Sitting in the bleachers at North Shore Park here in Saint Petersburg, Florida, watching the gentlemen from the Kids & Kubs baseball league warm up. A few have wandered to their cars. I don’t know if they’re getting ready to play or if they already have. Actually, as I was writing that, they fanned out across the field. So apparently I’m about to take in a baseball game.
I came here to write a chapter of Crewe, which takes place here, oddly enough during a Kids & Kubs game. I didn’t expect them to be playing. For some reason I thought they played only on Thursdays. It’s a little depressing to realize that I’m the only person out here under the age of retirement. Okay, I realize it’s a Tuesday amd people are working and all, but I would have thought there’d be a handful of spectators out here. I was the fifth person to climb up into the bleachers.
I’ll have to check late on and figure out who is who. So far in the first inning, the “home” team in the white uniforms are up 2-0.
Well, hell. After that last paragraph my mechanical pencil fell apart. I ran back to the house for some new lead and a bite to eat. By the time I got back, the Kids & Kubs had already cleared out. The park is deserted. I suppose this means that they don’t play nine innings. Or maybe they did and the game just went quickly. Who knows? Those guys are all over 75 years old.
I brought the camera back with me. I might’ve missed the chance to take pictures of the players, but I can still get some images of the park itself. Several scenes are going to take place here. It’d be nice to have some pictures for reference.
I suppose I should get down to my real reason for being here. The last bit I wrote before my pencil fell apart left Crewe bitching about gourmet hot dogs. I should probably see what happened with that.
Here’s a bit of what I wrote, which sort of pertains to the Kids & Kubs. This is Crewe, thinking.
I still admire the old guys. Most retirees park somewhere and wait to die. It takes determination to get up there and make those old bones run around those bases when you’re over seventy five years old. Moxey, some them would call it. How many Kids & Kubs games have I watched through the years? Hundreds? Thousands? Every year since they started in 1932 I’ve caught at least one game every season. Been doing it with Tommy for twenty years, at least. Every year there are new faces. Replacements for the players who have died, or just gotten too older and worn out to play. How do you not admire these guys? They all know this is their last hoorah outside of their families. Their last chance to hang out with their friends with the sun shining on their faces, knocking around a few balls in honor of the little kids that are stil so alive and well inside those battered old bodies. All they’re really after is a chance to prove to themselves that they’re still alive. God help me, I do so know how that feels.