Freitag, 9. September 2011

74.) 15.Oktober 1898, Montego Bay, A letter from Ran (part 1)

Today I got this letter from my old friend Ran Bramble:

C.D., you little bastard!

How come I havnt heard from you for a long time? I understand youre a family man now, but does that mean you have to kick old friends like me in the ass? Rachel and the guys, even Monty and Margret ask whats the matter with you and if you still exist and I say I only meet him in the papers ballgame boxscores and that means he still plays ball and therefore he seems to exist after all.
I expected you would come down here to LC for the Con Cup watching your in-law Monty play, but who was the no-show?
I know, it sounds like a cliche, but you missed something. You would think the Con Cup cant get any bigger. It can! But describe it, I cant. There have always been wild crowds, but they became even wilder and denser this year. Finally a Reds-Blues Con Cup again, after a three year interlude with teams from the land. That aint no real Con, boys!
 At 9 am the Lib was so full of people that you couldnt see your own feet, and then it became worse by the hour. All the way from the Old Port up to the Stadium, a giant mass of people on the Lib like a huge beehive, no like a thousand beehives. The sound and the sights were tremendous! And people got crazier than ever before.
For instance, there was a band of six old ladies, Blue ladies. I mean real old ladies, their hubbies are certainly six-feet-under for twenty years already. And these gray gals were chanting Blue fight songs with their chirpy voices on the top of their lungs, even those with the dirty words, and they enjoyed themselves to no end. Or this group of girls, real girls this time, in their mid-teens perhaps, some ten of them, all in Red, scarves, hair beads, wrist bands and all, during the parade to the stadium, when the Reds players passed them, they would cry and scream, or shriek incessantly, Im not exaggerating here, CD, for the full ten minutes, all ten of them, with their mouths and their eyes wide open. Occasionally catching a breath of course and immediately pressing out the air in an ear-piercing way. I couldnt make out which of the Reds was their main object of adulation, maybe Irwin Carter or Johnny Gamble, he seems to have a way with the ladies, maybe someone else. Certainly not Paul Clarke, this old vulture, with a hunchback. This guy remains a riddle I wont ever solve. He looks like the middle-aged man, to whom the doc would sternly suggest to have some  physical exercise. Despite of this hes the best ballgame pitcher of our times. I recall that you also have a deep dislike for him as a person (and a opposing pitcher naturally). I also loathe him, he has this bookish look, thats not bad youd say, we both, CD, are bookish people too, but his face is different, it is a dirty-bookish face and from what is rumored its a perfect reflection of his character.
Talking of crazy people, you could see hundreds of them during the Con Cup week. One situation comes to mind now: its after the sixth game, the Blues been beaten for good, the patrons streaming out of the stadium, filling the streets around the ballpark. Half of them, the Reds fans, boisterous, excited and jubilating. The other half, the Blue fans, as youd expect saddened and beaten down, heading home as quickly as possible. Among them these youths , maybe twenty of them, not exactly the nice, polite, good-family boys, but more the rough sort, the struggling ones. Theyre clad all blue, from their caps down to their shoestrings. Teir heads down, gazing on the asphalt, shoulders dropped, all silent, absent-minded it seemed. I followed them awhile with my eyes, sadness seemed to have a cultivating effect on them, I even noticed them mumbling apologies after bumping into someone. As they were heading down the Lib, at once this group stopped still and and suddenly they shouted in unison "Bluuuuuues wiiinnnn!!!" , their heads were raised, they looked up to the evening sky and howled to heaven again: "Bluuuuuues wiiiiinnnnn", like orphaned wolves, they repeated this five times, then they dispersed and I lost them.

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