January 29th, 2004
He probably bought them at K-mart, maybe Cooks was the one. Never considering those old black gloves would be cherished by his son. To the world, he was quiet and reserved, never taking the lead in anything.Not much riled him or moved him to action, but at 3011 42nd, my Papa was king.
Almost every August day,he sat in the shade sipping hot coffee in wait. Cool breeze just might come while he was sweating sitting in his chair by the gate.
His ocean blue eyes would glimmer when the subject was one of the two,
either baseball and all of his memories, or his sons…that’s when they were bluest of blue.
Not the kind of father to hoop and holler at a basketball game while being thrown out. Not the kind of man who carried much presence never in business would he carry much clout. But…hurt one of his boys, touch a hair on their head and his fury would come from the deep inner part of his being…his passion for his boys was the one thing you knew he’d always keep.
Always told the same line, “went to separate schools together” with someone famous or talked about. He would do that one ball trick for all of your friends dropped it behind him and swore “you were out!”
But to see him at his best, when he shone like a knight, one of his sons would have to be ill and he’d show up with a smile that revealed his true love, and a bag of Campbell soup and ginger Ale.
Not much with the words, not much to the touch, but in deed he was a father to treasure; and years later since he’s gone with only his gloves that remain, I find myself compared to his measure.
Not much like him as a father, did all the things that weren’t done. Spoken, felt, hoped for things would be different with my son.
To my daughters and son, he’s alive to this day with the stories I continue to tell,
his body cold in a grave. No more smile on his face, but his heart…still beats… in their hearts… as well!
And my little boy, his only grandson, is no longer a little boy too. He’s now a man on his own with a spirit like a stallion, ready to take on life and show what he can do.
Nanu’s little boy put on those gloves on a day in Kentucky, while going to rescue his friend. A sense of pride, surge of heritage, Papa’s hands… my hands… Now my son’s hands—Guess Papa’s passion would never end.
So…K-Mart, Cooks, from wherever they came, just doesn’t seem to come into play, but Papa’s gloves are now his gloves, as he feels his Nanu with him each day.
I see those ocean blue eyes and the passion they showed as they gleamed with the smile of that one. But today they are placed in the face of our future as they gleam and they dance through my son!