I wasn’t able to catch very much of yesterday’s baseball playoffs. I mean, three games in one day: it was tempting to make a “sick day”!
I got home to find out that the Phillies’ Halladay tossed a playoff no-hitter. That’s more rare than Lindsay Lohan passing a drug test. What an amazing day for Philadelphia and one of the most stoic former Mariners out there in the playoffs, Jamie Moyer!
So, in the brief amount of time between getting home and having to dash off to a meeting, I flipped on the TV in time to see one of the Minnesota Twins knocked out a two run home run and take the lead against the evil New York Yankees. And the voice I heard when that happened? My grandfather, Emil Brandner.
Emil was a farmer in South Dakota. He and his wife Emma raised their kids for a time up in North Dakota, then landing on a place near Roscoe, South Dakota, the destination for an annual family vacation every couple of years when I was growing up. Emil has been gone since the late 1970’s and all of my memories of him come from either home movies or the final years of his life.
Oh, we have some great 8mm home movies of me as a kid riding on the tractor with him, or when I was around 10 thinking how funny it would be to wear his farmer’s cap(which looked like a railroad hat) and throwing it to the ground as if I were mad. But the only real-time, I-was-there memory I have of him is the time we sat back in their modest Roscoe two-story home…this is after they sold the farm…..and watching a Minnesota Twins game with him and my dad. We had just witness another Minnesota blunder and he blurted out, “Dem damn Twins!”
First off, at whatever ripe age I was, I had heard my grandfather swear. “Damn” was that word you used when you felt old enough to move up from “Dang” and there was Grandpa using it. For whatever reason, it left an impact on me that has lasted a lifetime. He’s been gone for over 30 years, but the second I think of that phrase, I can hear his voice like it was yesterday. That tired, slightly horse voice that called me “Timmy” and spoke slowly to me, so that I might understand him better. It has stayed with me all these years and when I saw that home run last night, I could hear that phrase–a happy version–but none the less, it was Grandpa.
I just returned from a meeting and the Twins blew a 3-0 lead and lost the game 6-4. Grandpa couldn’t have said it any better…..