I watch a good share of professional sports, particularly playoffs, but I really consider myself a fair-weather fan. I learned the hard way back in my Brooklyn Dodger days. I remember telling my Grandmother that I just knew that God was a Yankee fan. I have so many memories of being a fan with her. Every day she’d cut the Major League Standings of the day from the New York Times, and before the game started, there she was, sitting at the card table watching the Knot-Hole Gang.
In 1955 she took me to the opening game at Ebbets Field. It was rained out, but all at once, there was Jackie Robinson standing two feet away from us outside the park looking for his wife to pick him up. “Jackie, do you think you’ll play tomorrow?” Wow, that was bold of me!!. Rather distractedly he said yes and then autographed the little piece of paper I thrust at him. Alas, I don’t have the autograph, but I do have my scrapbook of the season.
What does all of this have to do with solitude? Maybe it is all a stretch. Maybe I just want to share the memory. However, it’s pretty clear that as much as I love solitude, I have no interest in becoming a hermit or removing myself from all the social aspects of life. More to the point, maybe there aren’t many people left who shared those Dodger memories with me? My younger brother, and then there are my high school friends: only one joined me in rooting for “Dem Bums”; most of them were die-hard Yankee fans; one rooted for the Red Sox; and then there was that sole Giants fan who never let me forget Bobby Thompson’s home run in 1951. But for the most part, it was my grandmother and me. If nothing else, I’m enjoying some solitude with her.