Enjoy these Front Porch Moments from Bill and share your favorites with your family and friends. He'd love to meet you at Front Porch ice cream events. Oh, and by the way, his favorite flavor is Nana’s Banana Pudding.
Baseball Story Part 2
I walked through the entry way between the stands and stood there a few minutes. Before me was much that had not changed in fifty years and much that had. The high school team that was taking batting practice was on a field much like the one of my youth, a field of dark, smooth green grass and the dirt a light orange--every feature clear and distinctive.
But it was the grandstand that had changed. It was new: folding plastic seats, metal bleachers, and piping around the box seats. It was the roof that really caught my eye. It was made of wood, new wood supported by steel posts, but still a shingled roof like the one I remembered.
Nostalgia covered my mind just like the grandstand roof shaded my body. In that edited vision of time I pictured my father and me sitting there just as we had half a century ago. All the sights, sounds and smells came back to me: an ice cream cone melting fast in the summer sun faster than I could eat it, the smell of cigars and popcorn, the chatter of the players warming up, the cry of “Peanuts! Boiled peanuts! Get’em while they hot!’’, all creating the excitement of seeing “real baseball” through the eyes of a twelve-year old boy. I tried to hold that memory as long as I could but after a few minutes the present crept back in.
There was a man sitting alone in one of the box seats in front of where I was standing. I walked down and introduced myself. He told me he had played with the Indians in this stadium but he was retired now and came out often to watch whatever team was playing there. We talked for a long time about some of the players he knew and some I remembered who had gone on to the majors. I wanted to stay and watch the high school team play but I had to keep my speaking appointment.
As I was leaving I could hear the chatter of the players on the field. They were young voices just like the voices of fifty years ago.
About Bill Thompson
For over 40 years, Bill Thompson has traveled the Carolinas delighting folks with his commentary on Southern staples: food, farming, music, family and neighbors. He's been the master of ceremonies for hundreds of events celebrating the things that make the South special - from the Hollering Contest in Spivey's Corner to the Wolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, the Grits Festival in South Carolina, and he's even judged a sweet tea contest in Georgia. In the process, he's had the chance to meet some fine Southerners and hear their own stories. He's authored three books, one named, "Sweet Tea, Fried Chicken and Lazy Dogs: A Reflection of North Carolina Life."