An Ernie Banks Day Will Help Bring Smiles to the Game as Big as His

“You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren’t happy in one place, chances are you won’t be happy anyplace.” – Ernie Banks Sadly, the man who embodied an entire franchise, who represented the team and personified the Cubby Way, took his final at bat on Friday, January  23. It’s ironic that the thing he is known the most for, is the thing that ultimately gave out. His heart was bigger than the city of Chicago and he tried to share his youthful optimism for the game he loved with everyone he met and with every interview he gave. Alas, that heart, the one he gave to the city and to the fans and to the Chicago Cubs gave out and took its final curtain call, leaving a city and fan base in mourning. The Chicago Cubs have been around for 145 years and have had thousands of players, and of those thousands of players, 40 of them have been inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Ernie was, of course, elected to baseball’s hall of fame. He finished his career with 512 home runs, 14 All Star Games and two National League MVPs. He wore his heart on the field and gave his off the field and with that he earned the nickname that thousands of ball players failed to earn before him. The dominant players of the early 1900s couldn’t get it. The World Series players of the 40s couldn’t grab it and there will be no one who could ever fill it. Mr. Cub.   If you think about it, no man has ever become their franchise’s...

Mourning Skye: Chapter 3 (part 1)

Burke ran his fingers through his hair to clear the strands from his eyes. His heavy eyes looked over the parking lot of Flannery’s Funeral Parlor. Miles was to his right and breathing heavily from the few minutes of walking that they had endured. In front of the parlor were your average set of mourners. Many middle-aged to elderly men and women, dressed in black, slowly getting out of cars and touching each other on the shoulder. A shoulder touch here and a shoulder touch there, followed by a nod answered with another nod. The younger mourners, mostly dressed in black were gathered around the white benches that surrounded the semi-circled entrance. Clouds of smoke escaped their lungs as they were more boisterous and awkward in their greetings to one another. Rather than grabbing each other’s shoulders, they would grab their own elbows and hold their cigarettes high in the air and smile. They would join the middle-aged and elderly in the ritual of the head nods. Burke looked at Miles. Miles looked at Burke. Burke lit a cigarette. Miles lit a cigarette. “Are you ready?” asked Burke. “No,” replied Miles. “Me neither,” said Burke. “Let’s get the hell out of here,” Miles said. “We can’t just go now.” “Why can’t we?” Miles asked. “I have no idea.” “This shit is kind of creeping me out,” Miles said. “Why?” asked Burke. “What do you mean why?” he said. “What I just said why. Why?” said Burke. “What do you mean?” asked Miles. “Seriously?” asked Miles. “Yes, seriously,” said Burke. “I don’t know.” “How don’t you know?” “I don’t know.”...

The Life of the Garden

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” – Melody Beattie Like so many things in this world, 2014 has come and gone. And just like 2014 has put a belt around its neck, so have many of our “friends” this past year. We lost Plutarch, Mork, Dot Matrix, a better singer than John Lennon, Diane Szalinski, Jim Rockford, Hollywood, Shaggy, Alice, Richard Gilmore, Eddie Valiant, The Professor, and perhaps my personal favorite – Dr. Egon Spengler. All of these “friends” left us in 2014 for various reasons. For all the various reasons that our friends and family have left us for as far as we can remember or as far back as someone took the time to begin recording it in history. Even though I am as old as Ryan Dunn now, and I just cataloged all the “friends” that have left us in 2014, I don’t wish this to be a morbid post. I don’t wish this to be an unhappy post. Rather, it can be an inspiring post. A post to help me write what it is to be in 2015. A lot happened in 2014 and a lot didn’t happen in 2014. I think I want a lot more to happen in 2015. I finished a manuscript in 2014. Perhaps you have heard of it (perhaps you haven’t). When Life Hands you a Lemon. It is the story of Dan Lemon. On the surface, it is a struggle with an obsession with time, after his time obsessed mother passes suddenly when he is...