We were at one of the nicest places in town last night, (Historic) Holman Stadium in Nashua, NH.
We were there for the first ever All-Star Game in the college player summer league that’s been playing up here for two years. It’s great ball! And, the price is right. We’ve got season tickets in the 5th row between home and first for less than the price of one game down at Fenway. Plus there’s no $40.00 parking and two hour drive home. Oh, yeah, the beer is cheaper by 4 bucks a pop.
Our side won. So, even though it rained a bit from the seventh on, it was a good night. The crowd was great, too, about 2,000 fans with plenty of families and kids of all ages. It was Small Town Ball, a kind of thing that is almost gone from the scene, unless it’s in some Spielberg film somewhere.
Only thing was this. Just in front of me there were three young kids and their Mom. She was the sister or the aunt, some kind of relative of one of the pitchers from the home town team who made the All Stars. I guessed she might have been there strictly for family unity or something. She spent a lot of time on the phone, looking up every once in a while and wondering who was where and what was happening. Her Dad was a row in front of them, and every once in a while he’d grab a kid and go off foraging, coming back with fried dough, or some other concoction of grease and sugar. He reminded me of a parent bird dropping worms down the gullets of the little nestlings.
Don’t get me wrong. I ain’t criticizing Grandpa, or even Mom. For her I figure it was a night out, and “any port in a storm” as the saying goes. Plus, if I’m him, I do the same thing with the kids who were pecking at him for this and that, anyway. No, they did what had to be done which is a whole lot more than a lot of folks do nowadays.
It’s the kids that fascinated me, though. Each one of them had some kind of thin thing, one of those little iPad-phone-game things that seems to come these days with the goods you take home from the hospital after calving. You know, the formula, pablum, diapers and baby powder? Most of the time, when they weren’t hunting up something to eat, these three kids were thumbing their way through a series of car wrecks, leaping dinosaurs or space wars, all in living color and at the speed of light.
When they weren’t leaping here and there for another helping of grease or sugar, they had fallen into these little 3×5 devices, gone, left the world and entered the 4th, 5th or 9th Dimension where everything moved at 90% the speed of light and exploded on contact.
I wondered what would be going on in their lives in ten years or so, when they were getting ready to leave high school. At least they will have well developed thumbs.
I wondered and sighed and thought to myself, “Ten years or so. With any luck, I’ll have taken the dirt nap.”
I begin to look on that as an increasingly more pleasant option.