Monday, May 11, 2015

Packing for Saltillo.

I went down to the catacombs of my apartment house this weekend. Two levels down, where nearly every wall has an old Civil Defense sign from the early 60s when my building was built.

I was two levels below 83rd Street, where maybe we would have outlasted Red plutonium back 50 years ago, but I doubt it.  Since I moved into the building 17 years ago, the shelter space has been given over to storage for the shareholders. My wife and I own about 300 shares, so we have about 7x6x5 feet of space.

Of course, people don't abide by their allotted space. There are old steamer trunks in the hallways, usually marked by the American Indian names of Jewish Sleep-aways in New Hampshire. Camp Merrimac, one trunk read. Another read Camp Tawonga. I wondered if Indian kids went to camps with Jewish names. Probably not.

Our stuff had been moved by the aggressive land-grabbing of 4J--I pushed their stuff back where it belongs, but I found the old suitcase I was looking for. Inside, wrapped in generous wads newspaper from 1975 were three items. 1) My black Riddell leather spikes, still dusted with Mexican infield dirt. 2) My Saraperos game cap and 3) My Hillerich and Bradsby Louisville Slugger Boog Powell-model 34-ounce bat.

I put the hat on. It still fit. Snug, I guess because it contracted over-time, but ok. The bat I tried, checking my swing in the narrow confines of the storage-room space. It's too heavy for me now, I thought, I'd never be able to get around on a fastball with that. I promised myself to borrow someone's 32-ounce lumber.

I walked to the elevator, depositing the 1975 "Times" everything was wrapped in in a large garbage pail by the boiler room. Then I went upstairs.

I tried my spikes on. They fit. My head and feet haven't grown over the last 40 years. Though everything else has. I gathered up my stuff and packed it in my black Tumi overnight bag along with a couple pair of linen pants, a few nice shirts, etc.

I would be leaving for Saltillo at the end of next week. As ready as I'll ever be.

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