finally checked something off the old informal, non-written, but still kinda-there Bucket List - play softball on the Mall.
When I was a little kid, my aunt worked at Treasury, and she'd sometimes take me into work with her. "Take Your Kid to Work" days were tough on her because she couldn't have kids, and by having me around, I was her child-by-proxy. We usually took the underground tunnels over to visit Uncle Paul for lunch, and to head over to the Metro, but one late-summer day, we walked along the Mall. The sun was just ever-so-slightly beginning to head towards sunset, and I watched these folks play softball with the backdrop of the Monument behind them. It seemed so damned idyllic, and so utterly amazing to see how such a space could be used - the very same stretch of land that I saw the 1976 Bicentennial Fireworks from, the kite festivals, the lingering protests from the MIA/POW crowd, the historical pictures of the Hoovervilles and the Freedom March...and here were these folks playing softball, laughing, smiling, competing. I guess it was about 1984, where any normal 11 year old Baltimore fan like myself simply assumed that a career of baseball greatness awaited me at Memorial Stadium, and I snickered at these Government workers, lawyers and Hill staffers trying to play a clearly-substandard game. So while I thought *I* would never play such a gastly sport like softball - real men play baseball, damn it - I had to admit, they looked like they were having the time of their lives.
So, I thought "once my obvious Hall of Fame career as a Baltimore Oriole is over, I will play softball on the Mall and show these punks how it is DONE."
Check and mate, Life, Irony and Fate. Check and mate.