This baseball season may turn out to be a colossal gamble, but I am enjoying the cardboard fans in the stands, particularly these folks in Oakland.
I think I would like sitting with them in the stands on a warm East Bay afternoon.
Fact is, I miss human company, as my wife and I hunker down waiting for Jan. 21, when intelligent adults take back the country.
I miss my kids and I miss my grandkids. This elbow contact on our deck, when the weather cooperates, is not the same as hugging my family, or sitting indoors, or, imagine this, going out...somewhere.
Then I remembered the three people who inhabit our storage room in the basement -- present from our dear creative friend Rachel, who had these made up for her job, back a few years, when we all were younger.
(Let me add this: I have an Irish passport, courtesy of my maternal grandmother from Waterford, and I am very proud of it. My identification with the UK has way more to do with the National Theatre and Portrait Gallery than the royals, When I see these one-inch likenesses, I think of our friend Rachel, speaking up for Palestinians at a Seder on West End Avenue.
For all that, Queen Elizabeth II fits right in with our unused dining room. As I walk through, I find myself singing along with Paul:
Her majesty's a pretty nice girl,
But she doesn't have a lot to say. ...
Irreverent, I know.
Fact is, the Queen is one of the stable elders in the world today. What with Trump and Pence and Pompeo and Barr and that bunch, Americans are in no position to snicker at royals. Welcome upstairs for a while, Your Majesty. Let's sit and have a cuppa.
Did Charles ever look this militant on his best day? But he's doing a good job, guarding my wife's studio day and night.
Plus, as I walk past and give him a snappy salute from my ROTC days, I remember that Emma Thompson is a good friend of his, and always speaks well of him when she is interviewed. Whatever is good for Emma Thompson is good for me.
Until an adult leader takes control of the Covid virus and puts an end to this social-distancing, good old Charles serves a purpose,guarding the house, waiting, waiting, waiting...
It's true, Princess Diana looks a little stiff in our living room, but let me tell you about the time she and her two frisky little boys were guests in the Royal Box at the old Wimbledon, which was directly next to the open press area. Needless to say, we were all eyes for her, and the Beastie Boys of the British press were coming up with plummy accents and snide comments. And while we tried to covertly look at Diana, I noticed that her eyes, like lasers, were scanning the doings around her. She was looking at us! Curiously, like, who are those people, and what do they do, and are they having a good time? She was out and about, not at all rigid, clutching her purse, like in this cardboard version. Her eyes saw all.
So, welcome to our living room. May I take your coat? please, have a seat.
May we offer you a glass of wine?
What do you think of Brexit?
How do you like Boris Johnson?
We hear you are working to to sort out this Covid mess.
We apologize for our buffoon.
My wife's been working on our family trees: her roots in Lancashire include William the Conqueror; my middle name is the same as your family name --Spencer, from my mom, born in England.
* * *
We still miss our family and friends, but in a weird way, thanks to baseball, our living room lives again.
Thanks to our friend Rachel for these vital presences.
8/6/2020 05:43:30 pm
8/6/2020 05:55:25 pm
Your royalty "trumps" my 3 stooges. I'm sure there is a lesson there!
8/6/2020 10:23:13 pm
8/7/2020 03:41:34 pm
Alan,Zoom is a little skitterish sometimes. I couldn't get on one via iPhone today....missed a chat with some BB writer pals.
8/7/2020 03:48:41 pm
8/7/2020 08:32:59 pm
Here on this blog where we talk about baseball, Alan mentions WOR, and immediately I'm taken back to those Saturday nights in the 50s when, on WOR, Jean Shepherd, live from the Limelight Cafe in the Village, regaled us with stories, sometimes about baseball. I'd give anything to hear again the one he told about the aging relief pitcher, on the brink of being sent down to the minors, surely never to return. Whether he's sent, or isn't, will depend on how well he does when he's called in, in the late innings of an important game. Shepherd described him, windbreaker over his pitching arm, trudging in from the bullpen for the make-or-break appearance. Doesn't get any better than that. If anyone has a link for a sacred space on the internet where that tale can be found, I'd be ever so grateful.
8/8/2020 07:31:07 am
Gene, Jean Shepherd was a gem. His way of talking blended well with his ideas.
8/8/2020 09:26:27 am
8/8/2020 09:30:18 am
8/8/2020 10:20:53 am
took a while but it showed up.
8/8/2020 11:01:12 am
8/8/2020 10:57:27 am
Bruce, My enjoyment of trivia and having an excellent recall of prior events seems to serve me well. Although life is about living in the present and anticipating the future, one’s past is an ever-growing reservoir of enjoyment.
8/8/2020 02:47:31 pm
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.