WUMB December Program Guide

It’s a Big Ol’ Goofy World

I am happy to report that I have not turned into a ginger plant.
Between the week I battled a nasty virus and the following ten days – which was our Fall Fundraiser – I seemed to subsist on hand sanitizer and ginger tea. Does anyone have nightmares of morphing into a ginger plant? Just getting that thought must be an indication that Halloween remains in the air…

At this time we do find ourselves steadily traversing the orange brick road between Halloween and Thanksgiving. On that road, we will no doubt encounter reminders of songs we associate with certain times, episodes, and even specific people. Funny how music does that, eh? A bunch of those connections came at me very unexpectedly on October 25th…

johnprineJohn Prine, you and I have never met. But you said it so well: “It’s a big old goofy world.” And then some.

About four years ago a friend told me about a Sunday pick-up softball group I later joined. There were men in their 40’s to 60’s, at least one in his 70’s who shows up reliably. This group started about 35 years ago. Last August, one of the group passed away. (We’ll call him Ron). Another member got the word out to players present and past. And on October 24th, 2015, we had a big game to remember Ron by. I got to the field early and saw a few players warming up. I did not recognize any of them, but they were there for Ron. One of those early players later told me he came out from Minnesota. Another player now lives in Virginia. Another traveled from Iowa. Apparently Ron had played in various leagues and groups, etc. And people who had played in practically all of them showed up. How many people? There are at least nine players on a side in Softball. We had enough to field almost two squads on my team (we alternated every inning). The play was good. The sportsmanship was great. The spirit was off the charts. I did not hit well and had little impact on the game, and yet I came away feeling like it was a great day.

After the game we went to a restaurant to eat and reminisce. I sat across from the guy I mentioned before who came out from Minnesota. Let’s call him Ray. As I was wearing my WUMB windbreaker (“spring jacket” – see WUMB.org to get WUMB-wear), Ray asked me what that was. I told him about WUMB. He told me about listening to Minnesota Public Radio. Somehow he then dropped some references to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California. “Oh yeah, I grew up in that area,” I add. Slight pause. Then he tells me that’s where he went to school as a kid. He drops another Valley reference. I counter with another. Another pause. “Where’d you go to school,” he asks pointedly. I tell him. Looong pause with widening eyes. “You’re kidding me!” He asks me if I know so and so. “Yes, I remember him!” “He and I were best friends in high school,” Ray replies. Ray proceeds to toss out a few names from high school that still resonate in my brain matter (even if only slightly). It turns out that Ray and I graduated from the same high school. And I think he said in the same class year. We also grew up about a block apart.
Imagine…two guys on a chance meeting in Cambridge MA, one who now lives in Boston and one who now lives in Minnesota, both of whom grew up a block apart in Calfornia. Brought together briefly via the memory of a softball player.
Happy reunions, everyone (and Thanksgiving),


Perry Persoff.
P.S. Oh, and thank you all so verrrrrrrry much for your generous contributions to our Fall Fundraiser.
I could not forget that!

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