It is always instructive to get a glimpse of the inner core of Yankee fans.
The other day I was walking down a pleasant street in the Berkshires with my wife and four friends.
Puffy clouds played in the clear New England sunshine above the soft green hills.
Most of us were fixated on lunch, some on art or window displays. My new friend Joe from Queens was otherwise preoccupied. Great career, family man, terrific shape, funny. And a Yankee fan.
“Ha!” he gloated. “Look at this! Not a Red Sox cap in sight. For years that’s all you saw in this town. Red Sox caps. Red Sox banners. Red Sox t-shirts. Red Sox bumper stickers. Red Sox tattoos. Red Sox flags. Red Sox schedules in the windows. Red Sox art. Red Sox names for sandwiches. Guess they’re not so cocky now. How’s that Bobby V thing going for them? How are Beckett and Lester doing? Where is Papelbon? What ever happened to Red Sox Nation? Ha!”
That is how I remember his spontaneous monologue.
(I told my new pal I might try to reconstruct his diatribe, and he said, not to worry, that no matter how I remembered it, he probably said worse. Or would have, if he had thought of it. Joe from Queens was thoroughly delighted at the downswing of Ye Olde Towne Team.)
I did not see any Yankee regalia in the Berkshire streets. The only ball cap I saw was from the University of California. Go figure. The entire Red Sox nation had vanished as the Sox plummeted downward in the Eastern Division.
That night my new pal excused himself after dinner and disappeared to his room. Yankee radio and Yankee television were apparently jammed in that corner of New England, but he was following the Yankees on the computer.
The next day he supplied details of derring-do by Kuroda and Swisher, Jeter and Chavez, or some such combination. Yankee heroics, Red Sox disaster. The mixture made him downright giddy
"Among the things that have long fascinated people about Jesus and explain his enduring appeal is his method of dialogue and teaching. "He asked a lot of questions and told a lot of stories in the form of parables. In fact, parables form about a third of Jesus’ recorded teachings. The Gospels were written decades after he died, so his questions and parables clearly left a deep impression on those who bore testimony to him....
"Some of Jesus’ questions were rhetorical; others were meant to challenge or even provoke. In some cases, Jesus used questions to parry attacks by religious authorities who set traps for him. In others, he used questions to enter more fully into the lives of others and to help people look at the state of their hearts. He asked people about their fears and their faith. Jesus used questions to free a woman caught in adultery from condemnation and to inquire whether people considered him to be the Messiah. He probed deeply into questions not many had asked before him, like “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
---(Peter Wehner, long-time White House consultant and writer, in the NYT last week about Jesus Christ’s method of teaching by asking questions.)
"Would that I could mention all the illuminating details in this biography, for example, why Wells praised Black Americans so highly, saying, 'I took a mighty liking to these gentle, human, dark-skinned people,' and 'Whatever America has to show in heroic living today, I doubt if she can show anything finer than the quality of the resolve, the steadfast efforts hundreds of black and colored men are making today to live blamelessly, honorably and patiently, getting by themselves what scraps of refinement, beauty and learning they may, keeping their hold on a civilization they are grudged and denied.''
-- "How H.G. Wells Predicted the 20th Century," Charles Johnson, NYT Book Review, Nov. 19, 2021. ***".
...the monsters arrive."
"They come in a deafening, surging swarm, blasting from lawn to lawn and filling the air with the stench of gasoline and death. I would call them mechanical locusts, descending upon every patch of gold in the neighborhood the way the grasshoppers of old would arrive, in numbers so great they darkened the sky, to lay bare a cornfield in minutes. But that comparison is unfair to locusts.
"Grasshoppers belong here. Gasoline-powered leaf blowers are invaders, the most maddening of all the maddening, environment-destroying tools of the American lawn-care industry."
---The great Margaret Renkl, from Nashville, one of my favorite NYT bylines, Oct. 26, 2021.
(She describes our Long Island enclave to every decibel, every stink.)