Connecting the dots, from home plate to the mountain top
Went to the ball game in Baltimore last Saturday night. Os vs Royals. Royals won, but not until 1:30 the next morning. Three hour rain delay. Other local people were there too. Lots of wet butts.
National Bohemian beer tasted good washing down one of Polock Johnny's best. Italian sausage with The Works. Didn't look so good but tasted great. Rain kept the can full.
Eddie Murray night. No. 33. 500 home runs. 19 grand slams, Hall of Famer. Batted over .400 with men in scoring position. Quiet. All business. Ed-die! Ed-die! Pitch. Crack of the bat. Good bye! World champions.
Waves and waves of rain. They didn't want to cancel the game. Eddie was there with all his family and they wanted to get a field-side ceremony in. At 10:15, still a decent crowd, National Weather Service gave the high sign. Grounds crew rolled back the infield cover. Jim Palmer, Ozzie Smith, Cal Ripkin, Earl Weaver all on hand.
Brooks Robinson around for the unveiling of a life-size statue of Eddie. Earlier in the evening. Had to go home before the rain let up. Past his bed time, but he looked great. Same light blue sport coat he worn several years ago when he was in Dewey Beach signing autographs. Signed one for me for my brother. Love Brooks. Great guy.
Announcer Jim Hunter introduced former Birds manager Earl Weaver. Feisty Earl. Kicked some dirt on home plate on his way to ceremony at pitcher's mound. Crowd hooted and hollered. Forgot the rain delay.
Great ceremony. Not much of a game to follow. Players hung around the locker room for three hours after warming up. Clouds thought warm ups a rain dance. Sheets of rain. Buckets of rain. Listless ball players. Midnight baseball. Poker game. Back to the stadium next day after little sleep. Birds took that one. Split with the Royals.
Lunch at the Black Olive
Before the rain game, we walked over to Fells Point for late lunch at The Black Olive. Bond Street. Jeff Fried recommended it years ago. Still one of Baltimore's best. Lots of fresh, whole fish. Greek coffee in a tiny cup. Residue at the bottom thick as molasses. Full tablespoon. No problem staying awake through the end of the game. Staticky caffeine sleep at the Days Inn. Roller Derby girls from Seattle prepping for Sunday match with Pittsburgh. SemiAutomatic. TeenyMussolini. Great girls. Roller Derby match probably better than the late game.
Back to the Black Olive. Same neighborhood where slave, later abolitionist, Frederick Douglas learned to read, sitting on neighborhood stoops. Portrait on the wall of the Black Olive. Managing Partner Stelios Spiliadis loved that we recognized Douglas. Hero. Admiration.
Last table during lunch hours. Memorable. Stelios hooked us up with a crisp, white Greek wine, Malagousia grapes. Beautiful, with two china saucers laden with slabs of grilled sheep's milk cheese. Fresh sardines wrapped in grape leaves. Octopus salad. Fish soup, scallops, Greek salads. Salmon. Baklava. We chewed, drank, Stelios talked. Delightful. Outside. Wall of grape vines.
Stelios told us about a symposium he is assembling. Food, politics and economics. Crete diet – one of the world's healthiest. Seafood and greens. Simplicity. Low blood pressure. Super low incidence of heart disease. Talked about transition of subsistence farming to market place and development of the polis around these earliest markets. All the way back to the Minoan culture. Free market. Politics. Social economics. Food and the earliest governments. I invited him to Delaware's Culinary Coast to repeat symposium. “Sure,” he said. “Would love to.” Stay tuned.
Spot the menhaden vessel?
Lewes artist Steve Rogers keeps up with old menhaden fishing vessels. Makes models of them. Paints their pictures. Heard about one named Promised Land - once one of Otis Smith's vessels. Said he was told the vessel was up a creek near Piney Point, on Maryland's Western Shore. No way to get to the creek to take a look. Wouldn't have mattered anyway. Vessel was hauled up the creek and sunk.
Rogers went on Google Earth. Zoomed into the creek. Lo and behold! Eureka! There, just as distinct as a heart etched in the bark of a beech tree. The clear outline of the Promised Land. So cool. Steve will be at the Art League's outdoor art show this coming weekend. Stop by and say hi, and, great find!
The night before he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech in Memphis. Talked about the “threats that were out.” Earlier in the speech quoted FDR: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Said he had been to the mountain top. Said he had seen the Promised Land. Said he was afraid of no man. Concluded, loud and clear: “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”
Unbelievable. Dead the next day. His words and fearlessness still ringing. Still ringing.