Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Time is on my side

An appropriate beginning.  I'm on vacation this week, not all dressed up but still nowhere to go.  So here I sit rambling and muttereing. 

Yesterday Texas gained the distinction of pushing Mitt Romney over the top.  He now has sufficient votes to be officially called the Republican nominee so now let the mudslinging. baclkbiting and doublespeak begin in earnest. On a brighter note - a Mormon running against a half-black sitting president.  Who woulda thunk. 

Anyone familiar with the movie Sandlot is essentially familiar with my childhood from the age of 10 on.  It was stunning how similar the portrayal of the kids in that movie was to the way things were in Hayward, CA back in 1959-1964 or so. A gang of kids off to the nearest field to play baseball. 

The pic above is from my HS playing days and happens to be the only pic ever taken of me that I like) At times that field was a large parking lot in what eventually became Southland Shopping Center. If we weren't playing baseball  we were digging forts in vacant fields.  Several were deep enough to stand in - covered with old doors, wood - anything handy.  We never gave a thought to one of our forts collapsing in on us and they never did.  Basically, from about 8:30AM til 5:00 PM my friends and I were out running around playing.  Except on Tuesdays when one of the local TV stations ran a horror movie.  Then several of us were gathered around the TV to see somthing like The Thing, The Blob, Them, Tarantula - the list goes on and on.  Movie classics all.  At least to a bunch of 10-12 year olds.

We played Little League.  We did not all get trophies at the end of the season. If we lost the game we felt bad - we wanted to win. Sure we knew that we wouldn't always win but we wanted to.  Too many kids these days are cheated our of an important life lesson - losing sucks, and losing should spur you on to wanting to do a better job next time so you can win.  Nobody wins all of the time.

Everyone really needs to learn how to lose as well as learn how to win. Sportsmanship is important.  I love the fact that hockey always ends a  playoff series, olympic game, world championship tournament, etc.  game with the two teams lining up and the players trading handshakes. It is a great reminder - it is a game. They PLAY the game. Just like this - 

That movie is one of my all time faves btw.  It's definitely a movie - not a film.

In many ways I suspect my childhood was not atypical.  It is - afterall - where I met those people who became my lifelong friends and role models that helped keep me on a straighter path them I otherwise would have explored.

Todays journey ends with an appropriate little ditty from Jefferson Airplane. Give it a try even if you do not like/know Jefferson Airplane.



  1. I don't think that any middle class childhood is atypical Chuck. It is the two tail ends of the curve that produces atypical childhoods. I can identify with yours totally by replacing base ball with cricket and a few other native games.

    And, yes, we learnt to lose gracefully. A very valuable lesson that in today's world has lost all its meaning. I find children so fiercely competitive that examination time produces suicides and neighbourhood cricket matches end in murders.

    Overall, our generation had it good.

    Jefferson Airplane was a classic example of that ambiance. I took my first and only LSD trip listening to Surrealistic Pillow! This one has some very good guitar work. Have never heard it before.

  2. Ramana I chose that song because it is so atypical of them. It has always been a fave of mine - right up there with Somebody to Love.

    You are probably correct about middle class childhoods - it's just that Sandlot was based in my timezone - just like Leave it to Beaver on TV here was.

    Yes - our generation had it good. We are also largely responsible for the problems we face today.

  3. Drat - the Slapshot clip isn't playing. Good film. Like the part where he bets he can pick up the attractive woman who walks into the bar.
    Then it turns out she's his wife.
    Though being Paul Newman probably helped too.