Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The”little” is in quotes because this story is about Jack and I when he was just a little 9 or 10 year old. Now he is six foot 2 or 3. Back then he was in the cub scouts, and though he was short, he was, unlike his uncle -- me, quite a good athlete for his age.

On the other hand, I was a scrawny kid, and though I liked sports, I wasn’t very good. When it came to softball games, and sides were being chosen, I was always picked last. “Move in! Meyer’s up!” was always the call when It was my turn to bat, and of course I played right field.

Anyway, Jack came home one day after his cub scout meeting, all enthusiastic. “Ya gotta come to the park Saturday ‘cause we’re gonna have a softball game!” So I went to the park at the appointed time. But it wasn’t a game; it was “practice”. And that’s in quotes because most of these youngsters didn’t know which way was up. I suppose there was someone there to coach, or at least organize the youngsters, though I don’t remember anyone showing the kids what to do. So while I was not very good, I did know the basics and the mechanics of the game. When one youngster held the bat between his legs and stood facing the pitcher, I just had to show him the right way. “Stand here like this, and hold the bat back like this, and wait for the ball to get here.” The same went for fielding, and catching fly balls. “You don’t close your eyes when catching the ball.” Jack was a big help because not only did he know the right things to do, he could do them.
--Sketch by Cliff

Eventually the kids coalesced into a decent team, and did play in the cub scout summer league. I don’t remember if they won any games, but they might have. The most amazing thing to me was that I learned what and how to do. That summer we had playground softball games at the local grammar school. Of course I was chosen last. When I came up to bat, it was the usual “Move in! Meyer’s up!” And I smacked the first pitch over the left fielder’s head. Thereafter I was chosen near the top, and I played left field.

Fun -

“All you idiots, fall out,” shouted the sergeant at the soldiers standing in formation. As the rest of the squad dispersed, one soldier remained at attention. The sergeant walked over and raised an eyebrow. “The private grinned, “Sure were a lot of them, sir.”

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