Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Last Time

I am a Yankee fan.

It wasn't by choice. As an eight year old, my family went to Yonkers, NY, to visit their best friends (they had been their best man and maid of honor when they had been married.) The best thing about the trip to me was that we were going to travel across the Yonkers ferry, so I would have both a car and ferry trip at the same time. was 1949, and when we arrived I say my first television set (an Emerson brand that was very large, but had a 13 inch screen). A Yankee game was on channel eleven, with Mel Allen announcing, and Joe DiMaggio hit a home run.

I was hooked...and a Yankee fan. Then, Mickey Mantle arrived and he became my hero. Well, those of you who are fans of other teams understand...

Today, far away from my beloved Yankees, I watched the last game in Yankee Stadium. I had gone to several games in the '50's during the world series. It was a different world. My best friends parents dropped us of (we were 10-11 years of age) near the stadium and picked us up after the games were over.

In later years, I went to key games. My son and I went to the game when Reggie hit three home runs (I still have the ticket stubs), and there are many other memories of good times.

But...tonight I watched from half a continent away and realized that it was the last time I would be able to watch a game in a place that I KNEW. I knew where the men's room was, I knew how to get in the quickest way, I knew where to park... reminded me of a country where patriotic attitudes were the norm...where we believed in America...where the country my father and mother believed in still existed. Yankee stadium will be taken down later this year. But what this country stood for to my parents and others of their age is gone. Now we look for, not opportunity..but, handout and guarantee. We forget that we were offered opportunity and pursuit, not result. Now, it is a socialistic attitude.

Don't bother posting your "talking point" arguments suggesting I am "whatever". I don't care and I don't intend to read them... write them if you are made to feel better, but please understand that it is for yourself, not for convincing others...I wrote this for myself, my parents, and for our forefathers who are gone...and I feel better now. Those who disagree are, I am sure, comfortable with your thoughts, groups, and beliefs. I am happy for you.

I will miss the Yankee Stadium.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Plants are People Too

I am not a plant person. Some people have a green thumb...mine is black. My wife can walk into a room and a dead plant will start to stir and begin to grow once again. I walk into the room and every plant starts to droop...and I have nothing but good thoughts and intentions. But...I digress.

We have 9 pots outside this summer. The majority of these plants have large, long, flat leaves. Since we live in the Southwest, my job this summer has been to water these plants this summer, usually on a daily basis. Surprisingly, they have accepted water from me without objection and have done well.

Last week, while I was in town, we had a heavy thunder storm. I experienced rain, but as I drove out of town I observed what looked like snow at the edges of the road. This was the first sign that in places the rain had been accompanied by hail. I thought nothing further of it until the next morning when I went to water the plants.

Many of the plants had leaves that were broken and a surprising number had holes in the middle of their larger leaves!

That is when a random thought struck (I think many people have random thoughts, but most don't allow them out.)...What if plants are people too? I you are, outside in the sun, kicking back and getting some rays. Suddenly it gets overcast and starts to rain and then God starts shooting you. Can you imagine the consternation? If is was me, the thought would be something like this..."Hey, what did I do to deserve this? Here I am minding my own business, not bothering anyone, doing my bit for mankind (turning CO2 into Oxygen), not making any noise when all of a sudden I getting holes shot in my fronds. What's up with this? Hey, God...can we talk?" And, to complete the analogy, you find that you have no tongue so, cannot talk. In their place, I would be royally ticked-off.

They continue to take water daily and, while some of the leaves have died, some of them with large holes remain green and continue to stand proud. Only time will tell what long term effects will be. But I came away with an appreciation for our ability to run, dodge, and build structures to protect us from hail, and projectiles of all kinds.

So, next time you pass a plant, think kind thoughts, give it some water and wish it "Good luck."