bunt sign

Wednesday, September 20, 2000

I wasn't permitted to purchase a newspaper this morning. The machine at the post office wouldn't accept my coins. It says it will take any combination of coins, but any time I've tried anything other than two quarters, it has jammed up on me.

There's no change machine at this branch of the post office. I know this because last week I put a dollar bill into what I thought was a change machine, and I was forced to buy two fifty-cent stamps. I couldn't even get my dollar back, and when I looked more closely it was clearly labeled, "This is not a change machine."

So I didn't get the medal standings from Sydney, or yesterday's local temperatures, or the current baseball standings, or the odds on Sunday's football games. I couldn't check up on Luann or Sally Forth or the Patterson family. And if there was any real news, I missed out on that, too.

Well, this throws a snag into the fabric of my day. I don't ordinarily have the time to read much of the paper during the day, but it's a comfort to have it available. So I'll either have to find an endless supply of quarters, or I'll deal with having the paper delivered, and slogging through the mud every morning all winter to get it.

It's not exactly an earth-shaking dilemma, but it's what's been on my mind.

As Eric and I were riding on the bus across the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge this afternoon, we saw something strange and wonderful. The fog had returned to bring us back to blissful reality. When we got to the Bay Bridge, we could see the fog layer hovering over the hills of the city. It was beautiful.

The Bay Area is not this inferno we've been enduring all week. Maybe we need a few miserable days to remind us how close to perfect we have it most of the time.

The natural air conditioning made it just the slightest bit chilly at the game tonight, but on its worst night Pacific Bell Park still has a more temperate climate than Candlestick Park. Maybe I'm just used to San Francisco weather, but I was comfortable tonight.

When we take the bus to the game, the driver parks in Lot A and we walk across the Lefty O'Doul Bridge to the ballpark entrance. The bridge is a picturesque structure of wood, steel and concrete. Hundreds of people crossing it join thousands more coming from other directions, all eager to share an experience.

grounds crew getting the field ready

The woes of the world fade when you walk through the gates, up the stairs and down the tunnel to your seat. The diamond outlined in brown and white against the greenest grass in the city will be the focus for the next three hours of the collective energy of all these people filing in side by side. Strangers become quick friends as their voices join together, trying to will the home team to victory.

left field stands

Sometimes the action on the field is so intense that forty thousand pairs of eyes are drawn to the same spot. At other times, the game takes a back seat to individual conversations or the distractions of the scenery in and around the stadium. And food must be eaten, whether it's a close game or a rout.

fog on the bay

The game ends with an explosion of noise and good cheer, when the home team wins (as it did tonight). The thousands shuffle off to their cars, buses, ferries and trains as Tony Bennett's voice is piped over the sound system. "I left my heart in San Francisco." Indeed.

previousbunt signemailnext

Latest recommendation:

Patrick, Iteration, September 19, Right on Red (A Stoplight Story)

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.
Subscribe to the list to be notified of updates.