Sunday, August 3, 2008

Skip Caray.

Skip Caray, the longtime radio announcer for the Atlanta Braves, died last night. I didn't know him, of course, but I guess I should say that I still have in use a red clock radio that dates from a time when having those two functions in the same box still seemed novel, and I used to go to bed first in the house in Tucker and later in Sandy Springs listening to the last innings of Braves games on that thing, listening to Skip and Pete Van Weiren and Ernie somebody, forgive me, Ernie, and still someone else whose name escapes me altogether, call on AM giant WSB what were in those days the very bad games of a very bad team. In part, and for sure, I learned the rhythm of a game I love with most of my heart from Skip Carey. He was sixty-eight. His body failed him. He died in his sleep.

Rain delays on TV meant reruns of the Andy Griffith Show. Rain delays on the radio, which I loved because they lengthened the amount of time there would be something good to listen to, meant Ernie—Johnson! Ernie Johnson—and Pete and Skip filling and talking and laughing and complaining, and I fell asleep so many times either to that or to the Tenth Inning Show, incongruously named when the game itself had gone to extra innings, a lexicographical error I chewed on hard in third and fourth and fifth grade—I felt like, and I know that this is not some kind of flashingly new idea, and that better writers than I, of which there are many (have a look at this sentence), have said the same thing before, but I felt like those guys were old rancorous uncles of mine that I'd never met and would never get to meet but had me somehow in mind all the same.

May there always, please, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea, be baseball on the radio.

It was hot today, but not homicidally so. Dry. How we missed the rain yesterday is a question for meteorologists and theologians alike. Homegrown tomatoes and gifted homegrown watermelon for supper. So long as I'm making pleas, I guess, let me send up two more: One for rain, and one for the generosity, should I ever have a watermelon, to give some away.

Skip Caray. Dammit. That made me sad.

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