Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

A Set of Six

When I was six years old, my favorite sport was playing badminton with my mother. This was 1950s America, so she took care of her four kids, her husband, cooked the meals, cleaned the house, and, as a bonus, kept a full-time, 40-hour-a-week job.

With all that, it was unusual and therefore a big deal for us to play badminton. I loved running out to the back door of our West University, Texas, rented farmhouse, two badminton rackets and a couple shuttlecocks held tight in tiny, sweaty hands. Our games began after dinner chores. Crickets chirping, fireflies blinking, an old outdoor lamp and yellow bulb shining down on a badminton net strung between two pecan trees. I'd be jumping up and down, waiting out the last long minute until she arrived. Finally, the kitchen screen door opened and the world turned to magic and I was as happy as I'd ever be.

At 12, my sport was baseball. Summertime in Sandy Springs, Georgia, walking along Johnson Ferry Road to a bare dirt field for a pick-up game of baseball. The field was created that spring when, it was said, Sandy Springs appliance-store owner Luke Appling (Chicago White Sox Hall of Fame shortstop, 1930--1950) corralled a Little League franchise. Somebody cranked up the backhoe and scraped a baseball diamond in the dirt field behind the record store.

We were just getting to know hardball, and although we were all on Little League teams, they only played once, maybe twice a week. Just about every day that summer, sixth- and seventh-grade boys would gather on the red-clay field and choose up sides. Some days we'd have near a full team on each side; other days it was three boys against two with the catcher playing for both teams and no hitting to right field.

I could catch and hit. Average thrower. Usually played second base, but wanted to play first, always the hardest position to grab. The star that summer -- the best pitcher and best hitter -- was Danny, a tall, lanky kid who had a real fastball. He was caught lying about his age...turned out he was 15.

Six years on, I'm living in La Mesa. My sport was straight pool -- not nine-ball, which I consider ostentatious, but straight pool, call pocket, first player to 100 wins. Money games. Etiquette required a late start, 10:00 p.m. driving around San Diego with three or four pals, coffee shop to pool hall to coffee shop to pool hall, the seedier the better. Good pool halls, particularly the downtown walk-up kind, had the feel of adult crime. The dream was buying your own Balabushka stick. With case.

At 24, sport was sex. Full time. At 30, sport was volleyball at the Howling Dog Saloon in Fox, Alaska. At 36, my sport was betting the NFL and elections. I had a cabin out in the desert southwest of Vegas. This was pre-Internet, and betting lines were easier to beat. Research consisted of what little was on the just-established ESPN, televised NFL games, and reading out-of-town newspapers in the library two or three mornings a week. A pleasant, genteel life.

At 42, I leased a house on the beach about a dozen miles south of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz has a microclimate that is more like Southern California than Northern. Didn't rain that winter, 75 degrees and suntan in January. I started walking on the beach, then jogging, then running. Pretty soon running every day. Pretty soon running everywhere: Baja, Point Barrow, Martha's Vineyard, New Mexico. Running in snow, mud, rain, wind. Just get the run in and the rest of the day takes care of itself. Miss it still.

At 48, I was in thrall to domestication. One woman. One household. First time. Big job.

At 54 I began taking tai chi lessons. It's become one of the few good reasons to grow old.

And now BIRDING. That's right, pilgrim, birding, and wipe that smirk off your face.

Over the years, I've hunted and fished when friends invited me along. I've never been moved to take on either sport or its equipment. The best part of hunting-fishing world was planning the trip, packing for the trip, traveling to the trailhead, setting up camp, drinking whiskey, and telling stories around the campfire. The killing and catching part was uninteresting to me.

So, right off the bat, birding has a lot going for it, providing the best part of hunting-fishing world without the blood and heavy lifting. Now, you do need to find the right person to take you out in the beginning. You want to go with someone who knows everything about birds (there is more to birds than you can possibly guess), while keeping the wonderment of a beginner's mind.

Interested? Check out sandiego-audubon.org/ for birding field trips and fog.ccsf.cc.ca.us/~jmorlan/sd.htm for San Diego birding links.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
LADIES, LOVE TO SING?
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
LEARN TO PLAY
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Custom Fuji ‘Track Pro’ fixed gear machine - $600
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 23, 2020
WING CHUN KUEN
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
US ELECTRIC CONTRACTING
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Ad
Previous article

Best Reader stories from 2017

Spruce Street, Balboa Park trees, OB and Gaslamp night scenes, grunion, Fitzgerald, Border Angels, Trail Angels, Pendleton for kids, San Diego Zoo's bonobos, Los Coyotes deaths
Next Article

A little nod to Joy Division

Tulpa Luna, Red Flag, Glass Spells, Lenny Morris III, David Robles
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

When I was six years old, my favorite sport was playing badminton with my mother. This was 1950s America, so she took care of her four kids, her husband, cooked the meals, cleaned the house, and, as a bonus, kept a full-time, 40-hour-a-week job.

With all that, it was unusual and therefore a big deal for us to play badminton. I loved running out to the back door of our West University, Texas, rented farmhouse, two badminton rackets and a couple shuttlecocks held tight in tiny, sweaty hands. Our games began after dinner chores. Crickets chirping, fireflies blinking, an old outdoor lamp and yellow bulb shining down on a badminton net strung between two pecan trees. I'd be jumping up and down, waiting out the last long minute until she arrived. Finally, the kitchen screen door opened and the world turned to magic and I was as happy as I'd ever be.

At 12, my sport was baseball. Summertime in Sandy Springs, Georgia, walking along Johnson Ferry Road to a bare dirt field for a pick-up game of baseball. The field was created that spring when, it was said, Sandy Springs appliance-store owner Luke Appling (Chicago White Sox Hall of Fame shortstop, 1930--1950) corralled a Little League franchise. Somebody cranked up the backhoe and scraped a baseball diamond in the dirt field behind the record store.

We were just getting to know hardball, and although we were all on Little League teams, they only played once, maybe twice a week. Just about every day that summer, sixth- and seventh-grade boys would gather on the red-clay field and choose up sides. Some days we'd have near a full team on each side; other days it was three boys against two with the catcher playing for both teams and no hitting to right field.

I could catch and hit. Average thrower. Usually played second base, but wanted to play first, always the hardest position to grab. The star that summer -- the best pitcher and best hitter -- was Danny, a tall, lanky kid who had a real fastball. He was caught lying about his age...turned out he was 15.

Six years on, I'm living in La Mesa. My sport was straight pool -- not nine-ball, which I consider ostentatious, but straight pool, call pocket, first player to 100 wins. Money games. Etiquette required a late start, 10:00 p.m. driving around San Diego with three or four pals, coffee shop to pool hall to coffee shop to pool hall, the seedier the better. Good pool halls, particularly the downtown walk-up kind, had the feel of adult crime. The dream was buying your own Balabushka stick. With case.

At 24, sport was sex. Full time. At 30, sport was volleyball at the Howling Dog Saloon in Fox, Alaska. At 36, my sport was betting the NFL and elections. I had a cabin out in the desert southwest of Vegas. This was pre-Internet, and betting lines were easier to beat. Research consisted of what little was on the just-established ESPN, televised NFL games, and reading out-of-town newspapers in the library two or three mornings a week. A pleasant, genteel life.

At 42, I leased a house on the beach about a dozen miles south of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz has a microclimate that is more like Southern California than Northern. Didn't rain that winter, 75 degrees and suntan in January. I started walking on the beach, then jogging, then running. Pretty soon running every day. Pretty soon running everywhere: Baja, Point Barrow, Martha's Vineyard, New Mexico. Running in snow, mud, rain, wind. Just get the run in and the rest of the day takes care of itself. Miss it still.

At 48, I was in thrall to domestication. One woman. One household. First time. Big job.

At 54 I began taking tai chi lessons. It's become one of the few good reasons to grow old.

And now BIRDING. That's right, pilgrim, birding, and wipe that smirk off your face.

Over the years, I've hunted and fished when friends invited me along. I've never been moved to take on either sport or its equipment. The best part of hunting-fishing world was planning the trip, packing for the trip, traveling to the trailhead, setting up camp, drinking whiskey, and telling stories around the campfire. The killing and catching part was uninteresting to me.

So, right off the bat, birding has a lot going for it, providing the best part of hunting-fishing world without the blood and heavy lifting. Now, you do need to find the right person to take you out in the beginning. You want to go with someone who knows everything about birds (there is more to birds than you can possibly guess), while keeping the wonderment of a beginner's mind.

Interested? Check out sandiego-audubon.org/ for birding field trips and fog.ccsf.cc.ca.us/~jmorlan/sd.htm for San Diego birding links.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
RED motorized bike — pedal or use engine - $400
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 26, 2020
VAN
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
NORTH CHULA VISTA $1,260
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
SINGLE ROOM AVAILABLE IN CLAREMONT MESA $600.
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS BIRD-DOGS
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Previous article

Marisa Dabice: people see it as brave

Mannequin Pussy’s songs are often “short aggressive burners”
Next Article

"I’ve contracted the Coronavirus" says San Diego guitarist Drew Andrews

Patient number one at Grossmont Hospital’s new drive-thru clinic
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close