I caught the ninth inning of today’s 3-1 Giants win over Washington Nationals and snapped this picture of Brian Wilson warming up, from Anne Jensen’s excellent seats right outside the left field foul pole. She worked at Terman Middle School when I was a student there and was a fixture at Palo Alto youth athletic events, usually in the ticket office, for many of the ensuing years. I ran into her on the train and we spent a good amount of time telling stories about famous Palo Alto youth athletic exploits spanning four decades and as many as three generations. Our Caltrain was delayed for two hours so we missed the first 8 innings of play.
Meanwhile, I also noted that Brian Wilson was described by Scott Ostler of the Chron as a harmonica player who joined coach Tim Flannery at a gig at the Irish Cultural Center. I would like to hear, as I alluded in a previous post, his version of “Help Me Rhonda.” (Meanwhile, for actual baseball fans who find themselves here, Matt Cain was the actual hero and got a complete game win, with 9 or 10 Ks. But I doubt I was the only person on this otherwise perfect –minus the Caltrain tragedy — the announcer said “there was a trespasser…struck by the train” — baseball day to enjoy watching Wilson merely warm up. Actually, Cain had 11 strikeouts).
I feel a little like Mark Twain in this passing reference to the day’s main event. Huck is late to see Aunt Sally because a steam ship engine explodes. She says “Good gracious, anybody hurt?” and young Huck replies “No’m. Killed a n—– .” I hope to not learn any more about what actually happened today in Burlingame but certainly my enjoyment of the day was tempered by thoughts about what some of my one million Bay Area brothers and sisters must be feeling. I don’t recall if it was before or after the incident that in Anne and my conversation the recent Palo Alto suicides came up. Overall we probably mentioned 100 names of whom a dozen or so are no longer among us, for instance, the man who founded Winter Lodge (although I didn’t refer to him by name) or the former Gunn and Cubberley teacher who also frequented in recent years Printers’ Ink. I also spoke to about 10 strangers, mostly baseball small talk, for what that’s worth.
It’s not a great picture but if you look carefully at it you can see more joy than pain, certainly, more order than chaos.