My debut for Random Blogging (I'm honored, actually!!), and I found the perfect topic...and it has to do with Sunday night.
I pretty much wrote this on my fan page for ESPN.com, but it's so good I'll share it here.
My life has been spent here in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, but I wasn't born here. Instead, our nation's capital is where I came into the world...to be precise, George Washington University Hospital (or Medical Center, as they call it now). The family moved out here when I was a baby, so I have little memory of what it was like to grow up in the city.
Instead, my (childhood) memories of the area come from the fact that my aunt Julia lived not far from us in Anacostia. (Our apartment from my baby time--1412 Young Street, S.E.--sat just as you crossed Pennsylvania Avenue into Anacostia.) Also, my maternal grandmother lived over in Southwest, near Bolling AFB. Thus, I can still remember the rides on the freeway between the two...and how I could always count on seeing the Curtis Brothers furniture warehouse along the way to Auntie's house.
Later, when Julia moved out to Forestville, MD (near Andrews AFB), we'd take South Capitol Street onto the Suitland Parkway to get there. Ah, the days of Shakey's Pizza...and the piano you fed sheet music to, to make it play.
I know what you're about to ask: "What's Sunday night got to do with any of this crap??". Well, I'll tie it all together...
South Capitol Street, is where Nationals Park is located. Next door, is the Washington Navy Yard--where Dad used to work after he left the Navy in '52 (but not before serving his country onboard an aircraft carrier during the Korean War). Seems the Metrorail stop closest to the ballpark happens to be...the Navy Yard station.
What brought this on, was reading a special section of the Washington Post on the new stadium for the Nationals (and specifically, Thomas Boswell's piece in that section describing the place). It pointed out there's not a bad seat anywhere in the joint, and how you could see the Capitol dome from the upper deck in right field.
If you sat in the opposite direction--towards left field--you could conceivably see the Anacostia River. So it doesn't take a rocket scientist to look farther UP the river, and spot the Sousa Bridge. (That's the bridge that takes Pennsylvania Avenue over the Anacostia, right past Morton's department store...which wasn't far from our litle apartment. Morton's went out of business, by the way, but they had cool commercials when I was in high school.)
So while America's watching the game Sunday night on ESPN, and admiring the shots of the Capitol...I'll be watching at home, content with waiting for summer to see a Nats game in person. Because when I do, everything around me will have that sense of familiarity about it.
Ironic, isn't it?? It took building a $611 million baseball stadium...to bring my life full circle. Dad being in the shape he's in now, at least I know he'll live long enough to see a third home for baseball in Washington. He went to Griffith Stadium when he was young; he took my brothers and me to our first Senators game in '64 @ D.C./RFK Stadium...and come Sunday night, I know he'll be watching the opening of Nationals Park.
Whch sits right next door to where he used to work...