Angels. We toured the stadium a bit and found styling cues from history pushed to the background. Again the preponderance of exposed concrete had me thinking about the feed store. We left before the seventh.
Fenway Park breathes history. A half a week into our east coast swing, this would be the first day of five consecutive where the existence of the sun was based only upon faith.
And as the heavens rained, not once or twice, but three times, I stood in front of my antique seat, beer in hand, with one of those dopey ear-to-ear grins that could only be belied by the tears in my eyes and the tightness in my throat.
History can happen anywhere at any time. But it will happen here again. Perhaps today.
We waited out the rain.
* There are those who suggest that God considers many of man’s acts and proclivities abominations. Has anyone ever asked God about not having the pitcher come to the plate and hit?
Church of the Open Road Press