Elmo and Pat Christensen came by our place for a visit the other day. The conversation immediately turned to baseball.
Elmo was a star left-handed pitcher for a Yankton pick-up team playing the American Legion Club on the Burleigh Street diamond. He usually had a dozen strike-outs in the game, but it didn't include me, a puny hitter for the Legion team.
Elmo couldn't get by me. He threw his first pitch high and wide and I stepped over the home plate and — Boom! — it was gone into right field for a base hit. It happened more than once.
It seems that I had gotten Elmo's number. I don't remember how the game came out but I got a base hit every time I came up to bat.
That was the reason for the conversation. I had forgotten all about it, but Elmo hadn't.
Elmo was a good singer, too. I can still hear him singing on the stage in the Yankton High School auditorium. One of the songs he sang was:
And they're baking nice and brown
There's a good ol' watermelon
When the season rolls around.
In the pantry there's a chicken
In the smokehouse there's a ham..
Oh, I'd rather be a darkie
Than a poor white man.*
*Elmo wasn't a racist. He was just thinking of food!
That's what we talked about when they came to visit. It's good to have old friends to reminisce with about the past — even though a baseball game, long forgotten, was the subject which started it all.
I know Elmo and I will never be able to "face off" again on the diamond — but it just might be fun!
© 2009 Robert F. Karolevitz