Thursday, November 22, 2012

Street Football

When I was a kid growing up in the suburbs of Chicago in the late Sixties my pop, the Master Chief, used to toss the football around in the quiet suburban street - Hillside Avenue in Glen Ellyn, Illinois - out side our big old house.
Those times; the crisp acrid smell of the fallen leaves, the cool snap of the autumn air, the perfect heft and flight of the prolate sphere...they are still lovely memories of my father.

Now he and I are far apart, and at 86 he is no longer able to toss the ball with the same authority as he once did.

So it has fallen to me and my son to maintain the family tradition. So we took advantage of the break in the rain we're enjoying Thanksgiving Day and tossed the little football about for a while. He's a good tosser, the Peep. Catching? We're working on that.
Mind you, my father is famous in our household for his observation (during a late summer baseball-toss in which a hard throw coming out of the falling darkness popped me right in the face) that "You should have gotten your glove up."

The Master Chief knew even then that life is harder than a baseball and just as likely to hit you in the face when you least expect it.

Unless you get your glove up.


basilbeast said...

Baseballs in the face, huh?

Some news geologic.

A crew is staying at the hotel where I work, out looking for/mapping shale for gas and oil deposits.

Early risers and out by 6.


FDChief said...

Exploration is a long-day sort of business, basil; there's a lot of ground to cover and it takes a lot of imaging to cover it...

And, yeah, my pop and I used to toss the ball back and forth in a positively Father-Knows-Bestian kind of way. But that one time we went too late into the long slow Midwest summer evening and it got just dark enough that I couldn't pick up the dirty brown ball in time to either catch it or duck. Didn't hurt as much as you'd think but it was a nasty shock.

But my father has always been a pretty hard guy. After confirming that I wasn't really hurt his observation was that I'd have saved myself some pain if I'd been a little more agile. True dat, but not what a twelve-year-old wants to hear, exactly...

But it taught me to get my glove up.

basilbeast said...

Classic Father/Son bonding, playing catch out back. I turned into a pretty decent outfielder, & I had the arm but shitty at the plate.

Lotsa fun out back, not so much in the organized stuff.

About being hit by baseballs. I did some summertime umping for mens' softball and also Little League out in Philly to pad my humble pay as a teacher. The only ump there, and I was out making the call on a throw to first. The next batter was up and I was in the middle of the pitcher to catcher line. I turned to the pitcher and WHUMP! caught his pitch square in the sternum.

Strike! I call out loud.

A bit of history here too. The manager of this umpire service was a mail carrier named Penn, a direct descendant of William.