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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Waiting for the band bus


It’s Friday night, right up to Thanksgiving. It’s late this time; the game is at Austintown Fitch, in Mahoning County, two counties away, east on the turnpike. It’s not even a league game, so it doesn’t count. I don’t understand the stupidity of having kids knock the crap out of each other, extra.

It’s late; it’s a long way to and from Austintown. Too late for Radio Theater Los Angeles; listening to the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn interview, again. Fabulous musicians, wonderful to hear, but a re-run nevertheless. I wonder if PRI will ever get the kind of money they need. They’ve even called me to thank me for my pitiful continuing donation of a few dollars a month. Think how sad that is.

Well, it’s a beautiful night. I have on my lightest jacket and have it unzipped, a wonder for an always cold old person. I’m parked at the curb, not in the lot. It’s a faster get-away out to Stow Road, down to 303 and home. It can be a game of chicken, running the lane between the incoming and the parked cars. I told Laura, if your mirrors can clear, so do you. Just watch for that.

There is a white car parked to my left, in the lot, under one of the many lights. They do light up this campus like day, every night. And, the stadium lights aren’t even on, because it’s an away game. The car seems to have a wrinkled front fender, and I study on it intently, to the melody of Take the A Train. Finally I take a close up picture, but still cannot discern actual crumpled metal.

I’m not the same person as last year. I can stare at that crumpled fender, oblivious to everything. Suddenly the dents disappear, then reappear. I do not understand. I look harder, but nothing happens. I check my phone for the time. ETA is 11:30 for the band busses. The dancer’s bus has already come and sent the dancers on their ways.



The dents disappear again and reappear again. I see it! They are images of the leaves to the tree in the median and a car pulling into or out of a space interrupts the light from one of the lamp standards. How neat.

The band straggles out from the school. They are delivered to a different door, to go in, put up their instruments, change out of their uniforms, and stagger out under the weight of a loaded garment bag and a hat box. No wonder they leave the instruments in a locker at school.

Laura opens doors to deposit her burden in back and then fall into the front seat.

“How was the game?”

“We won.”

“I know, 20-7.” I cheat and keep an eye on the running score so I have an idea when to leave. As for football, I could care less.

“Three guys went down. One went to the hospital.”

It must have been late in the last quarter; the football dad who “broadcasts” the game, somehow, on the internet, has typed no mention of it.

“How were they hurt?”

“I don’t know. I don’t understand football.”

The trumpeter who marches in the band falls asleep, and we start home. It’s another Saturday morning.

22 comments:

  1. Who really does understand football? A lot of guys in tight pants running and jumping on top of one another. It just seems wrong doesn't it lol?

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    1. I agree. Silly game. And they are always stopping the clock. I cheer for the clock.

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  2. You may not feel like the same person but your writing is still so descriptive and you definitely have a way with words that express more than just visuals... the inner, or emotional insights are certainly expressed vividly.

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  3. Such dedication on both your parts, I thought maybe she loved football.

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  4. After that study on brain damage in football players, even at the high school level, I wonder how much longer it will be a school-sponsored sport?

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  5. Love your persistence in identifying where the dents came from.
    And add me to the list of those who do not understand football. Any flavour football.

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  6. Hari OM
    Oh I know the kind of visual conundrum you are describing... can be frustrating, but rewarding once solved! Bet there was solid sleep into the long morning... YAM xx

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    1. It took to 10am to accumulate nine hours. If anyone wanted me beforehand, tough.

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  7. I've had the same bewildering changing perception due to shadows and I've had neither a stroke nor a blow to the head!

    What a good piece of writing, Joanne. You are still very much on the ball, even if it doesn't feel it to you.

    Football - pah. Actually, almost all sports are Pah in my opinion, but then I'm more of a music and words person anyway.

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  8. Football is over my head I'm afraid. Well said, Joanne.

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  9. Good one, Joanne. I loved this. And I also don't like football, even though I was originally from Knute Rockne land. I do like watching the band and the cheerleaders, though.

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  10. You're a good woman, Joanne Noragon. I think it's amusing that Laura goes to all of these games but doesn't understand football. I don't particularly understand much of it either and find it to be very "stop and start". -Jenn

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  11. Late night for them to get home from away games. I understand football; just don't like the injuries. Will never forget the game when I was high school where the quarterback took a bad hit and ended up a quadriplegic at the ripe old age of 17.

    Hoping its a short season and they don't make it to the playoffs.

    betty

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  12. I don't understand football either, I'm glad neither of my sons chose to play. Aussie football is different, we don't wear the padding.
    I hope the season is short and you don't spend so much time waiting at each game.

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  13. You really are the best Gran in the world.

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  14. whether or not I understand it football, the bottom line is it just doesn't interest me, not even when I was in high school. my neighbor's son played for his high school. I asked his dad how many concussions he would allow before he pulled his son out. he said he was keeping a close eye. as for visual discrepancies, there are times when I look at a picture and wonder what the hell I am seeing and takes a while to resolve.

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  15. You wrote that so beautifully, Joanne. I felt that I was sitting right next to you.

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  16. You are a wonderful grandmother Joanne,the best.

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  17. Isn't ti wonderful how your mind and nature conspire to keep you entertained? I often see weird things like the dents too.

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  18. Interesting observations - NPR and PRI are great sources of entertainment and news. I think they will last. Shadows often deceive us.

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  19. So glad I don't have to make those late night runs to get my girl! I don't understand (or like) football even tho I had a son who played for 6 years. I cheered when the crowd cheered and didn't if they didn't!

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