My Dad

My father loved baseball.  I can remember the game being on every day of my life.  My mother’s father, ‘Gramps’ loved baseball also. He lived upstairs with my grandma. Both grew up during a time when baseball was young and exciting.  They also lived in a time when baseball was beginning to be desegregated. This was before I was born, of course. I would listen to stories about the game and the ‘Good Old Days’ intently, well, this was before my pre -Jackson-5 days.

My dad was a White Sox fan and my mom, Cubs. It as Chaos. But it was also fun. I always felt safe when baseball was on and the smell of fresh buttered. Biscuit lingered in the air.

Man, I just thought about it; if they were both alive, they would not believe how baseball is being played today during Covy. That’s what I’ve decided to call it now, something friendlier, maybe it will ‘simply go away’.

One of my heroes died today. I grew numb when I heard. Now, I find myself caring and loving people I never met like Chad Boseman. He was not only the best superhero a Black girl can have; he was also a humble man and a dynamic actor. I literally cried when I heard he died. Didn’t know him personally, but right now, the wind can blow, and my tears seems to flow more often now than before.

Like lots of folks, I can feel an overwhelming sadness clinging in the air during my morning walk. 

Baseball helped. It was always apart my family. Mom had a brief date with Willie Mays before meeting Dad. Ernie Banks lived right down the street from me.  He lived in the last house on the left. It was also the biggest. I didn’t know him either, but I also loved him because he was not only a famous athlete, he was kind and nice to me as I walked past his neatly trimmed grass. He did his own grass. A normal famous person who lived close by. It gave me hope.

My father came to visit me in Virginia, finally after promising to come for years. We talked, cooked and of course watched baseball. It was an international little league game, but he didn’t care as long as someone was hitting a ball with a bat. We also took lots pictures. He, too, was a photographer.

 As I was driving past the Greyhound Bus station, he asked me to stop so he can capture an image of a row of buses. I didn’t understand, but I said O.K. and we stopped. Not only did he get his shot, we stumbled on an antique car show. It was a perfect day. 

Months later, my dad passed away doing what he loved, watching baseball.

I went to home for the funeral. When I returned home, I looked slowly through the stack of mail on the table and came across a post card address to me from my dad.  He mailed it days before he died.  I could instantly recognize his flamboyant long handwriting across the entire front surface.  As I slowly turned over the post card, I stared at his image of the Greyhound buses.

I smiled and thought about baseball.

D. Dilworth

August 29, 2020

Daughter and Photographer

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