As I sit down to write these words, I think of the conversation I had yesterday with Baker a childhood friend and fellow baseball teammate back in our high school days. In the early to mid-seventies in a little one traffic light place called Freeland, if you were one of us, you were referred to by your last name. I give credit to the start of this last name tradition to my first and longest childhood friend Savard. Back to the conversation between Baker and me. We were discussing the golf outing being put together by Radke during the Class of 1975, 40th year high school reunion coming up in August of 2015. This event is going to be called the Hargreaves Memorial Golf Outing. Sorry, I have to pause to cry, something I still do when my mind fills with the memory of Hargreaves who passed away two years ago this coming June. The first time I cried was when Fite, Hargreaves first wife called me to say he had cancer. Her and I just cried for awhile that day on the phone. Heavy man, I know to the reader of these words, so I will start a new paragraph to help break the grip of this sadness.
When talking with Baker I mentioned that Hargreaves had called me on my cell a few months before he passed away while I was standing in the rental car line at LAX airport. I was in LA to visit an author friend that I was planning to do a writing and photography collaboration with in the future. I told Hargreaves on the phone that day, I wanted to come soon and play a round of golf with him. We had never played golf together. See Hargreaves was a great golfer and back in high school when he played the game, I used to say it was a silly sport. I have since learned in later years, golf is one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do. Hargreaves passed away before we could play together, I have no regrets, Hargreaves and I had spent a lot of quality times together over the years. I try to share those wonderful memories with his son now.
After I told this story to Baker, he said I should share more of these stories with others. Well that was the motivation I needed to share these words today on my blog. Generally, I don’t write this kind of prose. The prose I write mostly is more business structured. I am a licensed private investigator who does corporate investigations globally, not the usual TV PI type of sloop stuff. As an artist my writing style whether poetry or prose is more structured with an artistic flavor as it is creatively written. Ok, that’s kind of the backdrop, which is, a part of this story. How I choose to write is intentional. I am forever an artist at heart. I write what I call Artistic Prose. It has its roots in the master storytelling performed by my Scot Irish grandfather as I grew up as a child.
You could say I am talking about this story as I’m telling it. I am naming this story as I tell it as “A Band of Brothers and a Sister.” This Band so to speak, is made up of people I played on a baseball team with back in high school. The sister of the Band was our team statistician. The brothers and sister of this band are my close friends in life and many of them I have know since attending kindergarten in Freeland. These people are not only my friends, they are a part of my family. This extends to their parents, siblings and children. My bond and commitment to them is unbreakable. They know I will be there for them no matter what. Heavy man again, I know …..
Baker was a part of that team as mentioned before. This Band of Brothers and a Sister have last names like Hargreaves, Fite, Hahn, Savard, Pingel, Sumption, Morse and coach Hacker to name a few. I have attended their weddings and sad to say as we get older, I’ve attended funerals with some of them. When I talk to others about this Band many are amazed I have stayed so close with so many people I have known since childhood. I always say it is the magic of growing up in such a small place and playing my favorite sport baseball together.
As Baker and I discussed in our conversation yesterday, that little one traffic light place called Freeland and its baseball team, is the center of this special bond we A Band of Brothers and a Sister will always have to keep us together. In life and in death.
Now Baker – we’ll have the chance to make this bond deeper by playing together at the Hargreaves Memorial Golf Outing in August. Hargreaves I miss you dearly, but we will finally get to play that silly sport together when you are there in spirit. Just make sure all my golf balls get hit into the cup and the rest of our brothers balls safely miss the cup. You know how hard the game of golf is for me to play.
Words by ~Keith Alan Hamilton~