Do you still believe in heroes? A kid’s hero is usually an athlete and maybe a movie or television performer. I spent most of my youth in the 1960’s and was always a Chicago Cubs fan. My number one hero was Billy Leo Williams. He batted left handed although he threw with his right hand. Being a lefty myself, I hitched myself to his wagon. For sure, there was also Ernie Banks, who batted righty and was Ma’s hero, so I didn’t want to steal her thunder. The number on the back of Ernie’s uniform was 14 and that became Ma’s lucky number.
Although Ron Santo made up the third part of the fan’s favorite trio during the 60’s decade, I never did cotton to him. He tended to be a hot dog and did not endear himself to the opposition when he would click his heels all the way to the clubhouse after Cubbie victories. Despite compiling enviable statistics, it always seemed as if he hit his home runs late in the game when the score was already lopsided against the Cubs and the cause was hopeless.
Santo also got into a famous fight with the Cubs skipper, Leo â€œThe Lipâ€ Durocher. I felt that he caused friction and division in the dugout and it was a significant reason that the team never made it over the hump despite being loaded with talent.
Continue reading “Heroes”
It finally happened. I got an email from a childhood friend that it was time to get together one evening and reminisce. Our families had shared a two flat in Austin on Chicago’s far west side He also said that he would invite another friend over whom I also had not seen in more than forty years. Can you imagine that- freezing the clock and then being able to roll back time as if several decades had not passed?
Continue reading “The Forty Year Summit”
Ma never learned to drive which is why I inherited the job of going to the pharmacy to get the latest scheduled pick-up of any of her eight medicines. It also meant that I got the honor of taking her shopping on designated days.
Dad drove until his eightieth birthday on which as he got out of the car and walked up the stairs into the house, managed to fall down and break both ankles. He came back to the scene of the crime maybe three times in the course of the next six years and nine months as he spent the rest of it in a twenty-four hour care facility.
Continue reading “Driving Me Crazy”