Monday, April 23, 2018

Evanston: THE BOYS OF SUMMER.3; Florida is gone; so am I

        I just finished reading Roger Kahn’s THE BOYS OF SUMMER, to which I have twice already referred.  It was a different and ever better book than I expected.  More about the lives of the players on the Jackie Robinson era Brooklyn Dodgers before and after their playing days than their achievements on the field.  It is also a portrait of a time and a nation.  These men mostly grew up hard and poor during the Depression.  The black men, including Roy Campanella and Joe Black as well as Jackie Robinson, were among the first black professional athletes and faced deplorable conditions and attitudes.  Some of them, black and white, suffered tragedies after their playing days ended.
        I was about ten years old in a suburb of Saint Louis when they were playing.  Saint Louis then was the only major league baseball team west of the Mississippi.  I listened to Cardinal games on the radio and though I have not thought of these players, except for Jackie Robinson, for many years, their names came back to me:  Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, Carl Erskine, and others.  
        There is much fine, intelligent and compassionate writing in the book and many good quotes.
        One from J. Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist not as far as I know a baseball player of renown: 
        Sometimes the answer to fear does not lie in trying to explain away the causes.  Sometimes the answer lies in courage.


        I don’t mean to provide a spoiler, but our Hilton Head condo is not a good long term investment.


        Spring seems finally and simultaneously to have come to these 600’ flatlands, Norfolk, Virginia and Plymouth, England.  However, for me too little, too late.
        Today is sunny and in the low 50s/12C.
        Carol took the day off and we walked down to the lake.  A cold wind was blowing from the northeast across murky white-capped water.
        I looked at the lake dispassionately and said goodbye.  I don’t live here anymore.  I’ll come back for a couple of months this summer and from time to time after that, but it will only be to visit.
        I’ve lived in the Midwest for 43% of my life, 33 of 76 years.  I did not like the first 21 near Saint Louis.  I have not minded the last 12 here in Evanston.  Chicago is a more attractive and interesting city than Saint Louis, and Lake Michigan far better than the Mississippi River.  But I am a creature of the ocean and inland has never been my home.
        I fly tomorrow to the Low Country and GANNET and the ocean.