Not New -Just Renewed!

Me today in my home office

I’ve walked this planet for 66 years, and hope to stay around for another 34 — then, I’ll reevaluate! This from someone who wasn’t expected to reach age 30, and hoped to live down to that expectation! I didn’t trust anyone over 30 then — so I never wanted to be “one of them”. Plus, life then was pretty damn hard.

I just had a rough patch, from age 15 to 25, which was basically the entire ‘70’s. I started drinking and doing drugs in March of 1970, and smoked my last joint on March 17th, 1980. Call it my…

Let Us Pray (Play)

Forbes Field — my first “church” of baseball

Baseball is almost like a religion for me. Truly, baseball has saved me more than once in my life. When many other things seemed to go missing in my life, baseball was always there.

My favorite older brother went off to college when I was 10. I missed him terribly, especially that first year or two that he was gone. He had really been more like a father to me than my own father, who I pretty much couldn’t stand at the time. One of the first things I would do whenever Chris came home for a holiday or school…

“The Pen is Mightier than the Bat”, or “A Hat Thief vs. the All-Time Hits Leader — Who’s First in the Hall of Fame?”

This is me around the age I was at the beginning of this story

And so we have come to my most famous, and most oft-told story involving baseball. It was a twi-night doubleheader in late June of 1965. The Reds were in town and I was getting two games in for the price of one. That’s how doubleheaders used to work, back in the day. It was a deal I could rarely pass up — if they were playing two, I was probably there.

I paid my dollar to sit in the left-field bleachers. By the 3rd inning of the first game, I had already shimmied up the drain pipe on the wall…

The Facts of Life/The Stats of Baseball

Me with the other neighborhood kids from Berkshire Avenue — I’m on the left, second row back. Jack Tepe is to my right. Behind me is Tommy Burgunder, a blind kid who played baseball with us.

My early trips to Forbes Field opened me up to the wonders of baseball, revealing a whole new world of awe and beauty in the game. I felt more at home at that ballpark than I did — anywhere else. Baseball was clearly in my blood, and in my soul.

When I was 8, my family moved to a new neighborhood just about 5 blocks away from Midland Street, to Berkshire Avenue. It might just as well have been on the other side of the world. …

The Home Team Comes to Bat

The left field scoreboard at old Forbes Field

My earliest memory of Major League Baseball came three years after the broken nose incident. The Pittsburgh Pirates, our home team, had made it to the 1960 World Series for the first time since 1927, when my mom was 3 and my dad was 9. I was 5 that year myself, and really had no idea what all the fuss was about. I just knew that everywhere I went, I heard people talking about the “world serious” — but it didn’t sound serious, it sounded exciting!

The whole city was abuzz with talk of the Pirates, and the Pirates delivered…

The Cottage, Broken Noses and Heroes

Uncle Roman, Mom and Dad, Cousins Freddie, Carol and Janey Eichenlaub, siblings Julie, Jim, Brian, Chris and Ken standing in front of The Cottage

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a deep and abiding love of the game of baseball. Some of my fondest memories revolve around this fascinating game. My earliest memory, of course, involves getting my nose broken by a baseball bat when I was but 2 ½ years old. I have vivid memories surrounding that unfortunate incident — but they are mostly good memories.

I remember being with my Mom and Aunt Laulie at the little store in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, where we bought worms for fishing, and groceries and whatever else we needed back at the cottage. I can…

Adventures and Shared Circumstances

With our Myers cousins in Mt. Jewitt, Pa. — circa 1962 or 1963. David’s hanging from the branch — I’m up in the tree.

We got the sad news a couple weeks ago that my cousin David lost his battle with cancer and passed away, down near Dallas, Texas. Of my 42 first cousins, he’s now the second (that I know of) to go. He’s the first that was younger than me. I think he was just a few months younger than me.

David’s family, like mine, had 7 kids — I think he was the 5th, while I was the 6th in mine. Both of us were the youngest boys in our respective families. He had 3 older brothers…

Rambling Through Forests of My Soul

The Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, where I grew up

Days flip by like pages in a book
Sleeping heart sighs for love that’s not around
Sculptured thoughts form, blunt edges chiseled fine
In the waking hours of morn there are no other sounds.

Through forests of my soul to the water I am drawn,
To watch the river roll neverending to the sea
And see that my own life is somewhat like this river,
Flowing towards the ocean that sets my spirit free.

(A poem I once wrote as a sailor out at sea).

As I awoke at 2 a.m. and couldn’t get…

A Late Night Ramble

An old historic house not far from here — photo by me

For a number of reasons, I was laying awake, tossing and turning, my mind drifting to many places in that half-awake, half-still-dreaming state, when I finally gave it up and picked up my IPhone and punched up my old Cowbird account. I started reading some old stories. I read a bunch I wrote during the final days of Cowbird, right before they shut it down to new content, 4 years ago this month, in March of 2017. That was back when I used to write every day. This is my first story since March 12th, only my second story this…

And Vaccine Shaming — Don’t Do It!

Fredericksburg, Va — a lovely little part of Virginia — just not quite as quick on the pick-up, when it comes to getting the damn vaccines in supply.

“And here I sit so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You need to pay to get out of going
Through all these things twice

Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis Blues again?”

Bob Dylan, from “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”

I have vaccine envy. Yes, that’s a thing. It started a couple months ago, when the facebook posts started popping up on my feed — “Got my first shot!” “Got my second shot.” “I’m in the clear, I can go out to…

Hawkeye Pete Egan B.

Connecting the dots. Storytelling helps me to make sense of this world, and of my life. I love writing and reading. Writing is like breathing, for me.

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