As weekends go this past one is hard to beat. On Friday night I went to the Angels-A’s game in Oakland with my buddy Jon the Green Beret, who was home on leave, and a few other friends. It was good to see Jon. It had been probably close to two years the last time he was in Santa Rosa and in the meantime had been to Germany, Afghanistan, and other undisclosed exotic locations. Even though I hadn’t seen him face to face in a long time, we had communicated fairly frequently via email. I was thinking about how much different communication with military personel is now than how it used to be not all that long ago. Can you imagine trying to communicate with someone stationed way out in the Afghan boondocs 15, maybe even 10 years ago? It would’ve been exceedingly slow, if even possible at all. But email has changed all that. In fact its so much easier that not only were Jon and I able to have the kind of correspondense usually commonplace between those in the field and those at home in any era (“how are you”, “be safe”, “everyone back here is thinking about you guys”, “went on patrol today”, that kind of stuff), but I even got a few forwarded email jokes and chainletters. When I really think about that it kind of blows my mind. Here’s my buddy in a combat zone (which, I told him, still weirds me out a little) with the time and ability to forward a joke about giraffes. What an interesting time we live in.
Anyway, back to the game. It was good to spend time with Jon and the other guys that came along, and also Jon’s wife and parents, and retell the stories from the old days and get a little glimpse of what Afghanistan was like. I would’ve loved to talk about that with him more, but there wasn’t time and I’m sure that wasn’t the first thing he would want to relive after just getting home. We had awesome seats, field level 1st base side 23 rows back, and the Angels won so I was a happy camper all around.
The next night Jen, Lily, and I again returned to Oak-town for game two of the series. This was my early Father’s Day present and I think Jen has set the future bar a little high for herself. This one will be hard to top. The seats were even better than the night before, same general area but a section closer to home plate and row 14. The Angels were again victorious, though Frankie Rodriguez made things a little interesting in the bottom of the ninth. Lily was a champ all night and I think she enjoyed her first ball game.
Both nights I was bold and was decked out in full Angels gear. On Sunday my father-in-law pointed out that I went one night with a Green Beret and one night with a baby to protect myself from getting harassed. Well, duh. What am I, an idiot? Speaking of the baby, she was the hit of our section even though even she was also in full Angels regalia. Her cuteness overcame the cold, hardened hearts of even the most misguided A’s fans. A fellow Angel fan told Jen as he passed by, “You’re raising her right.” There was a postgame fireworks show on Saturday night and we tried to stay for it, but after about three big “BOOMS” Lily had had enough and we headed for home.
It doesn’t get much better than a night at the ballpark. Unless its back-to-back nights at the ballpark.