Sense of Kinship
Our nightly ritual during Red Sox season is to bring our dinner into the tv room, settle onto the black couch, pull up the tray tables and watch the game. Since the season runs from April to October, that's a lot of tv dinners, so to speak.
When yet another boring commercial comes on, I drift back to junior high, or maybe high school, and Grandma Pete is close in my mind. Just like us now, she never missed a Sox game on tv. A rather more complicated procedure than just clicking on the proper cable channel, it involved regular minor adjustments to the antenna, turning the rotor and searching for the best, or at least passable reception, unfortunately too often at crucial points in the game. How she would have loved seeing her favorite Ted Williams, clear and crisp in high definition on a wide screen tv, along with endless replays of game highlights.
Way before Grandma was a tv fan, she and Grandpa would make the long drive from Orange, probably 2-1/2 to 3 hours each way, to see games in person at Fenway. Their friend, Mitch Goyette, who ran the corner store, gave them their first tickets to a home game and they were hooked. They were at Fenway for the longest night game, 15 innings on June 16, 1947, between the Red Sox and St. Louis. That night's highlight was Grandpa's catch of a foul tip off the bat of Tebbets, and the baseball he caught still sits on the mantle in Orange noting the game facts and how it lasted until 1:10 am. My Dad remembers that they didn't get back to Orange until after 4:00 that morning. There's a second ball along with the Tebbets one, but the cover has come off, baring the string core and making the writing illegible.
That close connection with Grandma Pete continued out in the strawberry patch this weekend while I sweated, long after the others had finished picking, making sure I didn't miss even the tiniest berry. Grandma always was a stickler about that. And once they're patiently picked over, right down to the last, mini berry, I enjoy them just like I used to when Grandma would let me have strawberries for breakfast, lunch and dinner.