2018-06-27 / Here's the Scoop

It's almost July

Just a few more days and we’ll be there — July, my favorite month. There are many reasons why I like July; chief among them is that it almost never snows. There’s also the fact that July generally doesn’t involve going to school — despite the fact that “Back to School” sales are already in full swing. How depressing. In addition to it not being a terribly snowy month, July generally has some of the year’s warmest temperatures. And fireflies. July is also great month for carnivals, barbecues and all sorts of outdoor hobbies such a beer-tasting events with friends. In our family, July is also filled with celebrations, as many birthdays fall during this month. My birthday is among those landing in July. Loyal Facebook fans (of which I am NOT one) may be scratching their heads and recalling that news of my “birthday” was posted weeks ago.

A lie slipped past

Even though, as a general rule, everything on Facebook is pretty much true (except the stuff that isn’t), a careful reading of the post about my birthday reveals that I told people it was my “special day” as a joke — and as a ploy to get presents. It worked — too well — as I got a bunch of online birthday wishes and some lovely gifts. None of the presents were wrapped, but that’s just me nitpicking about something I wasn’t even really eligible to receive. In my defense, “foreigners” posted the news of my prebirthday. Oddly enough, in this case, they were not Russians, but Scots! So, just in case the Facebook folks come after me for spreading false information, I want to cover my butt — and place the blame squarely on others.

Anyhow, because of the fact that my birthday hadn’t really occurred, I’m starting to worry that those “early” presents will cut into my actual well-earned haul for another year of existence. I was joking people. Please don’t let me down on my REAL special day.

Diamond days

Another association I always have with July is baseball — softball, too. When the weather turns warm my thoughts always drift back to the days of playing Legion baseball — cheered on by the Girls of Summer in their warm weather gear. And later battling for softball titles in the Margaretville and Fleischmanns leagues. To me, those were really special times. Today, my competitive outlet is limited to Fantasy Baseball. I love this “sport,” too, and the nice part is the biggest risk of injury is concussions from smacking my forehead when someone beats me to a prime player pick on draft night. That being said, there’s nothing like the real diamond action with the scent of a well-worn leather glove and a finely timed swing followed by the crack of bat meeting ball. All these years later, I remain personally opposed to aluminum bats, because a “ping” is nowhere near as pleasant as a “smack” sound. That’s just me being “old school,” but I’d settle for either sound if it meant the return of baseball or softball action in these parts. That’s why it’s good to see vintage baseball making a comeback in the region, funny rules and all.

I know it’s pointless to yearn for the return of such days, but I still get enjoyment recalling those summer evenings, competing against friends and then rehashing game details while quaffing a few “Silver Bullets” at Frankie’s Place. Seems like that was so many Julys and birthdays ago.

— Brian Sweeney

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