April 6th, 2012 The Ole Ballpark Imagery
Born in San Francisco on Granddad, Odis Lee Parker’s 60th birthday
the 22nd of June 1961 in our City by the Bay.
Listening to silver tongued Lon Simmons on a transistor radio brings me right to the game.
Stoked to get Lon’s autograph, a huge man at Bat Day vs. the Cubs strolling behind home plate.
Windy, foggy, cold, troughs for urinals, only ballpark I know that knows me, Candlestick Park.
I smell the fresh cut grass, hot dogs, golden fries, beer and the cool salty breeze off San Francisco Bay.
Walking through the Excelsior with Granddad at my side, confidence soars like pigeons rise.
Stopping at the corner store for a half pint of Ten High for Granddad to keep the chill in the bay.
Crocker Amazon Park on a Muni bus we wait transfers in hand, caps above with strange San Francisco fans.
Piccolo Pete’s Italian Deli the best sourdough hard roll sandwiches to split inside with ginger ale.
My dad, Oscar Maurice Parker, is a foreman with SF MUNI and is friends with the head
groundskeeper who gave us lifetime passes to any seat in the Stick;
this was our turf the King & Prince atop our thrones at Baghdad by the Bay.
Willie Mays & Willie Mac off the crack of the bat you can Tell it Goodbye as Bonds, Bobby or Barry goes yard.
“Cold beer, red hots, peanuts, chocolate malts,” with a wooden spoon that later I would chew.
The vendors like lost friends and the old black man
hocking beer in the standssells me my 1st at Pacific Bell Park.
He works a slower pace behind a concession selling beer & garlic fries we say hello with respect.
Maneuvering the stands like the alleys I grew up in, girls in toe the ole ballpark is what we know.
We leave & Katie drops a buck in his case as our friend wails on his sax, smiles & plays,
Somewhere Over the Rainbow way up high birds fly over the rainbow why then oh why can’t I.
We round third and head for home.
Season opens today as I listen without Granddad but my girls and nephews now fill this huge void.
Granddad, bus trips, a toast of Ten High with another cast of players and announcers, as old feelings stir anew. The National Anthem, starting line ups; The San Francisco Giants season opener is underway.
Like Grandparents and apple pie, Anchor Steam beer, I watch balls fly, as 5 generations go by.
New memories instill as time is spent by the radio, the broadcast rings like the crack of a bat.