Friday, August 19, 2011

The Great Wallenda

Busy Thursday. At lunch I ran to the cleaners, returned an extra pair of baseball pants at Sports Authority, looked for a pair of shoes for Will, and ran through the Taco Bell drive-through. Lots to do at work as well.

Left work at 3:15 and headed down Peachtree Industrial toward 285. The on ramp was jammed, so I stayed on PIB down to Brookhaven, then cut over to 85 on North Druid Hills. Made it down to my usual parking space by 4:05 pm.

The dollar line already stretched to the big baseballs in Monument Grove, but I was still early enough to get a ticket. John Parkes was once again at the front of the line. I fell into conversation with four other “bobbleheads”…fans there to collect the Dan Uggla bobblehead. Two were Turner Field employees who wanted a ticket to collect the giveaway. One had three regular tickets and needed a place to “stash” each bobblehead while she exited the stadium and re-entered. Another lady said she’d help, if she’d get an extra one for her.

Another guy used to work as an usher at the old stadium, and knew the famous elderly usher Walter Banks. This guy said he had to hold one of the guide wires supporting The Great Wallenda when he walked the tightrope over Atlanta Stadium. I’d forgotten that Wallenda had stood on his head halfway through the walk. He also dropped a ball that catcher Earl Williams caught. As my new usher friend spoke, a lady fan in a red Braves jersey approached and handed him two tickets in section 101. She had wanted to give them to a father and son.

Once inside I tracked down my two “Ministers of Batting Practice” friends Johnny and Marshal. Marshal had his young grandson with him. Then I chatted with the designated driver lady, who was still fuming over the previous night’s loss. This would be a great pitcher’s duel between Lincecum and Minor/O’Flanery/Venters/Kimbrel, with Chipper’s homer the game’s only run.

Great game, but I missed it. Since it was Anna’s birthday, I headed home after spending ten minutes in the park. To escape rush hour traffic I took 20 West and 285 North to Cobb Parkway. Since Ceil and Anna were still out shopping, I stopped by a used car dealership and two thrift stores. A quick thundershower meant we all couldn’t take Matthew out to practice, so I made another trip to get party favors: Blockbusters to rent Leap Year, PaPa Johns for a pizza, and Kroger for ice cream.

Back home I started to tidy up. C and A returned at 8:30. Next I had to pick up Will from his first day at work. Indian Hills is a nearby maze of neighborhood streets. In the last 15 years I’ve been past the clubhouse once. In the dark it took me 15 minutes of driving down every street to find the parking lot. I could see the clubhouse, but finding the street was a different matter. Will said he’s had a good day. Back home Anna had laid out all the clothes she’d gotten. Leap Year didn’t finish until 11:20. Friday morning I slept an hour late.

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