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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

June 8, 2012


I walk the streets of our neighborhood for exercise, and last week I noticed something strange. Perhaps I should say it was unusual. It was very nice. Very family-friendly. Very PG. And when I noticed it, I was struck by how unusual it was and then I was struck by my reaction as to how unusual I thought it was.

What I saw was a father and son playing outside…playing baseball. Well, sort of playing baseball. It was T-Ball and the 11 year old would hit the ball and chase it. Or the Dad would hit the ball to the kid who would field it with his baseball glove. They talked, they played, I marveled.

Here is where my “When I Was a Kid” type story should begin and it will. I recall carrying my ball glove on the handlebars of my bike all the time. As a little boy, you never knew when you might happen across a pick-up game of ball and you HAD to be ready with your glove. There is also the lost art of carrying a baseball bat across your bike handlebars.  I probably copied this from older brother Keith.

I could go on and on about countless baseball practices, baseball games, softball games (you had to use a different glove for softball since the larger ball would ruin the perfect baseball-size pocket of your baseball glove!), dirt and stone baseball diamonds, climbing over the fence of Davidson Enamel Company next to the school to “borrow” discarded enamel squares from their trash pile to use as bases. I played lots of fast-pitch whiffle-ball in driveways between neighborhood houses. And on Prospect Ave. near my house on Albert Street we would play “Five Dollars” (In the middle of the street! We were always living on the edge).

The game of Five Dollars goes like this. Get a bunch of kids. A ball bat. A ball. (And everyone had their own mitts. A slang term which is totally out of fashion.) Hit the ball in the air and whoever caught it, got $1. Catching it after one bounce was worth 75 cents. Two bounces was just worth 50 cents. Multiple bounces would get you 25 cents. After awhile, the first kid to reach $5 would then get to hit the ball to the others.

In hindsight, playing “Five Dollars” sounds pretty lame, but we played it for hours, for years. I never thought much of it. But now that the sight of a Dad ball playing outside with his kid seems so rare, so unusual to me that the notion of  playing “Five Dollars” seems, Olympian: almost epic.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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