Exciting Times in Elmwood and Other Falsities

November 24, 1997  Sunday

I’m finally discovering the fun of driving.  For most, turning 16 means attaining the ultimate prize of a driver’s license.  It entails freedom, and the right to traverse American’s grand highway system from one ocean the ocean instead of cleaning your room.  When I turned 16, I was slightly less joyous. At the time I did have a fear of driving which didn’t help my situation any, but that was not my only problem.  When I finally did get my license (little more than a year ago) what mean machine of the asphalt did I command, but my mom’s creaking 1985 LTD Crown Victoria, with ceiling fabric that was slowly dropping, so you had to duck you head a bit.  Mom solved this with a few well-placed tacks.  I always felt like I was navigating more than I was driving.  Now, the “new” (1989) car that was bought a month or two ago, I could take the much smaller blue Chevy out during break.  And that’s what I did.

I  headed out of Elmwood, and eventually, through the winding rural roads north of town, finally finding my way to the other little town where so much happened.  As I pulled into the Brimfield school lot, there was a slight tingling in my brain.  I walked out to the field behind the brick and cinder-block building, past the batting cages, finally making my way to the mound.  The night sky was so clear, I could see every star.  Above my left shoulder Orion watched, bemused at my silly nostalgia.  I then turned to face right field, my old position, and there, so low in the sky it almost touched the horizon, was one of the eeriest moons I have ever seen.  Only the lower half was visible, the rest obscured by black clouds, but that lower portion of the moon was a deep, dark orange like I’ve never witnessed.   With nothing left to see at that place, I began my return trip to Elmwood.  The moon followed me home, and we there to greet me–now high in the sky, twenty minutes later–as I pulled into the driveway.

Besides driving, this vacation has been boring.  Colin and Sidney didn’t get home form  their schools of Culver Stockton and Knox, respectively, until Tuesday night.  Mom suggested once again that I give Hoke a call, but I only shudder nervously at that.  Really there is not that much to report over the last few days.  The Chicago Bears beat Tampa Bay to push their record to 2-10.  If the Bears aren’t careful, they won’t have the worst record, and won’t be able to get Peyton Manning in the draft.  In the “What were they thinking?” world of sports, Washington Redskins quarterback Gus Frerotte celebrated a touchdown by ramming his head into the mats covering the stands–and was subsequently rushed the hospital in an ambulance, later diagnosed with a jammed neck.  In overtime the Redskins wide receiver Michael Westbrook got his team in field goal range, but forgot about the 15-yard penalty for taking off his helmet while on the field.  The game went on to be a tie between Washington and New York Giants.

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