Robert Jackson – October 30, 2020

Just two years as Riverton’s baseball coach and Government teacher, I’m learning area lore.  Like every hundred years the Little Indian floods terribly, rearranging its banks.  This spring it cut through school baseball and football fields. For the next hundred years won’t be much baseball or football there. Maybe we’ll be relocated by football season.  Not baseball.

Superintendent Weitz listened to me complain I’d scheduled all our games away but hadn’t found anywhere within fifty miles to practice.  Looked like we’d scrub baseball season.

District bus drivers, bachelor farmer Rabbit Jackson and his cousin Hands Maury, overheard when they came into the office to file weeklies.  They both listened with unusual interest, then discussed a private matter.  Jackson cornered me as I left.

“Farm’s five miles south on Meeker, then a mile west on Bluff Road.  Pop by after school tomorrow.  Gonna have something might interest you.”

So I did.  At the side of the big barn, Jackson started, “Old Fordson’s scraper blade works pretty good.  Field oughta do for practice.  Barn side for a backstop.  Outfield’s real good since I got the rough spots smoothed-out.  No lights.  Have to practice while the sun shines.”

Indeed.  Jackson’s Fordson carved a diamond with a grassy infield, dirt basepaths, and left a huge velvet outfield.  Minor league caliber except it was fenceless.

“Why, Jackson?” It was a stupid question, but it was on my mind.

“Maury and I figgered the kids need that team experience.”

“You play baseball in school?”  Seemed obvious to me.

“Nah. Maury did.  I can’t glove.  Ran track.  Back in sixty-one and sixty-two, Cleets Harrison, Pokey Schuman, Baggy Spencer and I took mile relay at state.  I was anchor.  Fast, too.”

“Oh, I see now…”

“Yunh.  Name’s Robert.  Nickname stuck.  They do, you know?” 

“Field sure looks nice, Mr. Jackson…”

“Rabbit.  That bus coming down Bluff is Maury and your team. I gotta tend feeders. You got a team to get ready.  Hands’ll help.” Jackson turned to leave.

“Mr. Jackson…”

“Yunh?”

“Thanks.”

“You bet.”

The bus squealed to a stop.  Everybody got to work.

**

FF:8.5; WC:345

Published by spwilcen

Retired career IT software engineer, or as we were called in the old days, programmer, it's time to empty my file cabinet of all the "creative" writing accumulated over the years - toss most of it, salvage and publish what is worthwhile.

10 thoughts on “Robert Jackson – October 30, 2020

    1. Yes, sort of, kinda. Cricket, rounders, baseball of the same idea. Brooklyn (later Los Angeles) Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, all that. Myself, when I no longer played or had children in the games, I considered “sport” frivilious and those who devoted much time to it the same. Still do. But “sport” is a cultural thing most understand, like cricket and your football (our soccer). Working to a readership, have to pin characters and event to things people understand and like (or hate). Policework, farming, high steel, and REAL computing have comparatively limited understanding. Thanks for the read, sir and for taking time to yak at me.

  1. Went to a couple of baseball games when I lived in the states and frankly my friend I was bored 😐 I am a football ⚽️ fan, Barcelona FC is my team in Spain, Liverpool in England, Celtics in Scotland and PSG in France…

    1. Baseball is for PLAYING, not watching. Now if I had the stones for Rugby or the stamina for soccer (football) I’d say the same thing but those dudes are full-tilt the whole contest, whereas in baseball, you run like hell for twenty seconds, then stand around, finger up your nose for an hour or so. Gentleman’s game? Snort! Thanks for being such a SUPER blogger and, as I come to see you, a friend.

      1. Thank you, and yes, you are my friend. A great way to explain baseball…I like Rugby a lot but I am not too much a fan of NFL Football, rather I would say it should be called “handball” as the ball is handled and not footed…what do you think?

      2. Yeah but the name “handball” was already taken. I hear they though to use “ping pong: but they found that taken too. I’d suggest “money ball,” or “Cheerleaders” but don’t think anyone will ask.

      3. Brilliant! You’re a crack my friend! Great suggestions, they should have asked! All the best, we are heading into Saturday night Halloween, which has become quite the fancy here in Spain!

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