One of the pictures my cousin sent me in his letter last week was this one of him and his dad posing by the side of our grandpa and grandma's house. Both of the guys are wearing their baseball uniforms.
Uncle W played baseball with a team from his place of employment, and he's pictured in his official uniform. Seeing the picture made me wonder where my cousin's little uniform came from. This would have been in the late 1940s and such an outfit at that time certainly wasn't readily available for a three year old. I wouldn't be surprised if his mother had made it, because she was an excellent seamstress and the person who taught me how to sew on my grandma's treadle sewing machine.
The town Cousin J and I grew up in (and where he still lives) was a well-to-do blue collar town with many thriving factories. During the 40s and 50s it was common for each factory to have a baseball team made up of some of the workers, and Uncle W played on such a team.
(When Papa Pea and I were first married we lived in my home town while he finished his college degree. I worked full-time while my dear husband went to school full-time and also worked a part-time job in the accounting division of this very same factory where my Uncle W worked and played ball.)
The baseball teams from the various factories in town played their games on a really nice ball field in our city park, and I remember going to many games to watch my uncle play.
There was what I remember as being quite a large grandstand of bleachers for spectators that ran along the third base line. It was covered by a roof so that it was shady and comfortable in the summer time. Of course, the ball field was laid out on a large, wide open spot, and I can still amost feel the welcome breezes blowing through that grandstand. What a lovely way to spend a warm Saturday afternoon. (To be totally honest, I have to admit that when the wind was blowing from the "wrong" direction, it also blew sand and grit from the infield right into our faces, too!)
Uncle W played ball for more years than most of the other men in the league did. Many times at the start of a season he would declare he was getting "old," and it would be his last season, but he was a star of the team and the coach and fellow players always begged him to play "just one more year."
There are two incidences I still think of when reminiscing about those ball games.
The first is a game in which my uncle hit three home runs. (No wonder his team mates wanted him to keep playing.)
The second is one day when our moms gave each of us kids a nickel to go to the concession stand to buy a candy bar. (Five cents was the cost of a candy bar then.) That day I chose a Baby Ruth (named after Babe Ruth) candy bar (what else at a baseball game?), and when I climbed back up into the stands to my seat by our family and opened the wrapper of the candy bar, a nickel fell out. Someone in the candy packing factory had slipped a nickel into the wrapper. I felt like I had won a jackpot. I had my candy bar plus a nickel to buy another one!
Oh, my. Pictures. They certainly have a way of jogging memories of days gone by. At the risk of sounding like an old fogey, these are memories of days when life was so much simpler. Thanks for the memories, Cousin J!