Friday, August 18

Dear Jim,

It´s been in the eighties for over a week. It feels like the Bay Area. I´ve been sleeping well and have not turned the air-conditioner on for a while.

I just finished reading an article in the NYT sports section. It says the owner of the Red Sox wants to change the name of the street outside Fenway Park. It´s called Yawkey Way.

The owner thinks Yawkey was a racist for being the last owner to hire black players. I don´t know if you would agree with the owner.

I don´t. If the owner was honest, he would say he is asking the City of Boston to change the name so he doesn´t lose customers as the country becomes less white.

What a statement that would be. Conservatives would appreciate the honesty. Liberals would hate the honesty. I don´t know what the uneducated non-white people would think. Maybe they would say they wish the motives were pure, but they would probably shrug and say they are glad the name was changed.

Maybe they don´t give a shit. It´s the educated non-white people who claim racism about everything.

There is a controversy over removing Confederate statues in Southern parks and other public places. If the movement succeeds, where will it end? Statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be removed. Teddy Roosevelt´s statue would be removed. So would FDR´s. Jackson Street would be renamed. Sutter Street would be renamed.

There was a letter-to-the-editor that said what is being overlooked in the debate about Confederate statues is the names of two forts – Fort Hood and Fort Bragg. The author says both forts are named after Confederate generals. He says renaming these forts is imperative, much more important than removing monuments.

I don know if General Hood or General Bragg were talented generals. If they were then don´t change the names. If they weren´t, then why keep the name of a lousy general?

The writer of the letter said that since the generals were fighting for slavery, their names should be removed. But what if they had great courage and inspired their soldiers and were trusted by their president? They could inspire black, brown, and yellow soldiers to have high standards of bravery and patriotism for their country like those two generals did for theirs. In fact, it is showing confidence as a nation and as a branch of the government to name two forts after noble enemies. How is that for diversity and tolerance?

It amazes me that so many educated white people jump on the racism bandwagon. They don´t see, or won´t admit, that the more white people admit guilt, the more demands will be made of them and the more they will be hated.

It´s easy for non-white people to claim racism and protest against racism. The universities support them. The major media supports them. It´s a lot easier to say fuck you today than in 1960. Maybe that is a reason King didn´t say it. It wasn´t socially acceptable. It is a lot easier to blame other people for your problems than in 1960.

There´s a billboard at one of the bus shelters. It shows a black college graduate in his cap and gown with his son with him. The sign says schools not prisons.

What horseshit. Most black guys don´t care about school. Universities would love to have more black male students. Dad said he stopped voting for school bonds because the schools got worse and worse as they received more and more money.

Remember when you were in college? The black activists weren´t there to get PHD´s and become diplomats to African countries. They were there to cause trouble. That friend of Sis II´s was hounded by the black activists to join the BSU but she refused.

Back to the South. The other day I came across a baseball anthology. One of the chapters was about announcers. The writer said that most of the great announcers grew up in the South. The reason is that storytelling between pitches is what makes announcers great. Announcers from the South grew up sitting on the front porch where everybody told stories. I remember when you said America´s greatest fiction writers are from the South – Melville, Faulkner, O´Connor.

It´s funny. I stopped following baseball a long time ago. You always followed it.

One of the major changes I noticed is how big the arms of the players are. When the Yankees were great around 1999, I was astounded when I saw a photograph of their huge arms being raised after a home run. I said to the guys I worked with – ¨Willie Mays didn´t have arms like that.¨

Remember that night you and dad came to see me play and I had all those passed balls? I was embarrassed. You were disgusted. Dad didn´t say anything.

I never saw you play. I remember how dejected you were when you were cut in the last round at college. I remember the green sweatshirt you wore to practice. I kept it a long time.

When I played Pony League the coach liked my drive. You remember him. He knew I loved being a catcher.

He also coached Babe Ruth. Once he invited me to catch at one of their practice games. Wow. The pitcher was fast, but he always hit my target. It was scary, but it was easier than catching the pitchers at my level.

Another time the coach said there was a Babe Ruth game at Balboa Park. Why don´t I go see the best catcher and best pitcher working together?

I could not believe how good they were. The catcher was so much more talented, powerful, and confident than I was that I wasn´t envious. I just accepted it and realized I wasn´t going anywhere.

That catcher never wanted to go anywhere. He stopped playing baseball before his senior year. He wanted to spend his non-school time being a salesman.

I love you Jim.

Is there a Polo Grounds up there?



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