Walking with Memories in Time

There’s a place in space or maybe down the street,
where old baseball coaches go, mingle and meet.
Some over coffee, or maybe over tea.
Older but no wiser, holding on to way of life,
like an easy rocker on the porch and the campanionship of a wife.
Memories are my companions now, a fact I truly know,
like passing road signs in life, and people that would come and go.
I long to be agile from a dugout, to skip a step or two,
and that misty sprinkle of spring, and that early morning dew.
I remember walking the grass, damp from the night before,
how that soaking of mud I’d clear from my spikes,
by stomping on the floor.
That chill of spring so early with the dawn,
and that rising steam from the skins, touched by the moring sun.
The bullpens had that smell of clay, dirt and wood,
with scared benches that would rock, cracked legs split in two.
That moring sun offered little shade to the catchers in the pen,
as they raised their hands across their brow for the pitches coming in.
I remember that call from across the field, that familiar sound, “heads up,”
as baseballs would bounce off our shacks and how we’d all have to duck!
I would wrap my jacket across my back and settle in with a cup of Joe,
two sugars and cream, and sometimes a splash of that amber nector,
that would give me that morning glow.
A steady rthyem of coughs, clearing out the throat,
echoed by others my age, coach after coach.
I know I didn’t think of it, at the time I must admit,
those sights and sounds of bats and balls, gloves and even mitts.
But now with time as my only campanion surronded by pictures in my mind,
How precious are these little things, walking with memories in time.

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Memories, indeed. I have so many, good ones all, of my playing days, of my work with one of the finest pitching coaches people would give their eyeteeth to work with— Eddie Lopat—of the times I saw him stifle the Indians (and some other teams) again and again—of the last few seasons I saw Joe DiMaggio cover that centerfield expanse—and all of this still so fresh in my mind. I will never forget the last thing Lopat said to me: “Long after I’m gone—you will remember”—and after all those decades I still do, and what I learned from him I’ve been able to share with other members of what I call the Fellowship of the Bump. Even as an almost-80-year-old arthritic old poop with the lousiest right knee in creation I still remember, and I have to smile, or chuckle, or laugh out loud—not to mention losing track of all the strikeouts I piled up, especially after acquiring that crossfire move. Yes, good memories all. And I thank you, as well as the other administrators on this website, for allowing me to share them with you.
Greetings and felicitations from the Goddess of the Slider.

To you gracious lady, for sharing the kindness of your wisdom and memories.
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