Skip to main content

The Boys Are Back In Town



This is a story about a super baseball team and a super storm.

Admittedly, up to his senior year, son #2's high school baseball career was as painful as Michael Jordan's was in basketball.  (Jordan was cut and fought his way back on the team...son #2 had a JV coach who begged to keep him because he saw potential where the varsity coach saw none).  At a showcase his junior year, an assistant coach for a southern college saw him pitch and liked him, but alas, he was only there scouting position players and catchers.



The coach was ultimately recruited to be the head coach at a D1 school on the Canadian border.  After assessing his team, the first recruit he called was my son. He received a sports scholarship when up to that point, had only pitched in one varsity high school game. Talk about seeing potential.

One rainy April Saturday during his freshman year, and the only weekend the team played in our state, Wingman made a call to the coach.With the team being only 45 minutes away, he offered to have us host a home-cooked meal for the team. A couple of hours later, the Purple Eagle bus pulled up in front of the house, and we fed 30 young men and their coaches. It was a night Wingman talked about proudly until he died, even though I did most of the cooking with my mom.

When #2 was a senior, his older brother got engaged and his Korean fiance came to live with us to learn English.  One evening, there was a heated "discussion" going on between she and Wingman over God-knows-what.  As I grabbed my referee shirt, the phone rang. It was #2 wanting to have a chat.  Hearing the shrieks from downstairs, I said with some exasperation in my voice "Is there anything important you want to tell me?  I have to go break up a fight."  He replied "Mom, I hit a home run today."

This is a kid who had maybe three at-bats in high school. This was his first and only at-bat in college. Getting up to the plate is a big deal.  Getting a hit is incredible.  Hitting a homer puts you in the books. And as luck would have it, it was during a televised cancer charity game. Wingman got a copy of the tape and made it into a video. And on some of my sad days, I watch it, to remember not only this fun moment, but to remind me to enjoy life, because these moments pass far too soon.

Popular posts from this blog

I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt

Wingman use to call me many things. Obstinate. Overcritical. Certainly bitchy. I even recall on our wedding day that he called me "beautiful". But that was a one-time happening, and I don't recall him ever crooning Eric Clapton"s "You Look Wonderful Tonight" after that. So it comes as no surprise that he never called me "sexy".

And I get it.  When I went to school in NYC, a couple of my friends were stopped by Eileen Ford and asked to come to her agency to model.  They were cute, and one was even, in an exotic way, sexy even back then.  But not me. I was and always will be, fine with how I look.




There were some things over the years that got me noticed...like when I stopped dying my hair and grew it out to donate for a wig.  As part of a lecture that I did on The Avon Walk For Breast Cancer, I had my beautician come in and cut my waist-long hair short. The following Sunday at church, I was a Eucharistic Minister, which at a Catholic Mass is a re…

'Cause Baby You're A Firework. Come On Show Them What You're Worth

Five years ago today, I stood in a hospital room strewn with used syringes, rubber gloves and other medical waste, looking at the lifeless body of the man that I shared a life with for over 30 years. I should have been thinking of family, love and loss.  Instead, my first thought was, "Wow, I'm a widow now." Pretty pathetic in retrospect, and when Wingman referred to me just before I left him as "The Bitch", probably not too far off the mark.

But in time-warped speed just a half hour before that, I had already talked to the hospital twice, woken son #3 up to go over to the hospital with me, called Wingman's brother on the way, fought with a gimpy legged night watchman who wouldn't let us in the hospital, and finally took "that meeting" in a small private room where the doctor told my son and I that they did everything possible, but unfortunately (UNFORTUNATELY???) Wingman had passed. My brain was filled with what to do, who to call, …

But She Use To Have A Carefree Mind Of Her Own, With A Devilish Look In Her Eye

The first time I went out with Wingman, he remarked about how much I reminded him of his mother.  When we finally met, I just didn't see it: she was a tall, chain-smoking blonde, with a Lauren Bacall-esque voice, while I considered myself just an average size brunette with no distinguishable qualities.



She and I began our own relationship with stories about our lives, and she won every round of "Can You Top This". At 10 years old, she helped deliver her brother when her mother went into labor at home. Later, her alcoholic mother walked out on the family and was never seen or heard from again, so she dropped out of school to help. At 19, she and her husband eloped, and thought no one knew.  A photographer however, took a picture of them outside City Hall which became the cover of the afternoon edition of the NY World Telegram. (Oops.) A couple of years later, her very pregnant self drove her father and his equally pregnant girlfriend to City Hall in Newark to MAKE them get…