A Cedar Chest Full of Memories
Well, it’s finally starting to feel more like Spring, and as we get closer to our annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, blooms, birds, and baseball players hopefully will no longer have to deal with April snow and 30-degree days.
Like the weather, the Shenandoah University baseball is heating up and climbing in the national rankings. As of this post, the Hornets are on a 12-game winning streak, and at 22-6, have climbed to number 18 nationally in the latest d3baseball.com poll. As we like to say…death, taxes, and SU Baseball.
Changing gears…it’s a tough thing to see one’s parents get older and watch helplessly as their health starts to fail. Unfortunately, that is something that is happening with me right now. As a result, I’ve been making numerous trips to my Mom’s house in West Virginia as she spends time in an assisted-living facility after a recent hospital stay. This week, while feeding cats and basically making sure everything was ok at her house, I came across some personal memorabilia that left me unprepared for the wave of bitersweet nostalgia that washed over me.
Among the forgotten treasures was a faded newspaper clipping from the Martinsburg Journal highlighting the upcoming Little League opening ceremonies from around 1969, listing all the players’ names from all the teams. I wondered what became of all those players, and how many were still around…
Another finding was a clipping from 1976 highlighting game I pitched for Martinsburg HS against Thomas Johnson of Frederick (Md). I apparently combined with my teammate Gene Gano for a 5-1 victory in my first-ever high school start. I pride myself on remembering every second of my athletic career, but I swear, I don’t remember that game.
Yet another treasure was a drawing of a fake ad I crafted in high school for “Englewood Golf Clubs,” fortelling my future in the advertising business. The name Englewood was a combination of my last name and the last name of a friend of mine, Kevin Englebright. The ad featured a pseudo-endorsement from the great Jack Nicklaus, and a catchy slogan. A pretty good ad, if I may say so…
Also packed away in that cedar chest was a program from my induction ceremony (with 49 other students) in the National Honor Society from May 31st, 1977, and a program from the MHS All-Sports banquet from 1976, listing all the athletes who played for the Bulldogs that year…except me. An oversight, I’m sure, because I know I played baseball and golf that year.
But, as my own son gets set to graduate this year, what really hit home was finding a plethora of graduation cards from relatives and friends, many who are no longer with us, and who parted with $10 or $15 that they probably needed. Also well-preserved was my cap and gown, and diploma from that 100th graduating class of Martinsburg High School. I’d like to say that the memories of that early June day came flooding back, but in reality the only thing I can remember is something I’ll be sure to pass along to my son as he gets set to walk across that stage at James Wood High:
That’s it from The Booth! Until next week, enjoy the warm Spring weather, may all your memories be good ones, and GO HORNETS!