An American Spring, Past And Present

To me, March always signifies the end of my wintertime hibernation.  It ushers in the coming of my favorite time of year, summer.  But spring itself is the necessary springboard to my personal bliss.  Each day I scour the trees and bushes for buds, anxiously awaiting them to burst open and bring the vivid colors that pave the way for the luscious greens of summer.  I welcome the warm weather birds back and I await the new families of geese that I get to watch paddle their way in perfect single file past my view on the river behind the house.  I love the longer hours of daylight and how the sun seems to grow warmer with each day’s passing.  It’s the annual rebirth of one’s senses and a fresh, new, long overdue optimism.

For some, the rites of spring don’t begin until the big bus leaves, headed southward to Lakeland, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Bradenton, Glendale or Tempe.  Those buses are packed with their own beginning of spring in the form of uniforms, equipment, promises, expectations and their own form of annual optimism.

For many, the coming of spring can’t occur until both of these events take place, as if there is some sort of order and reasoning that makes one impossible without the other.  A natural coupling that says the universe is aligned in its natural harmony.  There is just something about hearing the phrase “pitchers and catchers have reported”.  This is something that is completely American.  You can’t have a Fall Classic until the boys of summer have had their due.  The boys of summer can’t entertain us during those dog days of summer until they’ve completed their springtime rituals.  It’s a metamorphosis as natural as a caterpillar springing from its chrysalis to float through those warm summer afternoons as a butterfly. (more…)

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Ernie Harwell, Human Legend, Dies

Ernie Harwell 1918 - 2010

Ernie Harwell 1918 - 2010

I am so saddened even though I knew this day was coming.  An incredible sadness for this loss, a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.  Ernie was such a part of my life, our lives, and there was no better gentleman and no truer human than Ernie Harwell.  This place will not be the same without him. Bless you, Ernie, and thank you for giving us so much without ever asking for anything in return.

So Long, My Old Friend

tigers70On Wednesday, September 23th at 9:24 AM something happened that made me stop dead in my tracks.  I stopped everything I was doing, right in the middle of my work day, and poised myself for a long moment of silence and reflection.  During my moment I reached back, way back into my past and began a journey forward.  This expedition began when I was a small boy of about five years.  It continued on through my years in elementary school, junior high and high school.  I traveled forward all the way into my adult life and to this day.  On this Wednesday I realized a great sadness usually reserved for the loss of someone close to me.  On this day I realized the loss of some thing close to me – on this day the final section of Tiger Stadium in Detroit met its match and succumbed to the wrecking ball. (more…)