My fourth-grade class had just come in from the after-lunch recess in the early afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963. I was sitting next to Sandra Sites in Mrs. Robertson’s room at Carnall Elementary School in Fort Smith, Ark. We were divided into groups, with each one assigned to build a diorama representing the Jamestown settlement of Virginia.
Having an All-Star Game in the middle of the baseball season takes a little time — I get that.
The logistics of getting 70-75 players and coaches for two All-Star teams to one ballpark in one major-league city and then back to wherever their teams start the second half of the season takes a few days.
Seeing the way Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump treats people when there’s a crowd around reminds me of a school bully.
(And thanks, in part, to TV news networks, that’s always the case now. Never has the news media covered a candidate so closely and given a campaign so much free publicity. When this foolishness started, remember, Trump had to hire unemployed actors to fill the room when he announced his candidacy.)
The great thing about sports is you can root for any team you want, no matter where you live. There are no rules saying you have to pull for the local favorites. And yes, I have rooted for the Razorbacks all my life, but it was much more fun when I was living in Texas. That same “wild frontier” with no laws also means you can “hate” whoever you want. For me, a baseball lover, it’s an easy choice: the New York Yankees. They’ve won more than anyone else, and with the enactment of free agency and the free-spending ways of owner George Steinbrenner, it was a natural choice to root against the Yankees. It has nothing to do with the people of New York, though Yankees fans are known for being quite nasty when visiting fans try to deal with them at Yankee Stadium. It has more to do with rooting against the favorites, the perennial winners.
Our family didn’t have much money when my brother Pat and I were small, but Mom and Dad made sure we had wonderful Christmases. They weren’t much different from that holiday depicted in “A Christmas Story,” the wonderful 1982 film written by Jean Shepherd, based on his novel “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.” It starred Peter Billingsley as “Ralphie” and featured Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon as his parents.
Our family has spent much of 2015 handling medical issues.
I was hospitalized for six days in March, and my bride served two stints at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock this summer. In Nancy’s case, a midsummer surgery has required outpatient treatments in recent weeks.
As we’ve lived these experiences, we’ve been wonderfully supported by many family members and friends (some even belong to both groups). Some of these supporters have asked to be notified whenever certain appointments, doctor visits, surgeries or other procedures have been completed.