Visitor brings up fond baseball memories

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:

"There's potatoes in the oven


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

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