Nevah and I got a little stir-crazy a few weeks ago and made a short vacation trip to northwest Arkansas to see our long-time friend and accountant Wright Ledger and his lovely missus.
We went down on a Friday afternoon just before the weekend opening of the huge arts and crafts extravaganza that blankets that corner of Arkansas every fall.
We didn’t leave until the next Wednesday morning and during those five days we took in several of the arts and crafts shows, watched several Kansas City Royals playoff games against the Toronto Bluejays, watched two baseball tournament games starring the Ledger’s 11-year-old grandson, (His team won both games and the tourney title.), played 18-holes of cow pasture pool and even absorbed a little culture and knowledge by spending a few hours looking at the fine art exhibits at the Crystal Bridges Art Museum and at the history museum of Walmart in the downtown Bentonville Five and Dime store first opened by Sam Walton on his way to becoming a billionaire.
I’ll explain the Crystal Bridges Art Museum a little bit for the unfamiliar reader. It’s a huge avant-garde structure, funded entirely by the extended Walton family of Walmart, located in a hidden, heavily wooded valley. Admission is free and the art exhibits encompass the full scope of art from the Old World Masters to modern abstract and free-form. Along the numerous wooded trails on the grounds are a variety of interesting sculptures.
I’ll admit that fine arts never sparked my interest unless it had a western theme or a wildlife theme, but the Crystal Bridges was an interesting place to visit. A little culture never hurt anyone, especially a hayseed like me.
I mentioned attending the baseball tournament of our friend’s grandson. Well, I’ve met the youngster before, but it wuz several years ago and I knew he wouldn’t recognize me.
Well, he hit a strong triple that put his team in the lead in the first game and so after the game while he wuz talking to his dad and granddad, I strolled up and casually asked, “Aren’t you the player who his that game winning triple?”
He nodded in the affirmative.
So I went on, “Well, let me tell you, young man, that play impressed me so much that I’d like to get your autograph on the bill of my cap because I think you’ll be a star someday.”
Taken aback, he looked at me like I’d arrived from outer space, but then he stammered, “But, I don’t have a pen.”
So, I pulled a pen from my pocket, handed it to him, and he signed his name on the bill. His dad and granddad got a big kick out of that.
But, there’s more. In the second game, the kid hit another triple. While he wuz standing on third base, I approached his cute 9-year-old sister, who had arrived between the games, and said, “You look like that kid on third base. Are you his sister?”
She smiled and said, “Yes.”
I continued, “Well, I got his autograph because I think he’s gonna be a baseball star someday and I’d like to get the autograph of his sister, too.”
The young lady readily agreed and signed my cap bill on the other side from her brother.
“I’ll be famous showing this cap around when I get back to Kansas,” I said. “And, someday it might be worth a lot of money.”
Who knows? Maybe it will. Every baseball star started out small.
I must include in this column the fact that the Kansas City Royals have won the World Series — making hundreds of thousands of fans deliriously happy. I enjoyed the outcome of the Series like everyone else, but I’m always extra happy when anything good happens in “fly-over” country that’s at the expense of folks on either the east or west coasts. Plus, it puts the lame-stream sports media talking heads and media moguls in a dither.
Nevah and I were in Kansas City on Tuesday when an estimated 800,000 “Royal Blue” folks celebrated with their team in downtown KC. But, lucky me, our computer bizness was confined to the southern edge of KC and we enjoyed the lack of traffic where we had to drive.
However, even after a few hours in the city, it wuz good to get back to the peace and quiet of the Flint Hills. After a city visit, I always realize that I’m living in a very small parallel universe to the hustle and bustle life of city folks.
My friend Mocephus and I went fishing two days ago and just as were about to leave the pond becuz the fishing wuz slow, the crappie began to bite and we netted 20 nice filleting-size fish in about a half-hour. Sure will be good eating.
Also, a big thanks to my Missouri friend Dubya Jay for the gift of kettle corn and the stringer of wooden fish made out of cedar. Those fish won’t fry up very well, but they sure look good hanging on a wall.
Did ya’ know doctors are now asking if you own guns? It’s a question on the Medicare renewal forms. Makes me wonder how knowing about gun ownership in any way applies to medical care quality and eligibility? I’ll end this column with some advice, not some wisdom. My advice: Don’t answer the question.