Brian’s Column: Life on the Less Unreal Side

7. Baseball and neighbors and Cubs, oh my!
Brian R. Wright

[Link to Episode 6]

Note: These columns are a series, I will make into a volume of my memoirs. You may follow the links at top and bottom of page to go to preceding or succeeding episodes. The series starts here. {If the [Link to Episode <next>] at the  bottom of the column does not show an active hyperlink, then the <next> column has yet to be written.}

No doubt subconsciously I viewed my entry into the forced socialization program of government schooling as an anomaly, something im- posed on me by higher authority that down deep I resented and never treated seriously. In a word, unreal. [Keep in mind that in the 1950s, the states still held ultimate authority over our culture’s compulsory children’s (prison) schools; the federal Mob didn’t really didn’t start stirring the forced-schooling cauldron—mainly on policy and funding—until the 1960s, with LBJ’s Great Society great overreach.][1]

The above-right photo shows my first- or second-grade era baseball team, managed by my dad and sponsored by the Overland Park Lutheran Church (OPLC). I’m in the back row on the far right. I became hooked on baseball from the glowing first day Dad took us to Kansas City Municipal Stadium to watch the perennially cellar-dwelling Kansas City Athletics of the American League. [The A’s would alternate with the Washington Senators between eighth place and seventh place. But it was still the ‘Show,’ the major leagues of baseball.] The sights, sounds, smells, tastes… watching these giants throw the ball so fast around the horn, hit it so hard. More like gods than men—at play on hallowed ground. Going to the ball park was my first spiritual experience,  a church far more moving/reverential than the one in town that my parents had signed us up for. From the age of 5 to 15 I knew what I was going to be when I grew up: a ballplayer. Continue reading