Monday, September 22, 2008

Memory Lane Mondays ~ The Great American Pastime

In the summer of 1966 I visited Patti and Mother in Minneapolis. Patti worked at Benson Optical and had entered some contest there and unfortunately won! I say unfortunately because the grand prize was 2 baseball tickets to see the Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees. Why is this unfortunate? Most red-blooded Americans would kill for these tickets, even today, but Patti and I REALLY don't like baseball. I can't think of anything I like less than baseball. Not sure why, but that's just the way it is.

Mother had to study, so Patti and I went to the game to give her some quiet time. We had no idea what we were in for. The worst part, besides actually going to the game, was we had to go by bus! All the people on the bus were so excited about the game. They were all elderly, as you can imagine. They were probably the age we are now, and we don't consider ourselves elderly, but they sure were! They sang songs and got all giddy about the game. We just stared out the window. We were sad.

We finally arrived at the stadium and as we were were getting off the bus, the bus driver handed us our baseball caps - made of lime green and white striped card stock, slotted for ventilation, and with big letters across the bill that screamed "I CAME BY BUS!" We were horrified and immediately dropped our caps on the ground, accidentally of course, but our fellow passengers rushed up behind us, happily picked up our hats and gave them back to us. Surely we had made some kind of mistake, they said! This happened several times until we finally gave up and as soon as our bus mates were out of sight, we threw the paper caps in the trash.

So there we were, with wonderful box seats between 3rd and 1st bases. The Twins were playing the Yankees. We saw Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantel, Harmon Killebrew, and Bernie Allen. According to baseball aficionados, it doesn't get much better than that, but we were hot and sticky, and it was baseball, and it was just awful.

We endured to the end, and were so happy to get to make the LONG walk back to our bus and GO HOME, only to be thwarted by not being able to get back on the bus because it was locked up tight! Maybe it was the wrong bus, so we kept looking and looking for the bus.....any bus that was open and would get us out of there! Finally after what seemed to be forever, a man asked if he could help and we said "We're ready to go home now!" like a couple of country girls. He looked at us a little strange but happily reported "Oh no! This game is a double header!" We almost burst into tears, but after losing a short but heated argument with the bus driver, we dutifully whirled around and marched back to the stadium. We recoiled when we looked at our seats because the sun was still beating mercilessly down on them, as it had on us for first 4 hours of our day. We were tired, unhappy, hot, unhappy, hungry, unhappy, sunburned, blistered and sad. Did I mention we were unhappy?

So, we looked around for empty seats in the shade. Being able to actually watch the game was not a requirement or a priority with us. We could have cared less. We found quite a few empty seats in a much cooler area of the ballpark and decided to sit there and ride out the misery of the day. We wondered why there were so many empty seats there and quickly discovered we were sitting right behind the chain gang! That's when things started looking up for us! Those guys were so much fun, and we had a good time with them. They were real cute and of course they were all innocent!

Another 4 hours passed and after a fond farewell to our new criminal friends, we were finally able to get on our bus and get outta dodge! What a horrible day. Patti and I always have so much fun together, but nothing was going to save that dreadful day.

Just one of the many reasons we don't like baseball!

1 comment:

  1. Once again - I am entertained!!! I guess there were no penpal relationships started that day?