Some of my neighbors watch me walk around in short sleeves and ask if I am ok.
“It is 35 degrees outside and you are from California. Aren’t you cold?”
I smile and tell them I grew up in the Valley and that 35 is familiar to me.
Sometimes one will argue with me because they have spent way too much time watching television/movies and think the temperature never drops below 75.
They are the same people who don’t know enough about LA to know you can’t drive two blocks from downtown/Westside/Valley andÂ stumbleÂ upon the beach.
Twenty some odd years ago if it was the weekend you might have been able to do that ride in 15-20 minutes but it isn’t like that any more.
Not that it matters for me, I am landlocked now and my spur of the moment trips to Malibu or Santa Monica are…limited.
Generations- Cub Fans Avoid Winter Of Discontent
Familiarity doesn’t always lend itself to comfort or complacency which is a fancy way of saying I am not particularly fond of cold.
I deal with it when needed and if I had to become accustomed to something more severe I would.
Hell, when an arctic front blew through here and we got some snow and temperatures in the twenties I still went outside and walked around.
Part of me wondered if perhaps I wasÂ blessedÂ with sort of generational DNA something or other that made it easier.
Did the ghosts of generations of Chicagoans whose lineage I share pass along aÂ resistanceÂ to the cold or was it just my way of saying mom and dad did it so I can too.
It is not really a question and the answer doesn’t necessarily matter, it is just one of those things a man thinks about when he is stuck on hold listening to awful hold music.
Kind of funny to me to think about how my kids don’t think about Chicago like I do because they didn’t grow up hearing stories about it and wonder if half the city was related to them.
Thanks to the magic of Facebook and the fact long distance telephone calls are no longer prohibitively expensive I talk to a bunch of those Chicago relatives.
More than a few are Cub fans who are still riding the high from their championship and eagerly awaiting the coming season.
Won’t be long before we start seeing them start singing Go! Cubs! Go!
Speaking of baseball I still find it surreal to realize many people wouldn’t pick it as our national pastime.
Feels strange to realize it might be a decade since I played in a softball game and longer since I played real baseball.
I didn’t walk away from the game or make an active decision to stop playing.
Much has to do with time and accessibility. It was easier to go play some pickup hoop at the gym.
Didn’t need as many people and the weather never affected our ability to play.
But that doesn’t make the little boy that lives inside feel better or forget how much he loved to play.
He still dreams of making the Dodgers and still thinks that given the chance he could have been a player.
Never cared as much about being the greatest as he did about just being a part of The Show.
Well, that is not entirely true because that little boy can watch the clip below and he will always smile and dream of being that guy.
It is a dozen years or so ago and I am a kid’s birthday party.
A bunch of the dads are standing in the back talking while we keep half an eye on the kids who are running, climbing and jumping on, over and around each other.
One of the moms walks over and tells us it would be nice if we stood closer to the kids because you never know when one will get hurt and need help.
Her husband tells her to relax and we try not to start laughing when she gives him a look.
She walks away and he starts getting grief.
“Better buy her some flowers or you won’t get any for a week.”
“You are an idiot, he has three kids, he hasn’t gotten any in three years.”
“Ignore them Jim, just wear your jersey and it will be like you two are back in high school.”
Jim offers his retorts and then says it is time to accept we’re not 18 anymore and that our playing days are behind us.
I look at him and tell him I’ll be able to hit major league pitching until I am 76 or maybe 78.
The guys look at me like I am insane and give me their reasons for why it will not and cannot happen.
I just smile and say that a man who doesn’t dream is dead and that I’ll never stop dreaming.
And I won’t.
Larry February 3, 2017 at 10:27 am
Loved The Natural.
Something about baseball symbolizes youth – maybe it’s the time of year and playing out in a field.
Didn’t know you were from Chicago.
Go through a whole winter in a place where it can be brutal and then, we’ll talk. I hate winter.
Jack Steiner February 4, 2017 at 5:45 pm
My family is from Chicago, I was born and raised in LA so I am truly a Californian at heart.
I am more happy not to go through a brutal winter. 🙂
Baseball is youth, that is for sure.