|Old Comiskey, Harry Caray, Jimmy Piersall|
I had a dream....
|Crinoid stems in limestone|
I had several dreams, actually. Ones that I admitted to all the world when I filled out an interest survey in the library of the Orland Junior High. Of course, I don't know what occupations the other boys and girls signed up for after browsing through the various options. The cards were quite pragmatic about the job prospects for each career. Because I loved collecting rocks and fossils, walking along stream beds and hiking trails with my head down, I thought being a geologist would be interesting. The career card was quite frank about the prospects, cautioning me that I was unlikely to get paid for being a rock hound; most geologists worked for petroleum companies after taking lots of science and math.
My other aspiration was even more quixotic: I wanted to be a baseball announcer. I had spent my entire life listening to Jack Buck and Harry Caray...even Jack Brickhouse! I could just see myself taking a seat up in the booth, donning a headset and marking up my scorebook while sending the play by play over the airwaves to fans all over the Midwest.
Alas, I could find no card in the library with the prerequisites for becoming a baseball announcer...
The arrowheads and brachiopods and crinoid stems stayed in their shoeboxes...as did the baseball cards.
Even though Laura and I both had tricycles when we were little, the next step up from three wheels was not a bicycle, but roller skates. Our house was on a corner lot, so a girl could get a little wind through her hair sweeping around the curve. Steel wheeled skates like "I've got a brand new pair of roller skates" didn't have a long life span; the wheels picked up little bits of gravel, pitching the skater onto her knees, and eventually, the bearings would spread and the bb's inside would spill out onto the sidewalk. What a joy it was to go a skating rink where the wooden wheels glided across the floor! I learned to skate backwards and even crossover going around the rink. I may not have been going that fast, but the rumbling of the wheels made me feel like a freight train under a head of steam.
Of course, I was an utter failure at other athletic endeavors; I could run, but could never master a cartwheel, ruining any chance of being a cheerleader, though I jumped and yelled at recess with all the other little girls. I flung myself into the air from the mini-trampoline...only to land flat on my back attempting a front flip, losing my breath and walking on tenterhooks for weeks afterwards.
I did write lots of stories, even a book(!)..of sorts...titled Time Machine Travels featuring my two best friends at the time...and me. Funny thing is I don't even remember which time travel book provided the idea, but I do know that my grandmother's writing was the inspiration. All those little newsprint note pads covered with 10 year old cursive! I scribbled on all kinds of scrap paper, numbering every sheet to measure my accomplishment.
Lord knows I can't turn a cartwheel!