Thursday, September 26, 2013
Cooperstown anecdote, with baseball and opera--
Apologies for being overwhelmed by having to judge contests, revise a novel in short order, finish another manuscript, get the house repaired, and be a single mother, all in a few weeks while my husband is in Austria. I've been posting at facebook, twitter, and the new tumblr site (see links in upper left column), as those only take a minute to dash off. But here's a little thing that happened just before my husband left.
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Michael is walking Susquehanna the dog by the shops of Main Street, not far from The Baseball Hall of Fame. Abruptly he is surrounded by a large group of young men and a couple of staff. They might be from area residential facilities like Springbrook or Pathfinder Village because they are all, in the jargon of our day, "developmentally disabled." The guys are sweet and chatty and unleashed from any fear of strangers, talking to Michael and among themselves.
Can we pet the dog? Can we? Nice dog! She? She's a nice dog! Isn't she? There's a lot of baseball stores here, aren't there?
At this, a large, plump kid with a head shaped like a pumpkin leans back and starts belting out "Take me out to the ballgame." What is most startling and wondrous is that he sings with a deep, velvety, gorgeous voice. An operatic voice.
Joy! The sunlight and the one traffic light in Cooperstown change. The day is disarranged, rearranged, estranged.
* * *
Might have to use that some day, somehow.
* * *
Of course, now my husband is in Vienna, conference-going and having afternoon and evening adventures from opera house to concentration camp, as well as eating monstrous dinners like veal cheeks, squid-ink risotto, and diced calf heart and lungs with bread dumplings (the latter served up at Der Grosser, founded 1566 and serving the eagerly carnivorous ever since.) And I am walking the dog every other instant. Because, as we know, life really ain't fair!