We didn’t have the money (50 cents for bleacher seats), only the dime we paid to take the City Lines from 3200 South to 13th South State Street. That put us just two blocks from the old Derks Field, a well-manicured grass with bleachers, grandstand, and box seats for maybe 5,000 people
SHAGGING BASEBALLS AT DERKS
We got in by shagging baseballs. We stood on West Temple Street, behind home plate, and when a foul ball came over we raced ten other kids for the ball. That ball was our admission ticket and we never once failed to see at least six innings.
I was ten and David twelve, and we were poor but not angry. For us, anger didn’t come into America’s common-man lexicon until black people rioted in Detroit and other cities like Watts and Birmingham in the sixties. Now, they were angry. Angry for being put in the back of the bus in Atlanta, Mississippi, and South Carolina–not Utah. Angry for being black in a predominately white Protestant nation.
We had a few blacks in school and they were not discriminated against, we looked up to them. One of my best friends was Marie Adams. She ran for vice president of Granite High School and I was her campaign manager. We won. She later moved to Jacksonville, Florida but I haven’t seen her in a long, long time. I’m sure she is not angry. She was so good, and so intelligent. We also served on the Granitian yearbook staff together. What a great person she was. I had been in her home. She had fine, hardworking parents. Marie’s older brother became a successful lawyer, Utah attorney general I believe.
ANGER CAN’T SURVIVE ON GRASS
Back to baseball. I love the smell of newly-cut grass. That’s why baseball became my best sport, I liked to play on grass. We didn’t have nice grass in the infield or the outfield at Granite, however. But we did at the University of Utah where I played centerfield for three years. Grass takes away a lot of negative emotions. When you’re angry, go outside onto the grass and play some catch with your son or daughter before sundown. That will immediately cure you of the anger of a bad day at work.
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If you’re still angry–many are–voice your concerns and opinions at another of my blogs: http://politicaldisconnect.blogspot.com