Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day in the Big Town

Once a year, it's time to realize that I used to get excited to buy my Dad cologne (that he never used) or fishing stuff. Now he's passed away at age 93, and I'm the Dad, with two wonderful daughters who my Dad was so very proud to have as granddaughters and a wonderful mother for the girls. I think Dad thought I could possibly marry a barmaid from Bartlesville (and he wasn't looking down on the barmaid!).

When I was young, Dad and I went to the old All-Sports Stadium a lot to see the Oklahoma City '89ers baseball team, back when the Bricktown Ballpark or the Redhawks were still just a cloud in somebody's crystal ball.

Even though I was young, I still knew something crazy was going on when they had 10¢ beer night. Rowdy crowd, I guess! Yelling the crass, loud remarks at the opposing batters. We stayed until the game was over, even in a blow-out, because Dad had forked over the money for tickets and we were getting the "full enjoyment", whether you liked it or not. The up-side — with fewer people in the stands, it meant that foul balls were easier to catch, chase down or wrestle for.

The food was typical fair (pun intended) — All-Sports Stadium was on the fairgrounds. I knew Dad was good for two or three concession buys per night. Unfortunately, one of them was for hot dogs or hamburgers, because we didn't eat supper beforehand. If we did, though, then Junk Food City, here we come! Ice cream, cotton candy, caramel apples, peanuts (lots of peanuts), funnel cakes and candy bars. 

I did observe something, even at that young and tender age. Down the first base line, right in front of the bleachers, was the bullpen, stocked with pitchers and catchers not seeing game action. So guess who was in the first base line bleachers? Twenty-something girls — blondes, brunettes, redheads and bleached blondes (Marilyn Monroe wannabes). 

Was this just fate? I don't think so. Sometimes I would overhear conversations or the ball players would have me fetch one of the girls for them to talk with. I thought, "How lucky those girls are to get to 'meet' the ball players and go out with them." As I got older, I realized the ball player was getting played like a trout on a fly rod.

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there!

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