Monday, August 25, 2014

First Day of School

Today is the first day of school in our county. Even if I wanted to avoid it, I couldn't miss that fact. Not only is it on the local news, it was in the newspaper, in announcements at churches, and no surprise here, on facebook. Ah, facebook, the modern equivalent of the grapevine, only better, because photographs are included. 

I'm sitting on my deck this morning, reading through comments my friends posted about the first day of school, teachers excited about the prospects, parents snapping pictures of nervous children holding new backpacks and lunchboxes, grandparents requesting prayers as they sit back and sip their second cup of coffee and remember the once upon a time when it was their turn to have that goodbye, good luck, have a nice day intimate moment with their child.

I can only speculate what Pilot Mountain School would have been like on the first day of school if facebook had been around. 

Not that different, I'd venture to say. 

Nerves are still nerves whether 1942, 1952 or 2014. The unknown is still unknown. The teachers are still at the door. The children are still wide eyed. The parents are still fretting. The grandparents are still praying. Well, so are the parents. And the teachers. And, dare I say, the students.

True, lunchboxes have changed from brown paper bags with greasy spots at the bottom to Hello Kitty or some other variation with a thermos tucked inside.

True, book bags have evolved from a belt for strapping around the books to a full colored Hello Kitty design to match the aforementioned lunchbox.

True, the yellow number two pencils and Blue Horse notebook paper were bought from the school store, not from Walmart with its list of materials each school "suggests" their students bring the first day.

But also true is the hope that a new beginning brings. That will never change, thank goodness. 

It's what keeps teachers coming back.

Catch of the day,


Monday, August 18, 2014

Small Southern Town Baseball Fields

The title says it all.

About my latest project, that is.

Crump Field in Caldwell County, North Carolina

Is that a cool picture, or what! Look in the background at the three story grandstand and at the team "bus" that used to be a hearse. Study the players' faces, their pride.

That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is 1955 small town south.

Only better. That is rural small town south, if there could be such a designation, out where there are no blue laws to prevent the teams from playing baseball on a Sunday afternoon, out in the fields surrounded by cows and horses and corn. Blue Law Baseball, that was my original working title, but as I've researched and interviewed, that's changing. The story is so much more.

Rural small town baseball was definitely in existence on the grounds of Pilot Mountain School.

The story is different, but the theme is the same: The love of the game and the love of community. That's what caused the fathers to come out to the schoolhouse and build a ball field where their children could spend hours and hours being kids. Both boys and girls were there on the field in the mornings before school. They played ball during recess and lunch break. They rode their bicycles back to school after their chores were finished at home. Younger boys modeled their style after the older boys they played alongside. Older boys allowed for mistakes and unknowingly influenced the little ones. On Sunday afternoons whole families showed up. Not much was organized. Not much was official. It was just play.

For the love of it.

I can't wait to share my new project with you.

Catch of the day,