And the title of my book is …

Published 6:58 am Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I often meet people who tell me how much they enjoy reading my column. It’s always a blessing and I appreciate it.

Last week, someone who had grown up in the Faceville community and I were talking about writing and she asked me, “Are you going to write a book?”

I said, “I would like that. I think I have a book somewhere inside me.” Before anyone accuses me of thinking “big-shot,” I said very quickly, “I think lots of people have books inside them.” I really do. Getting them out and on paper; now that’s a horse of different color!

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My friend told me of some of the memories she had of growing up in the Faceville community. She remembered the “river,” although some call it a Lake. She recalled the dirt road that is now paved and how all of that cultivated area was once her territory to be explored and enjoyed. Even though I did not know her particular geography, I knew exactly what she meant.

I said, “We need to write this stuff down. It’s never going to pass our way again.”

It’s true. Some of the experiences of my growing-up years will be unique to me and my time. The only problem with a book about them, I thought, was that all the people who would understand them are going to disappear with me.

For instance, try explaining a game of Home-run Derby played in a hog pen beneath the opening of a room where corn is stored and called a crib. As they say, “You had to be there.”

In our hog pen, there were corn cobs left from the hog’s meals. The wetter and muddier, the better. The mixture of moisture and mud made them heavy so that they would travel farther when the wood of an old broken, wooden slat met them when swinging for the fences.

These days, there are leagues associated with sports known as fantasy leagues. At the beginning of the season, groups choose active players for their teams and the members of the league “manage” the players chosen for their teams. It is played on computers and makes for lots of fun.

The fantasy baseball that I remember, though, was a little different. With a broken, wooden slat chosen as a bat and plenty of corn cobs as baseballs to hit, many innings were played. I fantasized that I was Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Hank Aaron, Harmon Killebrew, or some other player with an exotic name like Rocky Colavito. Try explaining that to our current crop of youngsters.

To be fair, I’m sure young boys continue to fantasize about making the big leagues, but there’s a difference. For one thing, there are no more hog pens. For another, there are no corn cobs and wooden slats for bats. As I told my friend, “Those days will never come our way again.”

I wouldn’t mind writing some of this stuff down, but, then again, who would read it? More importantly who would understand it?