First of a group of postings on a recent trip
The plan was to arrive in Baltimore on Saturday afternoon in order to catch a ball game in the famous Camden Yards
, with Zenchick
and Zenfan. As I dropped into downtown, scanning the radio dial, I hit WSMJ
and knew I was going to like this city.
As I went to park my car after checking in to the hotel, I was approached by a very thin, kind-of short man missing a few teeth. He told me he had just gotten out of the hospital and could not get back home, and he was very hungry and had not eaten. I don't always give money to panhandlers, but something about this guy struck me as very sincere, so I gave him enough money for a few meals. He thanked me and even hugged me, and said he would pray for me.
I think I got my money's worth.
Zenchick and Zenfan met me in the hotel lobby, just a few blocks away from the stadium. As we walked to the park, I noticed I was getting some odd looks. At first I thought, Does it show that I'm a Yankee fan? But then I remembered where I had seen those looks before. They are the looks of men trying to figure out which of the two gorgeous women I was "with", also known as the "Lucky Bastard Look."
Ah well, I could deal with it.
Outside the stadium were sidewalk vendors selling drinks and food. Unlike other parks in which I have been, you are allowed to bring in outside food, and the street offerings are much cheaper than the same products in the stadium. That's a pretty neat deal.
Zenfan is a big Orioles fan, and knows all about the team and players and history and such. She gave the nickel tour of the stadium, pointing out the medallions embedded in the sidewalk that mark the landing spot of home runs knocked out of the stadium, who hit them and when, and the distance.
It turned out our seats were on the "club" level, where the luxury boxes are. It was pretty swanky; wood molding, top-notch food, comfortable seats. Hard to go wrong there.
Zenchick sat in the middle, to separate the Yankee fan from the Oriole fan. For readers of her blog, I will confirm that she is a presence
. We talked throughout the game, and I kinda wish now we had been somewhere more conducive to conversation. She has a handful of jobs, all of which are of service to others. If there is anyone on the Path of the Bodhisattva, she is one.
It was a good game, the Orioles won, a few homers were hit, and we all had a good time.
After the game the ladies took me on a tour of the Inner Harbor. There was live music, and people selling things, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. It was during this tour that the only dark think happened on the entire trip. In an indoor market area was one of those businesses that make fudge on those huge marble tables. There were three Black workers at the booth. One had a long mass of fudge he was cutting up into one pound pieces. He was tall, with a kind of braided hair under a cap, and he was using a very big knife. A White Guy, about my age, maybe younger, approached the man and asked, "Hey boy! Where is the..." something or other.
I couldn't believe it. Did this guy really say "Hey Boy!" to this fully grown, knife-wielding man? The fudge man took it in stride with the best example of grace I have ever witnessed, and without flinching told the guy what he wanted to know. White Guy then headed off in the given direction, without a thanks.
Now I feel bad about it; I should have said something, but I was so shocked to hear this, I was speechless.
Something that seems to be popping up in cities across the USA (and elsewhere, I believe) is a series of statuary art all on a theme. In Baltimore, around the downtown area are statues of crabs. They all have the same shape, but are colored differently, and sponsored by various people and businesses (on a trip to Corpus Christi last spring there were dolphins; in the Manchester, Vermont area they are horses).
I was up very
late the next morning and on my way to visit my parents in Tennessee. I listened to WSMJ until it faded (somewhere between Baltimore and D.C.), then settled in for the long drive. I got only the smallest taste of Baltimore and good company, both of which I hope to experience more of some day soon.