Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Casey At the Bar

    The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
    He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
    And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
    And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

    Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
    And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
    But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.
                                                  - Earnest Thayer

Those are the final two verses of “Casey At the Bat,” written in 1888 and one of the most familiar poems about baseball ever.

We have the Minnesota Twins, but we also have the St. Paul Saints, a member of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, and they’re more fun.  I can’t remember the last time I went to a Twins game, but I go to a Saints game at least once a season.  The tickets cost way less money, plus their arena is smaller, so we sit closer to them, you can watch them sweat and strain, laugh and work.  They are professional, so the playing is great, almost big-league level.  And they do goofy things, like hang a volunteer from the crowd in a harness on a billboard behind the right field fence.  There is some huge money prize if he catches a ball.  I think that money is safer than if it were in a bank.

Yesterday I had lunch with a book club in Excelsior.  They had all read at least one of the Betsy Devonshire books and were very enthusiastic about the series.  All women, all seniors, so we had a lot in common.  One of the great perks of being a published writer is going to these affairs.

I haven’t anything else to say, so to fill space, here’s a picture of the cookie jar given to me by a good friend.  Hedgehogs are much beloved in England.  The male nurse in Leicester Royal Infirmary, where I spent most of my vacation in England last money, supports a group of them in his back garden and entertained me with funny stories about them.  Meet probably the most famous (fictional) hedgehog, Mrs. Tiggywinkle:


Linda O. Johnston said...

Getting together with readers is definitely fun. And what an adorable cookie jar!

Betty Hechtman said...

The cookie jar is fun. The book group must have been honored to have you as a guest.