1972. Dad. Me. 4 Train to 161.
“Sky of blue, sea of green” sucked into the biggest building ever built. The Empire State turned on it's side, can opener-ed and stuffed with city.
Filled corridors. Side-winder mouth style vendor barking:
"This is your 1972 Yankee scorecard, get your 1972 Yankee scorecard!"
And then the scorecard is in my hands, oh yes, the amazing booklette with pictures of adult men in pinstriped pajamas smiling from ear to ear because they don't have to wear real clothes to real jobs.
My father's hand now guides me so that I don't have to look up from the magical book as I walk.
Then IN in.
Inside to the game in.
Inside but actually more outside than any outside I have ever seen before. Because it opens up from the inside to the outside so extremely.
I am in a giant space that is really just high walls built to hold the outside in.
So out brought in.
But with a roof deck of seats over-hanging our heads. So cool and murky under the big overhang. Dark green seats. Support posts with section #'s freshly stenciled over peeling dark paint of no particular color other than dark.
For most of the game I just look at people.
Again wow, the people in the stands. Way better than Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey. I am an illustration of slack-jawed stupefaction. Nobody in my household screams 'bad language' at full bug-eyed, red-face volume then sits back down as if screaming those words at full bug-eyed, red-faced volume is a normal thing to do, a normal way to be.
I would never look at my family the same way again.
I didn't know the word repressed yet, but I learned the concept that day.
The people in the crowd were not.
Then, on cue with my thought, Dad stood up and hollered. Not screamed. Hollered. Using his hands to megaphone 'Come on Thurman, no need to swing from the heels, just make contact!'
Then he sits down and, with tight thin lips passed down from Huegonot forebears, whisper-grunts 'They all swing way too hard these days, why not lay down a good crisp bunt?'
And the smell.
Ringling Bros mustard on pretzel on floor. And smoke. Not just from cigarettes. Cigars. Cigarelles. Cigarillos. Not just for the birth of a child.
For smoking in public!
Oh the smokey smoked smell. That day, in Kublai-Khan Stadium, did 8 year old Boocock experience his very first contact high.