That day, I was in the sub-basement of a university art art museum was a likely next target, forced the real ground zero workers there, custodians, operations museum, helping a phone guy do what he does - install telephones. The word trickled down from a security guard, a kid of maybe twenty years old. "There had been an explosion at the World Trade Towers in New York." Fair enough, cars blowing up around major buildings were not quite commonplace but self contained incidents, the most heinous being the 168 deaths at a Federal Building in Oklahoma City at the hands of Timothy McVeigh in 1995. As American tragedies pile up, a sense of sorrow but also a hardening of my spirit has crept over me. BANG! JFK! BANG MLK Jr. BANG! RFK. More news trickled from our guard wearing an uniform and pimples. The phone guy, my age and a vet of Vietnam decided he was going to dye his hair and reenlist to go after the criminals responsible for this deed. American tempers flared, Americans perished and there were new boogey-men. The entire university was dismissed at noon. The whatever his title was that week, "Most Cruel to Those He Deemed Inferior to Him" will suffice, decided that the ground zero workers at the small art museum - custodians, operations people should say in case, after the WTC attacks, a Picasso was next. I complied for an hour or so but decided to walk out. Mr. Prissy was long gone and he was no different than I. If after the attack, bathrooms at the museum weren't clean, well, I am sure that somehow, someway, America would forgive.
Constantly changing marketing devices to keep attracting the same dempgraphic group has its challenges. As a given set of people, in this case, fans, grow older, younger ones arrive to fill the vacancies. What would intice people to come to a ballpark 20 or even 10 years ago, no longer sells. McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket was my training ground, my stint in the minors, as it turned out to be. it was quiet, rustic, worn around the edges and condusive to making lifelong friendships.When the new ADA standards and mimimum number of seat requirements , mandated by MILB, were set, the park got a major facelift and renovation. Still, I my voracious appetite for the American experience could still be fed and I shot probably 30-40 games a year there.Things change and I accept that, better than most. Dimples turn to wrinkles and off you go. I went to mcCoy last night to help a buddy with his book and just enjoy the game with my pal, Betsy. An HD scoreboard and a cacophony of noise are the norm now. The place was packed, everyone was in bliss. ice cream was still sold in little plastic helmets. yes, even crazy vanilla, Lulu!